Literature Review on Morrison’s Beloved From the Perspective of New Historicism

Nianci HUANG, Ruwen ZHANG


As one of the most formally sophisticated novelists in the history of African American literature, Toni Morrison (1931-) has exerted vibrating influence upon the literary world. Her achievement in literature marks another monument in African American literature after the summit reached by Richard Wright (1908-1960) and Ralph Ellison (1914-1994). Beloved (1987), Morrison’s masterpiece, deals with the legacy of slavery in its depiction of a runaway slave’s struggle to claim the freed self. Since its publication, Beloved has inspired a considerable quantity of reviews, essays and book-length studies on various subjects with different critical methodologies both at home and abroad. Through analyzing these studies on Beloved, it can be found that part of Morrison’s project in Beloved is to subvert the mainstream white culture’s tampering of the black culture, restore their survival condition, and reconstruct the marginalized black history. Her unique way of dealing with history in fiction and the relationship between history and fiction coincides with the core of New Historicism.


Beloved; Literature review; New historicism

Full Text:



Allen, S. (1997). Nobel lectures: literature. New Jersey: World Scientific.

Andrew, W. L., & McKay, N. Y. (1999). Toni Morrison’s Beloved: a casebook. New York: Oxford UP.

Beaulieu, E. A. (2003). The Toni Morrison encyclopedia. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Clemons, W. (1987, September 28). A gravestone of memories. Newsweek, p.75.

Dobbs, C. (1998). Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Bodies returned, modernism revisited. African American Review, (4), 563-578.

Dong J. F. (1994). The crying from millions of Ghosts: An analysis of beloved. Foreign Literature Studies, (4), 74-77.

Du, Z. Q. (2012). A review of Chinese scholarship on morrison’s beloved. Journal of Huaqiao University (Philosophy & Social Sciences), (2), 96-104.

Eliot, M. J. S. (2000). Postcolonial experience in a domestic context: Commodified subjectivity in Toni Morrison’s beloved. MELUS, (3/4), 181-202.

Fallon, R. (2006). Music and the allegory of memory in “margaret garner”. Modern Fiction Studies, (2), 524-541.

Harding, W., & Martin, J. (1994). Reading at the cultural interface: The corn symbolism of beloved. MELLUS, (2), 85-97.

Hu, X. Y. (2004). Unforgettable story: The artistic world of Toni Morrison’s beloved. Yinchuan, China: Ningxia People’s Publishing House.

Hubbard, D. (1994). The sermon and the African American literary imagination. Columbia & London: University of Missouri Press.

Jesser, N. (1999). Violence, home and community in Toni Morrison’s beloved. African American Review, (2), 325-345.

Jiang, X. X. (2002). The construction of Afro-American female subjectivity in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Theory and Criticism of Literature and Art, (5), 91-97.

Koolish, L. (1995). Fictive strategies and cinematic representations in Toni Morrison’s beloved: Post-clonial theory/postclonial text. African American Review, (3), 325-345.

Linehan, T. M. (1997). Narrating the self: Aspects of moral psychology in Toni Morrison’s beloved. The Centennial Review, (1), 301-330.

Luo, Y. (2012). Breaking the silent silence: A multidimensional interpretation of Toni Morrison’ s beloved. Chengdu, China: Southwest Jiaotong University Press.

Luo, X. M. (1993). Absurd rationality and rational absurdity: On the critical consciousness of Toni Morrison’s beloved. Foreign Literature Review, (1), 60-65.

Morrison, T. (1990). Beloved. (Y. X. Wang, Trans.). Changsha, China: Hunan Literature and Art Publishing House.

Morrison, T. (1997). Beloved. London: Vintage.

Ochoa, P. (1999). Morrison’s beloved: Allegorically othering “white” christianity. MELUS, (2), 107-123.

Pass, O. M. (2006). Toni Morrison’s beloved: A journey through the pain of grief. Journal of Medical Humanities, (2), 117-124.

Peach, L. (2000) Toni Morrison. London: Palgrave Macmillan Press Ltd.

Perez-Torres, R. (1993). Knitting and knotting the narrative thread—Beloved as postmodern novel. Modern Fiction Studies, (3/4), 689-707.

Peterson, N. J. (1993). Introduction: Canonizing Toni Morrison. Modern Fictions Studies, (39), 3-4.

Reed, R. R. (2007). The restorative power of sound: A case of communal catharsis in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, (1), 55-71.

Rhodes, J. P. (1990). Toni Morrison’s beloved: Ironies of a “sweet home” Utopia in a Dystopian slave society. Utopian Studies, (1), 77-92.

Rushdy, A. H. A. (1992). Daughters signifyin(g) history: The example of Toni Morrison’s Beloved. American Literature, (3), 567-597.

Schapiro, B. (1991). The bonds of love and the boundaries of self in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Contemporary Literature, (2), 195-210.

Sun W. (2002). Opening the door of memory: On the image and symbol of water in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Journal of Southwest University for Nationalities (Philosophy and Social Sciences), (4), 97-100.

Taylor-Guthrie, D. (1994). Conversations with Toni Morrison. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Tian, Y. M. (2009). Maternal love and growth: A study of Toni Morrison’s fiction. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.

Torsney, C. B., & Judy, E. (1994). Quilt culture: Tracing the pattern. Columbia & London: University of Missouri Press.

Wang, J. (2008). Critical appreciation of American writers and works in the 20th century. Beijing: Xinhua Publishing House.

Wang, S. R. (1994). Out of the shadow of the past: A reading of Toni Morrison’s beloved. Foreign Literature Review, (1), 37-42.

Wang, Y. K. (2005). Toni Morrison’s study. Beijing: People’s Literature Publishing House.

Wang, Y. K. (2007). Reconstruction of beloved from the new historical perspective. Foreign Literature Studies, (1), 140-145.

Wang, L. L. (2004). Time and narration: Interpreting Toni Morrison’s beloved. Journal of South-Central University for Nationalities (Humanities and Social Sciences), (3).

Wang, L. L. (2010). Identity-building in Toni Morrison’s trilogy: Beloved, jazz and paradise. Xiamen, China: Xiamen University Press.

Wang, S. R., & Wu, X. Y. (1999, 2004). Gender, race, and class: Toni Morrison and twentieth-century Afro-American literature. Beijing: Peking University Press.

Washington, T. N. (2005). The mother-daughter aje relationship in Toni Morrison’s beloved. African American Review, (1-2), 171-188.

Weng L. H. (1999). Character as narrative strategy: Interpreting Toni Morrison’s beloved. Foreign Literature Review, (2), 65-72.

Xi, C. J. (1997). Magic realism and beloved. Foreign Literature Studies, (3), 106-108.

Yang, J. C. (2011). Toni Morrison’s critical reception in China. Foreign Literature Studies, (4), 50-59.

Zhang, R. W. (2000). A thematic study of freedom and maternal love in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Foreign Literature, (3), 91-94.

Zhang, R. W., & Zhou, Q. (2005). An analysis of language and power in Toni Morrison’s beloved. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, (12), 28-31.

Zhu, R. J. (2004). Pain and healing: A study of maternal love in Toni Morrison’s fiction from a cultural perspective. Zhengzhou, China: Henan University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Nianci Huang

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture