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ancestor, ancestral connectedness, kin, literary analysis, nursing, suffering



  1. Harrison, Elizabeth RN, PhD


Imaginative literature has played an important role in nursing practice and education since the time of Florence Nightingale. Used primarily as an exemplar, however, its potential has not been realized fully by nurses. This article addresses the use of imaginative literature in scholarly inquiry. Often considered the aegis of literary critics and philosophers, the formal discipline of literary criticism enables the nurse to identify concepts and to generate theoretic explanations about human phenomena. The relationship between the ancestor and the survival of the sufferer is illustrated using Morrison's literary and cultural paradigm applied to selected novels. Implications for practice are identified.