Theme Of Moral Ambiguity In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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The lack of certainty of whether something is right or wrong (Merriam Webster), or moral ambiguity is a theme which is prevalent in society, but conclusively in Toni Morrison’s, Beloved. Beloved, the novel of history and broken memories, tells the story of Sethe, a former slave living in Ohio in the 1800’s. The novel, whilst centring on Sethe, also takes perspective from minor characters, whom all of which have some relationship with Sethe. These relationships can also help to explain some actions that occur throughout the novel, some of which are negative and involve minor characters, the action being the murder of Beloved. This act of brutality, can be seen as morally ambiguous, especially to someone whom has not experiences the social context …show more content…
With one of the major themes also being Christianity, the relationship of mother, daughter and ghost can be compared to the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the crux of the Christian faith, is the sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross of Calvary, which is similar to the situation of Sethe sacrificing Beloved for the sake of a better life. In this, already creating moral ambiguity, with reasons with how can a morally injustice act, such as murder, create a positive situation. With Christianity trying to eradicate sin and despair, in a society where there is only sin, Christianity is again seen as ambiguous, as how can a God let so much suffering enter the world. With endless devotion and adoration to her children, Sethe can be compared to a physical representation of the Christ-life sacrifice made by the Father. In doing this, Sethe is hoping for a better life for her child in return, in many ways like God was hoping for a better life for his billions of children. One thing that contrasts from each, is the lateral way the stories are perceived. The sacrifice of Christ that God made for his children was made in agreement with Jesus, making it consensual. On the contrary, Sethe’s decision was made without support from Beloved. Because of this action, the readers can see Sethe having ownership of Beloved, which is …show more content…
Toni Morrison’s Beloved is no exception of this, with the positive nature of a strong family bond, pushing one to a social injustice; murder. Sethe with the murder of her child, the context, acts of minor characters and the prevalence of the Christian faith all create a world full of moral ambiguity in which the reader is left bewildered by the situations present. Because of the depraved society that Sethe lives in, the inhabitants are usually confronting the readers with distorted versions of love and affection, which can again create ambiguity. In a report by Marissa Costa, she

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