restricted access “The Unshriven Dead, Zombies on the Loose”: African and Caribbean Religious Heritage in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

In demonstrating how scholarship has neglected African and Caribbean influences in Morrison’s work, this essay argues that there is a conspicuous gap in classifications of the character of Beloved. There is compelling evidence that African religious concepts of the living-dead, the Caribbean concept of the zombi, and the American adaptation of the zombi as zombie all bear profound influence on the composite identity of the character of Beloved. The hybrid assembly of the mythical and monstrous creature of Beloved thus establishes a new creation in an evolving transnational cultural tradition.