Ancestral presence and epic fulfillment in Toni Morrison ‘s Beloved and Sula

Zauditu-Selassie Kokahvah, Clark Atlanta University


The focal point of this study is the examination of ancestral remembrance and the effects of that presence on the epic fulfillment of the female heroic characters in two of Toni Morrison’s novels Beloved and Sula. As a comparative study, this dissertation concerns itself with identifying the common cultural assumptions, values and traditions attributed to the African world and the African Americans illustrated in two of Morrison’s novels. To this end, the ontological principles that unify African world culture and the accompanying cosmological categories delineate the discussion of motifs, images, and archetypes employed by Morrison to invoke the ancestral presence. Moreover, this study explores the use of ritual defined by deliberate rhetoric that frames apocalyptic ideas and advances epic achievement.