Title

Be loved from the other side: Amy Denver's influence in Toni Morrison's Beloved

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

Abstract

"Amy Denver, the white indentured servant who helped deliver Sethe's youngest child in Toni Morrison's Beloved, while often dismissed by the scholars of this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, deserves more attention. Dismissing the importance of Amy Denver's narrative in the novel presents a danger; the opening epigraph of Beloved, in fact, defines the importance of Amy's role implicitly. It reads: "I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved." Amy Denver, a young white girl who is also fleeing a form of slavery -- in her case indentured servitude -- comes from a similar background as Sethe; and yet, because she is white not black she is not of Sethe's people. Further, the name Amy, which is taken from the French verb aimer (to love), means "beloved," and also connects Amy to the opening epigraph -- she is literally named as the "beloved" who is not Beloved. These parallels between Amy's character and the opening epigraph of Beloved point to the critical role she plays within the novel. The significance of Amy's character, and the influence Morrison gives her through her role as the "other" beloved, becomes clear through a close examination of her appearances within the novel"--Leaf iii.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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