Who Is Margaret Garner

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Sethe’s character is based on a factual story of Margaret Garner. Similar to the protagonist of the novel, Margaret would rather kill her children than allow them to live as slaves. Though the story is similar to Garner’s life in many aspects, Morrison admits that she wanted to create her own story “I did not do much research on Margaret Garner other than the obvious stuff, because I wanted to invent her life, which is a way of saying I wanted to be accessible to anything the characters had to say about it” (in Bynum, 2011: 4). Importantly, Sethe’s life story is often perceived by researchers as a tribute paid by Toni Morrison to Margaret Garner. Another contemporary researcher, Sima Farshid, writes that through Sethe’s character Morrison “pores…show more content…
In the novel, she is presented as a “prophetic healer” (Coonradt, 2005: 176). Susan Coorey states that “one of Sethe’s memories is the healing power of physical touch that [she] first experienced at the hand of Amy, the mysterious white girl ...who rubbed her feet ...dressed the wounds on her back and assisted in the delivery of Denver” (in Coonradt, 2005: 176). In spite of her difficult situation, Amy Denver, as described by Philip Page, is a “healer who despite her own mistreatment and vulnerability, provides physical and spiritual salvation for Sethe” (1995:…show more content…
This term refers to the supernatural and magical events that cannot be explained. Another characteristic feature of the magical realism is the representation of time. As has been mentioned, in Beloved the narration is fragmented and events are not presented in a chronological manner. Łobodziec writes that in the novel “sense of time is shaken throughout” (2012: 105) which only emphasizes the horror behind Sethe’s decision to kill her daughter. At this point, it is worth mentioning here Morrison’s response to the fact that her novel is often classified by researchers as a gothic one with elements of the magical realism “the work that I do frequently falls, in the minds of most people, into that realm of fiction called fantastic, or mythic, or magical, or unbelievable. I’m not comfortable with these labels. I consider that my single gravest responsibility (in spite of that magic) is not to lie” (in Łobodziec, 2012:

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