Beloved by Toni Morrison

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During the times of slavery, African Americans endured humiliation, suffering, and pain. In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison shows us the side effects of a mother of young children made the decision to murder her children then to let them get put back into slavery. She made a decision to kill her kids rather than dying defending them. Though her decision, she ended up killing one of her children. The child she killed ends up coming back to haunt her, and this is where the story begins.

When the arrival of beloved came it was like a birth for Sethe. “And for some reason, she could not immediately account for, the moment she got close enough to see the face, Sethe’s bladder filled to capacity…Not since she was a baby girl”(Morrison, 51). Beloved had all the features of a toddler from the way she talked to her physical body features. Her coming back to the specific place where her birth mother resided she had to come out for only one reason, to get revenge. During Beloved’s stay, she becomes abusive and very attached to Sethe.

They become so inseparable that when Beloved disappears Sethe just want to lay and die. “She says they were holding hands and Sethe looked like a little girl beside it”(Morrison, 265). In the end, Beloved was a pregnant girl resembling Sethe being pregnant with beloved and Sethe was a little girl who resembles beloved as a little girl defending her family. When beloved disappears it is when Sethe runs to protect them from her old slave owner. Beloved wants Sethe to see that’s what she should have done in the first place instead of killing her child. After Beloved’s wish is fulfilled she vanishes and the suffering of Sethe begins.

As soon as Beloved entered the world, she was considered a slave just because Sethe was a slave. And Sethe knew that once she was captured she would lose her control over the innocent baby, and that would morally kill her. In Chapter 26, Sethe explains what she thinks is supposedly the worst thing that could happen in her life, “That anybody white could take your whole self for anything that came to mind. Not just work, kill, or maim you, but dirty you“(Beloved 251). This shows that even though Sethe survived being whipped while pregnant, having been milked by the school teacher’s nephews, and having to pay for Beloved’s tombstone with intercourse, she did not want to see her children being treated as animals.

While Sethe became “dirty” after Sweet Home, her children never experienced slavery first hand so they remained the only pure, “clean” thing in her life. Her oldest daughter (Beloved) did not even have a name until she died, signifying how Sethe wanted to keep a blank slate for her daughter, wanted her to be free and live her own life, something that Sethe never got a chance to do since the memories of Sweet Home continued to torment her years after. The only reason she attempted to kill her children was to keep them from being degraded, or “dirtied” by the whites who did that same to her. And this is why Sethe committed of infanticide, she felt obligated to protect her children at any cost. When she’s talking to Paul D, she justified her actions by saying, “It’s my job to know what is and to keep them away from what I know is terrible. I did that.” (Beloved 165).

One might call her act of infanticide animalistic and heartless, but Sethe sacrificed herself for the betterment of her daughter. After the murder she spent her entire life overridden with guilt and despair at what she did. When the reincarnation of the baby ghost showed up at her doo step, Sethe became so obsessed with Beloved that she has given up everything she had to make her happy, putting up with Beloved’s unreasonable demands. When Paul D. came back to visit her in Chapter 27, she replied “She was my best thing” (Beloved 272) The novel is found on a newspaper clipping about a fugitive slave in Ohio who killed her own infant rather than sees her return to bondage in the 88 South.

In the novel, gender oppression is not an observable problem that subsists between African men and women, but is one that exists within the context of an economic relationship between master and slave. Race is simply an afterward explanation for the oppression of the African people. Undoubtedly, then Morrison’s preference of location is relevant in crystallizing the nature of the African’s oppression, for the economic basis of both race and gender oppression is unobscured in slavery. The novelist’s feminist consciousness is known an original breadth through the depiction of Sethe. She recommends in the novel united class struggle in opposition to capitalism as the merely practical answer likely for the African people in the white-dominated American society. It discovers the most subjugated phase of slavery in the history of African people.

Consequently, the author has luminously accomplished something in her effort to make this novel indisputably political and irreversibly striking. It is a striking storyline concerning the endurance of the inheritance of Slavery. It is as well a narrative of the origins of a culture and of a people whose, livelihood on the periphery of life and death. They have administered to produce that culture and to remain their past alive. Morrison’s awkward concern in the carnival of black woman’s potency, their values and beliefs, shoots from a longing to correct the incorrect that have been historically leveled against black women. She inquires about to rejoice the legends of black women like Baby Suggs and Sethe, and interlace their dreams into myths that tolerate us to recuperate their history.

The novel puts forward, life is hell. But togetherness, shared experience and brotherly love assist the characters to continue to exist. Therefore, the narrative becomes the conscious novel. It creatively embellishes an unforgettable blend of the past and present experiences. It is set in 1873 outside Cincinnati, Ohio. It narrates various extensive flashbacks that center on several facets of the slave era of American history: the horrors of the Middle 89 Passage, the lives of slaves on a plantation, and the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Morrison shows us what it means to live as a slave and what destructions have been brought to lives of slaves in this work. In Beloved, Morrison sheds light the painful past of African Americans and reveals the buried experiences for a better understanding of African American history. Beloved is a real life story, an event from African American history where special importance has been given to the horrors and tortures of slavery has been given in order to remind the reader about the past. In Beloved Morrison reinvents the past and wants the reader not to forget what happened in African American history.

Cite this paper

Beloved by Toni Morrison. (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/beloved-by-toni-morrison/

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