Discourse Construction and Counter-Hegemonic Discourses in The Beloved By Toni Morrison

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of English Literature, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran msbeyad@ut.ac.ir

2 PhD in English Literature, University of Tehran, Alborz Campus


Morisson's Beloved is the story of sixty million black slaves who died under the hegemony of the dominant discourse of white bourgeoise ideology. Black characters remember their past according to the picture in their minds and then attempt to re-construct it in a new light. Thus, the grand narrative - in Lyotards' words - of white people of America is under constant challenges from the black little narrative. On the other hand, Mikhail Bakhtine's theory of dialogism and polyphonic novels state the same thing. In some novels - those of Dostovesky's, for example - the different and opposing voices in the novels are put together in a linear position with the voice of the author just next to them. In other words, each character will construct his/her own narrative and thus undermines the dominant discourse or the Grand Narrative. Thus, the aim of this essay is to compare the mentioned theories and then apply them to the novel.


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