April 22, 2014
African-American Communities in Beloved
Thesis: Toni Morrison focuses on negative impact of slavery on the well-being of African American communities throughout her novel Beloved by depicting the damage done, its effects on individual characters, and the renewal of community.
1. The enforcement of slavery has destroyed black communities and families 1. Families throughout Beloved were split due to slavery 2. The community of 124 abandons its members 1. Characters are negatively impacted by the lack of community 1. The deeds and traits of Six-o compared to the rest of the men living at Sweet Home 2. Denver and Sethe’s lack of identity due to a lacking
…show more content…
In one scene, Beloved shares with Denver how her “own dead man” is pulled away from her and thrown into the sea (Morrison, 235).. Beloved even describes how she watched her mother throw herself overboard who would rather take her own life then continuing to deal with the excruciating pain of slavery. Sethe also experienced the loss of her parents, watching her mother be burned to death at a young age on the slave plantation. Baby Suggs raised eight children, only to have seven of them die under slavery. The Pauls of Sweet Home also experienced the same separation of family, Paul A being killed in his attempt to escape Sweet home, and Paul F being sold to other slave owner leaves Paul D alone at Sweet Home. Slaves were not treated as human beings but as cattle, being tortured, raped, and killed whenever whites saw fit. Slaves were seen as economic interests and could be sold, and therefore “Family ties are of no consequence” (47 Bonnet). Toni Morrison acknowledges the many lives lost due to slavery and the Middle Passage by dedicating her novel to the “Sixty million and more” lost lives.
The communities lack to protect itself is evident when Paul D moves out of 124. Paul D was unable to accept Sethe for her past, a woman who murdered one of her children. Sethe’s love was too big and thus he moved out of 124 and into the local church’s damp, cold cellar. Stamp Paid is one character to question the reasoning of this however. He