Beloved by Toni Morrison - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Beloved by Toni Morrison Beloved is Toni Morrison’s novel whose setting is after the Civil War in America of 1861 to 1865. Morrison’s inspiration was from Margaret Garner, an African-American slave who was able to escape slavery temporarily by fleeing to the free state of Ohio in 1856…
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Beloved by Toni Morrison
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Download file to see previous pages Years later, Beloved, literally believed to be Sethe’s daughter returns to haunt her home in Cincinnati. One major theme of the novel is the mother-daughter relationships. Sethe and her children share strong maternal bonds that prevent her development by inhibiting her individuation. This strong bond is the one that pushes her to kill her own daughter rather than let her go into slavery (Bloom 58). Sethe and Beloved are both emotionally impaired due to Sethe’s enslavement that separates them and makes Sethe not to provide maternal care for her, thus loses her sense as a mother, while Beloved lacks familial identity. The other theme is the impact of slavery, which is mainly psychological. The experiences of slaves cause them to repress the bad memories in trying to forget the past, a repression that causes a fragmentation of their personalities thus loss of their real identities. This is the case with Denver, Paul D, and Sethe, who experience the loss of identities but Beloved makes them accept their past memories and helps them reintegrate their original selves. The relationship between the slaves and white people in the Beloved is not one that augurs too well. This is because the whites use the black people as slaves, and make them feel inferior to them. For instance, Sethe’s memories of her oppression by the whites are what make her prefer to see her children dead rather than go to suffer at the brutal hands of the masters. The white looks down on the slaves, and treat them inhumanely without minding their lives. This reveals when Seethe’s breast milk is stolen from her, denying her child her right. However, some whites treat their slaves better such as Mr. and Mrs. Garner, and do not oppress them at all. This results in some slaves hating and rebelling against the whites while those treated well love their masters. From the moment Beloved re-appears in Sethe’s life, her life begins to change. She first looks at her daughter as just that; her long dead daughter who has come back, but she later comes to realize that she is more than that. One, her coming back arouses painful memories such as her milk being taken away from her, plus when Nan nursed her daughter together with white babies. Second, she comes to realize that Beloved represents her African mother, and is a reminder of what a mother should be. This is because she realizes that her mother was hanged because she could not run away without her (Grade Saver). Denver easily recognizes her sister because they had an intimate oneness, and Denver had even drank her blood, making them one flesh. The Beloved has a structure that is largely loose in that it does not proceed continuously in one line but employs the use of much storytelling and flashbacks. Paul D is the one who introduces most of the flashbacks such as his life in Kentucky, Delaware, and the Ohio River. When it is not flashbacks, the author uses different characters to narrate stories and keep the plot going. There are narrations by Paul D, Denver, Sethe, Beloved, and other characters. Morrison assumingly employs the variation in structure to accommodate various characters to capture more experiences so the learner is exposed to more of what slaves endure. Memory has two functions in the Beloved novel. One, the author uses re-memory, which is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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