Examples Of Cruelty In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Cruelty is the infliction of pain towards others and this can be through physical means or mental means. It is commonly used to show one’s superiority over another, or at times it could be perpetrated because one has lost themselves due to cruelty being inflicted on them. In many literary works, major social or political factors create a great deal of cruelty to be build up in an individual. In Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, cruelty affected many lives deeply. Slavery is a cruel act that was imposed on the black society during majority of the 1800s, and many of the characters in the novel are still suffering from that effect even though it’s been over a decade since it’s been abolished. This traumatizing effect that slavery had on the populations …show more content…
She continues to fight cruelty to fight society and a political belief and system called slavery. An example of this is when she cuts the throat of her two-year-old daughter. Slavery had finally caught up to her in the form of Schoolteacher when he came back to the north to bring Sethe and her children back into the south, but Sethe, having had enough of her subjection to slavery, and wanting to save her daughter from that wretched life of slavery, she cut the throat of her two-year-old daughter. Sethe justifies her actions to Beloved and Denver here, “She had to be safe and I put her where she would be” (Morrison, 200). This is the prime example of Beloved fighting fire with fire. Being subjected to cruelty all her life, one’s mind goes to extremes causing them to take extreme actions like Sethe did with baby Beloved. In her determination to avoid giving her daughter the same fate that she had to go through, she decides to end her life. This then becomes a large regret on her part. Sethe clearly loves her children, but having been subjected to slavery and a …show more content…
Cruelty can make one do dangerous things, especially if that individual carries a fear for further cruelty, and this will cause people to do things that another might see as extreme. This ties in to the definition provided earlier, Sethe has lost herself in the fear and the worries of slavery, a form of cruelty, and so to avoid her daughters to go through the same faith she perpetrates a larger cruelty by killing her eldest daughter

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