Beloved Critical Context
by Toni Morrison

Start Your Free Trial

Download Beloved Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Critical Context

(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

It has been noted that Beloved, Morrison’s fifth novel, is more explicit than most early slave narratives, which could not fully reveal the horror of the slave experience either because the authors dared not offend their white abolitionist audiences or could not bear to dwell on the horrors of slavery. Reviewers have also often remarked on the author’s emotional distance from her characters and her ability to relate grotesque stories without extreme emotionalism. Beloved won Morrison a 1988 Pulitzer Prize, though the novel was at the center of controversy when it did not receive two other major literary awards. In 1993, any earlier critical slights of Morrison’s work were redressed by her receipt of the Nobel Prize in Literature.