Archetypes in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

4 April 2015
This paper discusses Toni Morrison’s systematic use of archetypes in her novel, `Beloved.`

This paper examines the use archetypes of ghosts and premonitions in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. It shows the influence of Dr. Carl Yung, and how the human psyche is easily manipulated. It explores the context and background of the story and how the use of archetypes plays into the character traits and storyline.

From the paper:

‘Dreaming men are haunted men,’ wrote Stephen St. Vincent Benet, and the characters in Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ might well agree with the poet’s statement. Of course, most of us are dreamers, and we therefore might well posit that we are haunted by dreams. What sets each of us apart is the things we dream about ? and so the things that we are haunted by. Our dreams ? our hauntings ? are specific to our own lives, our own experiences. But they may also be far more general than we suppose them to be, the result of what psychologist Carl Jung would call archetypes, a term made generally popular by Joseph Campbell in his exploration of commonalities that he discovered in the myths, religions, and arts of what are in many ways widely divergent cultures.

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