Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Eszter Enikő Mohácsi: Exorcising the Ghosts of Trauma: Toni Morrison's Beloved and Hwang Sok-yong's The Guest


The paper analyzes and compares Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Guest by Hwang Sok-yong,
concentrating on collective, historical trauma and collective identity. More precisely, it examines how
ghosts in both narratives are engendered by historical atrocities and past trauma. Fundamentally, it argues that the main themes of both texts are the impossibility of continuing to live one's life in a meaningful way without confronting the past; the necessity of facing, reclaiming and reconstructing the individual's and the community's past; and the possibility of forging a new individual and collective identity through commemoration, that is, the conjuration of the ghosts of past trauma, which is precisely why an exorcism is initiated in both works.

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ISSN 1786-7967

Budapest Institute, 1139 Budapest Frangepán utca 50-56. Hungary