She mainly focuses on master, slave, and marriage. Of the three, the master holds the most authority, the slave is victimized, and the marriage institution suffers because of the exploitative relationship between the master and slave.
According to Maschler, women are important players in the marriage institution, and therefore, the effects of slavery on slave women will affect the entire institution of marriage. Tolman notes that in Morrison’s The Beloved, women are portrayed as having unconditional love for their children and families, although mothers are not portrayed as perfect or flawless. However, motherhood, which is equally important in marriage, is greatly affected by slavery, as mothers in slavery underwent great troubles to raise their children. In this novel, Morrison shows women as the central figures in families of former slaves. The men are often missing because of the slavery heritage. In this case, men were still regarded part of the family. However, they did not have time for their families, and could hence not play the main role in the family. During the slavery period, men were sold, while some escaped slavery. This has continued to affect the psyche of women who experienced this.
During slavery, the society was paternalistic, and women headed families, as Morrison shows in his novel. The women were used to living without their men around. This is because black men would be sent away, or would leave their families for reasons related to slavery. On the other hand, women could not leave; they were caged in their homes, as they were responsible for the upbringing of their children. Davis argues that this largely denied these women their freedom as they were forced to stay at home and could not leave. ...Show more