Theme Of Ambiguity In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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A black and white, a left and right, and a right and a wrong. While all three of these phrases seem to make sense, including their obvious cut and dry nature, our society is so focused on one or the other that we forget about the in between. A grey, a center, and a human being. Toni Morrison explores the ambiguity of our life in her novel Beloved, letting the reader forgo their idea of evil and goodness, for a more vague and less constructed moral standing. The physical and spiritual world are two different planes of existence that Toni Morrison’s book Beloved explores - Sethe is a connector or a bridge between these two worlds, having to live and survive with aspects of both worlds in her life. Morrison’s exploration of the two planes expresses …show more content…
In the very beginning of the novel, when the house and spirit are being introduced, the Garner household gets its first visitor, “Paul D tied his shoes together, hung them over his shoulder and followed her through the door straight into a pool of red and undulating light that locked him where he stood,” (Morrison 10). Morrison uses the juxtaposition between the physical good and the spiritual evil to create a moral ambiguity that is subtle in the novel. The “red undulating light” represents the spiritual evil that resides in the house, and Paul D is the obvious physical that exists in House 124. Morrison includes this contrasting imagery of the supernatural and organic to establish the distinction and middle ground that Sethe represents between the two. Later, Morrison continues with the theme of good and evil: “ “Good God.” He backed out the door onto the porch. “What kind of evil you got in here?” “it’s not evil, just sad. Come on. Just step through,” (Morrison 10). This attempts to break the reader 's perspective of what they believe is good and bad. Morrison …show more content…
Morrison’s combination of the two planes of existence, enforces the moral ambiguity that is seen throughout her book and influenced by the every day. This is shown when Morrison creates a different perspective on how an evil being, or a good being, is viewed by the reader, not only this, but the different viewpoints forces the audience to view their own moral standpoints and connect them to their everyday. Finally, the author breaks any boundaries existing in the novel to provide the readers with characters that have a clean slate and no judgment added on from public opinion, as shown by the tree on Sethe’s back and the ideas of Thomas

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