Memory In Toni Morrison's Beloved

Like that pesky mosquito, like that annoying pop-up ad, like that summer song, it all comes back. And similarly, so do memories. Memories are the things in the past that can influence the way one acts in a good or bad way. When they are positive people think of them time and time again, but when its negative or painful, one wants to close them in a jar so tight so it can never be opened again. But no matter how tightly the jar is closed something always slips away. The more people try to suppress the past the more it comes back to haunt them and this idea is seen through the character Sethe in Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Sethe’s memories of past events affects her both positively and negatively and the author does this in order to emphasize the idea of rememory and how the past is constantly around. The author uses repetition in order to emphasize Sethe’s pain of losing Beloved and how that pain causes her to live in fear. When Paul D tries to convince her to move out of the house because it’s haunted by a ghost, Sethe replies that she took “one journey” and “paid for the ticket”, but “it cost too much!” “It cost too much.” (15) A journey is when one travels from one place to another and Sethe traveled from a slave life to a free life, but the “ticket” …show more content…
Sethe is doing anything and everything to win back her daughter, “lullabies, new stitches, the bottom of the cake bowl, the top of the milk” (240). This creates a desperate tone and makes it seem as if she is willing to try anything to please Beloved. Because Sethe killed her when she was a child, her bad memory literally came back in the flesh to get revenge. She is trying to make up for all the things that she has missed with her and is trying to conceal the past instead of moving on and that’s emphasizes the books theme of how the past is

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