Sethe's Recovery In Beloved

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Beloved: The Difficult Road to Recovery
Eighteen sixty-three, President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery. Many would recall the end to slavery in the mid nineteenth century as a victory for African Americans formerly held in bondage. Be that as it may, those who were slaves, although free, continued to be subjected to the harsh memories of a past filled with tortuous suffering. Protagonist in Toni Morrison’s novel, former slave named Sethe, exemplifies the damaging effects that slavery had on those who were affected by it. Despite the adversity, Sethe also embodies the indefatigable human spirit, present in all slaves, that is able to persist through the hardship of being slave-confronting external factors
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Sethe’s fanatic love towards her children separate her from other slave mothers; this love is so powerful, it drives Sethe to kill her other baby daughter ‘Beloved’ while escaping her slave owner. Paul D is aware of the unconditional love that Sethe has for her children, however, unlike Sethe, Paul D makes sure that he is not overly attached to one thing, he thinks “For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous...The best thing, he [Paul D] knew, was to love just a little bit, so when they broke it’s back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you’d have a little love left over for the next one” (Morrison 54). Throughout the novel, the reader learn of Paul D’s past and his lack of attachments to sides in the Civil War, due to his experiences as a slave. Yet, Toni Morrison is able to juxtapose Paul D’s lack of attachments to further emphasize Sethe’s over attachments to others, especially those who had an impact on her past. Sethe’s act of murder on her baby daughter, is also an act of love and sacrifice on Sethe because she is sacrificing her daughter’s life in replace of a potential life of torture in slavery. In Betty Taylor Thompson’s piece of criticism on Beloved, she discussed the themes and meanings of the novel, “Sethe remembers that slavery has denied her a relationship with her own mother and determines to have a nurturing relationship with her own children” (Thompson 4). Thompson accentuates the idea of how the absence of the mother leads to the further dehumanization, as evident through the murder of Sethe’s daughter in an attempt to ‘free’ her from slavery because “...unless carefree, mother love is a killer” (Morrison). Morrison's use of figurative language also implies a not so figurative action in the

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