`` Beloved `` By Toni Morrison Essay

1023 Words Apr 25th, 2016 5 Pages
The Pulitzer Prize winning novel Beloved by Toni Morrison, explores the trials and tribulations of a mother haunted by not only her past, but also by the supernatural and physical embodiment of her deceased child, Beloved. The novel takes place in rural 1873 Cincinnati, and follows the family of former slave, Sethe, who in an attempt to save her children from the horrors of slavery, murdered her infant daughter. Morrison critic, Carolyn Denard states that, when reading this novel, students should “not so much focus on historical background...but rather on the human foreground”. I completely agree with this statement, in which we as students have already learned so much about the horrors of slavery, but not so much on how these former slaves carried on with broken lives after their bonds were broken. The human foreground is the most important aspect of this novel and we are able to see and analyze this insidious effect of slavery on the human psyche in the masterly crafted scenes in which Paul D. views his life as lower than a mere farm rooster, in Sethe’s willingness to murder her children before letting them go back into slavery, and in Sethe’s reluctance to acknowledge the past. The effects of slavery on one’s self worth is a major component on the emotional stability of the characters portrayed in Beloved. The characters portrayed in the novel feel a sense of dehumanization and worthlessness due to the psychological abuse they are put through from infancy. We see this…

Related Documents