aspects of hybridity in toni morrison beloved.

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As a literary term, hybridity is typically used in postcolonial discourse to denote a blend of between Eastern or African cultures and Western culture.

In Toni Morrison's Beloved , a relatively simple example of hybridity can be found in the novel's color symbolism. When Denver looks through a window...

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As a literary term, hybridity is typically used in postcolonial discourse to denote a blend of between Eastern or African cultures and Western culture.

In Toni Morrison's Beloved, a relatively simple example of hybridity can be found in the novel's color symbolism. When Denver looks through a window and sees her mother, Sethe, kneeling on the floor in prayer, she also sees a fancy white dress kneeling beside her with its arm around her waist. Later, when Beloved actually appears in their front yard, she is wearing a similar dress, but its color is now black. Typically, in the West, white is associated with life and black with death. However, in many traditional African spiritual systems, the reverse is true; white is associated with death and black with life. Thus, even though the setting for most of the novel is Cincinnati, Ohio, the color symbolism is more akin to what one would find in an African culture.

Further, the very thin line between life and death in the novel is more typical of Eastern and African countries than Western. Sethe is more comfortable with the relative "safety" of death than she is with allowing her children to live life as slaves. Sethe also feels that she will always look after Denver, even after Sethe is dead. Her conception of death does not match the more typical Western idea that life on earth is finite and that the dead are separate from the living.

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