The Author of Beloved, Toni Morrison

The bleeding throat of her child lay slit open in before her as Sethe dreaded her future as a slave. Death seemed to Sethe as the most humane fate for her poor little girl. Beloved is the story of a woman who would rather kill her child than see her sold into slavery. The author, Toni Morrison, wrote the novel after being inspired by the very real story of Margaret Garner who killed her own child to protect her from a life of slavery. Beloved follows the story of Sethe and her family, who struggle to escape slavery and live with the consequences.

The author of Beloved, Toni Morrison, offers readers a great role model to colored people and women all around the world. Morrison sets a picture of a successful colored woman who has written several best selling novels. She emerges as the second of four children of Ramah and George Wolford on February 18, 1931. Her birth name, Chloe Anthony Wofford, gave many people trouble when trying to address her so Chloe changed her name to Toni Morrison while she attended college. The small, working-class family lived in Lorain, Ohio, about ten miles west of Cleveland. Her father, George Wolford worked in a shipyard as a welder. “He took great pride in his work. If he welded a seam perfectly, he signed it. No one would ever see his name, but he would know it was there” (Lobb 1). Her father taught her many things that helped her throughout her adult life. Toni Morrison’s family spent large amounts of time together. The family took many trips and taught their children many important lessons along the way. The family’s favorite pastimes included reading books and listening to stories from their father.

When Toni first attended school, “She was the only black in her class, and the only child who could read” (Lobb 1). Toni quickly became a great student in school, scoring top marks on almost all assignments. The straight A student showed great amounts of determination to her teachers and graduated high school with honors. After leaving high school, Toni strived for higher education. She strived to get accepted into the best school she could and was quickly accepted into Howard University in Washington D.C.. Once she started her classes at university, Toni was horrified to see that her english professors did not use any examples of black authors in their learnings. Every piece of literature they studied was written by a white author and colored authors seemed completely ignored. This experience became the first time Toni saw an example of racism in her everyday life.

After reading all of her course books from cover to cover, Toni started to find the life at school dull. As her peers seemed less interested in school and more interested in partying, Toni joined an acting club called the Howard University Players. The group accepted her warmly and she quickly became strongly engaged as a Player. The group would often travel to nearby states to perform in plays and musicals. These trips exposed Toni to the outside world and the many different types of people that lived around her.

Works Cited

  1. DeSalle, Nicole. “Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” Toni Morrison’s Beloved (ELL), Jan. 2009, p. 1. EBSCOhost. www.statelib.lib.in.us/inspire/authenticate-eds.asp?url=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26AuthType%3dcookie%2cgeo%2curl%2cip%26geocustid%3ds8475741%26db%3delr%26AN%3d34978171%26site%3deds-live%26scope%3dsite.
  2. Gioia, Ted. “Beloved by Toni Morrison.” Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, www.thenewcanon.com/beloved.html Web. 9 Jan 2019.
  3. Lobb, Nancy. “Toni Morrison.” 16 Extraordinary African Americans, 2nd Edition, Walch Education, 2007, p. 85. EBSCOhost, www.statelib.lib.in.us/inspire/authenticate-eds.asp?url=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26AuthType%3dcookie%2cgeo%2curl%2cip%26geocustid%3ds8475741%26db%3delr%26AN%3d37334296%26site%3deds-live%26scope%3dsite.
  4. Shmoop Editorial Team. ‘Beloved.’ Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 Jan. 2019. https://www.shmoop.com/beloved/.
  5. Toni Morrison – Biographical. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Tue. 8 Jan 2019.
  6. Plasa, Carl, and Nicolas Tredell. Toni Morrison: Beloved. Icon, 2000.