The Theme Of Life In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Toni Morrison 's "Beloved," is a story of trying to move forward, only to end up being haunted by the past. We learn the story of an ex slave named Sethe. The story, set in Ohio in 1873, tells of Sethes escape from slavery, and the fateful day her life took a drastic turn. To a stranger, from the outside looking in, Sethes life is as normal as it could be under the circumstances of being a runaway slave. Morrison tells of Sethe 's struggle of being enslaved not only in body, but in mind and spirit also. A woman with the need and desire to protect her children. After being found by school teacher, the slave owner she ran away from, rather than returning to "Sweet Home" and a life of slavery for her children and herself, Sethe …show more content…
She saw her own mother hanging there dead. She ended up losing her husband and her sons. She killed her own daughter as a way to save her. She ended up alone with just her daughter Denver and the ghost of her dead baby. The fact that even after living with Beloved 's ghost for eighteen years she did not recognize her when she came is not surprising. as she had suppressed the memories of that fateful day. She had neither admitted, or even thought what she had done was wrong, nor had she ever apologized for it. Sethe had convinced herself that killing Beloved was the right thing to do. "Beloved, she my daughter. She mine.... She had to be safe and I put her where she would be. But my love was tough and she back now. I knew she would be.... I won’t never let her go.(Sethe. 236). She knew that Beloved was angry but that she was ok. In the article, "Invisible Metamorphosis," by Régine-Mihal Friedman, he states, "Ultimately, in the absence of confession and acknowledgment of the offense, the healing properties have not found its way towards the rehabilitation of his still injured victim." Sethe was a victim, yes. She was a victim of many things; slavery, rape, circumstance and more. Beloved was a victim also; her mother 's victim. If Beloved was angry and jealous, she had a right to be. She was murdered after …show more content…
Sethe believes that it was a selfless act of love and protection. She told her friend Paul D., “I took and put my babies where they’d be safe.” He tells her that her love is “too thick.” Sethe asks what else she could have done, and Paul D responds, “You got two feet, Sethe, not four,” indicating that she is a human, not an animal. In the article "Infanticide as Slave Resistance: Evidence from Barbados, Jamaica, and Saint-Domingue," J.M. Allain writes, " While abolitionists tended to portray slave mothers as wholly selfless, doting, and maternal, pro-slavery writers described slave mothers as negligent and cruel." Abolitionists tend to believe that a mother would only kill her child to protect it from living a horrible, painful, degrading life slaving for the white man. Pro slavery writers believe that slave mothers killed their babies so that the white owners would not have the benefit of having them. It was not always just to protect their child from the painful, morally degrading life as a slave, but also it was a snub to the slave

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