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African-American author Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved, describes a black culture born out of a dehumanising period of slavery just after the Civil War. Culture is a means of how a group collectively believe, act, and interact on a daily basis. Those who have studied her work refer to Morrison’s narrative tales as “literature…that addresses the sacred and as an allegorical representation of black experience” (Baker-Fletcher 1993: 2). Although African Americans had a difficult time establishing their own culture during the period of slavery when they were considered less than human, Morrison believes that black culture has been built on the horrors of the past and it is this history that has shaped contemporary black culture in a positive way. Through the use of linguistic devices, her representation of black women, imagery and symbolic features, and the theme of interracial relations, Morrison illustrates that black culture that is resilient, vibrant, independent, and determined. Published in 1987, Beloved is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that recounts how those who survived slavery healed themselves and reflects on the period of slavery in “a manner in which it can be digested, in a manner in which the memory is not destructive” (Morey 1988: 2). It is this rememory as Morrison calls it that helps those considered “others” become individuals. Set in Ohio, the book focuses on Sethe; Sethe’s surviving daughter, Denver; Sethe’s mother-in-law, Baby Suggs; and the ghost of Sethe’s dead daughter, Beloved. Throughout the book, “Morrison communicates an unforgettable sense of the strength, terror and devastation that is part of the black community, whilst skilfully portraying the unalterable connections between spiritual and physical life” (Morey 1988: 1093). One linguistic device used throughout the novel is the use of songs. Slaves use songs as a way to pass down stories

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