This quarter, I’m super excited to be reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In my American Literature II class, my professor has the class divided into five book clubs, each club having its own novel or play. From the first week, I was set to read Beloved, mainly because I’ve read Morrison’s Sula and loved it. I figured I would feel similarly to this novel too. And I was right!
In this course, we’re evaluating the different voices in American history after the Civil War. This will, hopefully, bring us one step further to understanding what American literature is and should be. The United States is a highly diverse country, so it makes sense to read from different American perspectives, as opposed to just that of cis white men. Among the other pieces of literature that the other clubs are reading are Fences and A Raisin in the Sun, The Awakening, and Fahrenheit 451. This should be an interesting class, as there are different perspectives from different time periods in these books and plays.
I’m about a hundred pages into the book and I am even more excited to know what is going to happen next! So, the story is about a mother, Sethe, who escapes slavery and settles down in Ohio. Before her attempt at freedom, she sent her three kids to the North where she would rendezvous with them. At the time, she was pregnant with Denver.
She eventually makes it to the North. The reader finds out that her infant daughter, the one she sent to the North before her escape, dies. There is a great mystery to her death. The family is ostracized from society, which can imply that the death of the infant child could be the source of that. The child’s spirit seems to be haunting her house. This causes Sethe’s two sons to run away one day and never return. The story so far deals with how Sethe and Denver deal with their lives and how they cope with the haunted house.
After choosing to read this story, I found out that there is a film adaptation, which stars Oprah Winfrey as Sethe! This made me even jollier! I get to read the novel, then watch the movie! By far, this has been my favorite English course that I’ve taken at Drexel. We’re not assigned readings, rather we have the choice of what we want to read. I appreciate this because many of the assigned readings from other English courses can be a drag. At least here, I have the opportunity to read something that I am interested in!