Slavery, Racism, And Prejudice In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Slavery, racism, and prejudice are defined by the cruelty and the pain that resulted from it. In Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, acts of cruelty are continuously seen throughout the novel through the stories of the main characters that were affected by the institution of slavery either indirectly or directly. The cruelty of white supremacy plays a crucial role in shaping the lives and behaviors of Africans Americans and it caused them to commit cruel acts themselves. The pain, torture, and suffering that the African American characters go through in this novel are because of the side effects of white supremacy. The inhumanity that occurred because of the institution of slavery and the belief of white supremacy played a defining role in …show more content…
Slavery also allowed white people to earn more money and gain more power in society, which led to the government allowing for these acts of cruelty such as dehumanization, murder, and rape to occur. In Beloved, the belief in white supremacy caused slave owners to commit acts of cruelty against black people. When the schoolteacher was talking about Sethe’s rape and beating he says, “See what happened when you overbeat creatures God has given you the responsibility of”(150). The schoolteacher has a firm belief that black people are inferior to white people and regarded them as “creatures” that they get to control and manipulate. This belief in racial superiority caused the schoolteacher to commit harsh acts against black people like Sethe since she was seen as a creature that he is responsible for. Even though the institution of slavery is demolished and the belief of white supremacy is now looked down upon, the cruelty of the past still affects people today. In the article “The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison” by _____, Morrison states, “In the shambles of closing …show more content…
Sethe’s experiences at Sweet Home with dehumanization and rape resulted in her causing pain and suffering against her own children. When Stamp Paid was talking to Paul D about Sethe he says, ”A pretty little slavegirl had recognized a hat, and split to the woodshed to kill her children”(158). Sethe committed an act of cruelty by killing her own daughter in order to save her from the horrors of slavery that she has experienced. The cruelty of slavery and dehumanization of African Americans that resulted from white supremacy led to Sethe committing a harsh act against her own daughter to protect her from the life that awaited her. The community of African Americans also exhibited harsh behaviors towards each other due to a side effect of white supremacy. After describing the feast held at 124 for everyone in the community the narrator says,” The scent of their disapproval lay heavy in the air”(137). The community is so outraged at Baby Sugg’s for having it much better than them after slavery and expressing it in a feast that they don’t warn her about the white men coming to take Sethe and her children away. An immoral sentiment expressed by the entire community caused Sethe to confront her former slave owner and kill her child. The cruel act of the community shaped Sethe and her family’s life and never allowed for the pain

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