Turning Pages Book Club: Beloved by Toni Morrison
Join Museum volunteer docents for a discussion of Toni Morrison’s book Beloved. Explore themes of identity, trauma and cultural survival, while making connections to the exhibition In Frequencies and the work of artist Sydney Cain. Participants should have completed the book prior to meeting. Register online for guiding questions that will be discussed at the book club. Arrive early to place a lunch order with the Café! Space is limited, advanced reservations are recommended.
Questions for discussion:
- Beloved has been classified as historical fiction, a study of generational trauma, a coming-of-age novel, and a ghost story. Which one of these do you think fits the most?
- What particular themes and motifs stood out to you?
- There is much suffering and shame in the lives of the characters, but there are also scenes of blessings and grace. When do these happen?
- How does Morrison’s writing style reinforce the theme that the past is always alive in the present?
- Beloved is often at the top of a banned book list. It is most often taught in Advanced Placement English. What do you think this book has to offer young adults?
- Early in Part 1, Amy Denver tells Sethe, “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.” What do you think of this statement?
- What do you make of the names that Morrison chose for her characters? How do they reinforce the theme?
- Do look at Sydney Cain’s work differently as a result of reading this book?