How can we compare and contrast A Mercy and Beloved?

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When Toni Morrison’s novel A Mercy came out in 2008, it immediately drew comparisons to her acclaimed novel Beloved, which was written over twenty years before. A Mercy (which takes place in the New World in the late seventeenth century) and Beloved are like two bookends to the narrative of slavery in North America: the former at the moment when it was being defined and reified, legally and socially, and the latter when the institution was beginning to be dissembled. Morrison said in an NPR interview about A Mercy,

I wanted to separate race from slavery ... to be a slave without being raced, because I couldn’t believe that that was the natural state ... it had to be constructed, planted, institutionalized, legalized. I moved as far back as I was able to where what we now call America was fluid, ad hoc.

Structurally, both novels include multiple fractured narratives, and this reflects the traumatic psychic effects of slavery. In A Mercy, we see the beginning of the trauma, and in Beloved, we see...

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