Critical Essays Style of Beloved


Morrison's evocative blend of detail, memory, and lyrical commentary forms a liquid stream that carries the reader along, sometimes blind or only half-aware of a significance or nuance but always attuned to the sad-expectant outlook of the channeling voice. The mesmerizing skill with which Morrison spins her tale lures the reader along with nuggets of fact — a date, an event, a motive — until the story jells in spite of the veiled meanings of the speaker's truths, half-truths, and suppositions.

The precise detail of Morrison's fiction has the ring of truth, as though she were recalling some oddment from an evening's story session long past in her childhood. For example, she explains that Sixo marks Patsy in order to deceive her master; he "punctured her calf to simulate snakebite so she could use it in some way as an excuse for not being on time to shake worms from tobacco leaves."