Slavery, Ghosts, and Beloved: Crash Course Literature 214

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In which John Green teaches you about Beloved by Toni Morrison. I’ll warn you up front, this book is something of a downer. That’s because it deals with subjects like slavery, the death of a child, a potential haunting, and a bunch of other sad stuff. John will talk about Beloved in relation to slavery, and how that terrible institution affected individuals, families, and all of American culture in the years surrounding the Civil War. We will also not be getting into whether or not Beloved was a ghost, because it really has no bearing on what the book has to say. Also, as usual, spoilers abound, so we recommend you read the book before you watch this video!


Siddharth Sircar says:

What, you do comprehension all the seasons long but don’t think about doing any grammar or writing aspects?

SkibsIsn'tFunny says:

It’s too bad I despise this book. A good analysis though

aznfry says:

you put everything so eloquently. i feel your words melting in the palm of my hand. You almost give me the inspiration to keep loving life.
thank you John Greene

McKenzie Shawcroft says:

When I read this book in college, we discussed the symbol of a tree on Sethe’s back. It’s a “tree” made up of the scars on her back, from when she was whipped. She talks about its sap (her blood) and this tree flowering, which is an interesting symbol.

Anime Hyaku Yori says:

Damn it… now I have a new addition to my Audible Wish List.

Minka Wiltz says:

Thank you.

Bryce Alley says:

Go easy on you from the past John! Remember a time when you were young and foolish, too! Oh, wait.

PsychoVdude13x says:

Saw the movie on T.V. a while back. Didn’t know it was a book.

Brian Jensen says:

An adaptation of this would be great in the current climate of horror movies. Horror is at it’s best when it hints at issues we have societal anxiety about, and moving that subtext to text is popular in contemporary horror movies; It Follows took sexual imagery that was usually conveyed symbolically (see Alien or The Thing) and made the monster be explicitly about sex, and The Babadook made itself explicitly about mental illness. There’s this theory that cultures set it’s horrors in the place where they lost their humanity. England lost it’s humanity in the city, with it’s debtors prisons and the way it treated the poor, so it’s horrors are often set in metropolitan areas. Enter Attack the Block; a horror movie that’s explicitly about how the poor are treated. America lost it’s humanity in rural area and the wilderness because slavery and genocide, so we often set our horrors on farms or camping trips, we are ripe for a horror movie that’s explicitly about slavery.

Max Marriner says:

Did NOT expect a reference to Watch_Dogs in a video about freakin’ BELOVED.

shay meadows says:

this book and movie was so intense and sad. even listening to this description I teared up a little. This story will make you feel the pain.

charles b says:

This is my favorite book of all time. I really enjoyed this very accurate interpretation of a complex and misunderstood piece of literary gold.

Charles K. says:

Why is John from the past always such a bastard?

OnlineDater69 says:

Do crash course sociology please!

dagliocchibui says:

You moved me, you made such a great job on such a great book. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Alexandra Krauser says:

First, Beloved is genius. Secondly, this episode of Crash Course really captures the most important themes/ideas etc. so well! Really helpful and well conveyed, thanks!

Tony McCraw says:

What happened to Subbable?

Robby House says:

So just wanted to let you guys at Crash Course know that there actually are books, novels, etc. that focus on other equally interesting topics besides slavery in America, the wrongs visited upon African Americans after Slavery was abolished, racial discrimination, Jim Crow, etc.  Just putting this little factoid out here.  How you use this info I leave up to you.  ;o)

Andrea Do Santos says:

I hated this book when I read it. i found it confusing and just hard to get through. Watching this review makes it sound amazing. part of me wants to re-read it!

Conner Jessop says:

You guys should do The Picture of Dorian Gray! Or The Brothers Karamazov. Such good books.

aLmAnZio says:

I really don’t get it. I hated the book, from the very first page. Difficult to follow, and very difficult to relate to for several reasons. Just keeping straight who’s point of view is currently being presented was a challange, and I found the topic to be booring and predictable.

That doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize, but it was just too weird to feel anything resembling reality. And don’t even get me started on the entire sub chapter written without a single stop…

Jojo Saylor says:

Who is Beloved…. very haunting

Agos EB says:

For a moment I thought this episode was named after Sethe’s house… (241)

starfirenonie says:

I never got the feeling that Beloved is anything other than Sethe’s daughter. You said that she could also be a sex-slave who escaped but I never got that impression. She knew about Sethe’s earrings and songs.

Akira Shiori says:

My English teacher (great teacher) assigned Sula, a book also by Toni Morrison, and that’s what got me interested in Beloved. He reminds me of Green, lol

Zach CR Schuller says:

Why is John’s ‘Me-from-the-past’ wearing a shirt advertising an event in 2013? Given he betrayed the fact that South Park would air two years in ‘Me-from-the-past’s’ future, said past self is from the ’90’s….

Estrella Casias says:

they should do a video on Naked Lunch because i don’t understand that book at all.

Nora Campbell says:

Beloved was based on the true story of Margaret Gardner

Olga Akselrad says:

Wow… This is one BEAUTIFUL analysis… Thank you!

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