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"Beloved" By Toni Morrison, A Fragment Analysis

1170 words - 5 pages

•Sethe - the power of being a mother“I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running – from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much.”(pg. 15)Filled with symbolism, fiction , gothic elements and biblical suggestions, Morrison’s novel is a note on the life of the slaves in America.With Sethe as a major character, Morrison actually describes every black man or woman who was not allowed to be human and reduced to the state of an animal.Sethe’s love for her children, however has turned her into a hero and given her the strength to fight against the white people, run away and face death. To her, death is a relief rather than an end.She is more than a slave woman, and, just as she hurt even when mosquitoes bit her children, she is hurting every day of her life for the loss of her baby girl. She decided to kill all her children when the white men entered into her yard, but only managed to kill her oldest daughter. Desperate , thinking about her children having to be slaves, beaten and abused, raped and tortured, with no free will and no power, she chose the only thing she could: to set them free.The greatest act of love put her in prison and brought upon her the hatred of her neighbors.For being a mother, she had to stand up to everyone, and in the end, even to her own daughter: Beloved.The chokecherry on her back was made by the schoolteacher’s nephews, as he was watching them rape and beat her. The tree has small dark bitter fruits , a big symbol for the bitterness in her soul and also a connection of the fact that when in was made , they also stole her milk.At the time of the rape, Sethe was pregnant and still had milk to feed her baby girl, which is practically impossible since a woman cannot be pregnant while with milk.Her biggest sorrow was not that they had raped her, humiliated and beaten her up, but that they had stole the milk she was carrying for her baby.The white people stole her innocence, her motherhood, her power and her love.As a child, Sethe was not able to be with her mother who was also a slave, and another woman, called Nan had taken care of her. Nan has told her what slave women were supposed to do, and Sethe found out for herself later on : to breed, to have children that the masters could sell and work.The price Sethe talks about can be the price for the journey of her life , first by having born, and then by running away. The price for loving her children. And above all, it can be the price for still being human, despite everything they have done to her and her husband.Helped by Baby Suggs, her mother-in-law, Sethe managed to get on with her life, have hope and be a mother for Denver, even found the power to face up to Beloved and get through all the hate...

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