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dc.contributor.advisorNewman, Steve, 1970-
dc.creatorPerez, Tyler
dc.date.accessioned2022-04-04T17:38:25Z
dc.date.available2022-04-04T17:38:25Z
dc.date.issued2022
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/7506
dc.descriptionThis research project was completed as part of the Honors Thesis Project.
dc.description.abstractDespite being created nearly thirty years apart, Beloved and Lemonade are remarkably similar historical projects: both texts critically engage with America’s legacy of systemic racism to explore how past injustices create present-day inequality, arguing that the racist institutions that slavery was founded on did not disappear with the Emancipation Proclamation but instead continue to dramatically affect the everyday lives of people of color decades and centuries later. Both Morrison and Beyoncé allegorize this argument in their respective texts: in Beloved, Sethe acts as a microcosm for Reconstruction-era Black Americans grappling with the omnipresent effects of slavery’s legacy less than two decades after the end of the Civil War; whereas in Lemonade, Beyoncé uses her personal experience coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity as a way to examine racism’s effect on the Black family throughout American history. In both cases, this allegory serves as each woman’s proposed guide for personal and national healing in a country haunted by its racist past and present, and in both texts, the essential question becomes how to create a more just future from the wreckage of an unjust past — how to move “forward,” as Beyoncé sings in Lemonade’s emotional peak. The critical difference, however, is in how each author’s historical project merges the past and present and the largely different conclusions they come to as a result. This paper will focus on these differences between Beloved and Lemonade’s engagement with the past as a vessel for understanding the present through a comparative analysis of these texts’ functions as projects for personal healing, literary storytelling, and historical reexamination. First, I will explore the texts’ unique differences in medium and structure, paying attention to how the merging of past and present becomes an essential part of the storytelling process for each author. Second, I will contextualize each text within the legacy of African American Gothic literature, focusing on how the texts’ interest in Gothic symbols and motifs — especially ghosts and haunting — further blend past and present in ways that dramatically impact each story. Third, I will examine how each author uses water and fire as competing symbols for different processes of healing, connecting each to the texts’ shared fascination with memory as a means of reintegrating the past into the present. Finally, I will demonstrate how the conclusions each author comes to about how to approach personal and national healing in the context of systemic racism lead to vastly different paths for establishing a more just future, and I will argue that Lemonade puts forth a much more definitive model for healing with the past than Beloved, which offers an inconclusive position that is more in line with the complexities that arise from this question.
dc.format.extent33 pages
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherTemple University. Libraries
dc.relation.ispartofLivingstone Undergraduate Research Awards
dc.relation.ispartofHonors Scholar Projects
dc.relation.isreferencedbyLivingstone Undergraduate Research Awards website: https://sites.temple.edu/livingstone/2022-livingstone-undergraduate-research-award-in-diversity-and-social-justice/
dc.rightsIN COPYRIGHT- This Rights Statement can be used for an Item that is in copyright. Using this statement implies that the organization making this Item available has determined that the Item is in copyright and either is the rights-holder, has obtained permission from the rights-holder(s) to make their Work(s) available, or makes the Item available under an exception or limitation to copyright (including Fair Use) that entitles it to make the Item available.
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectMorrison, Toni. Beloved
dc.subjectBeyoncé, 1981-
dc.subjectGothic revival (Literature)
dc.titleBeloved, Beyoncé, and the Burdens Of Our Past: A Critical Examination of Healing From Trauma in the African American Gothic
dc.typeText
dc.type.genreResearch project
dc.description.departmentTeaching and Learning
dc.description.departmentEnglish
dc.relation.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.34944/dspace/7484
dc.ada.noteFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact scholarshare@temple.edu
dc.description.awardLivingstone Undergraduate Research Award in Diversity and Social Justice
dc.description.schoolcollegeTemple University. College of Education and Human Development
dc.description.schoolcollegeTemple University. College of Liberal Arts
dc.temple.creatorPerez, Tyler
refterms.dateFOA2022-04-04T17:38:25Z


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