Comparing Love In The Film, Secrets And Lies And Toni Morrison's Beloved

2171 words - 9 pages

Possessive Love in Secrets and Lies and Beloved  

 The word “freedom” is subject to various degrees of interpretation in the sense that it can be used in more than one context.  One definition of freedom is the idea of having your own sense of self without the control of others.  On the other hand, a lack of freedom is the idea of feeling trapped and smothered in a situation one has no control over.  Freedom can relate to school, relationships, or even within oneself.  A lack of freedom can have nothing to do with other people but with the ball and chain that can be placed on by oneself.  Of course the outside world will be involved, but the pain of feeling trapped comes from the frustration that fills one’s soul.  A lack of freedom can result from a twisted circle of other events and other people.  In the novel Beloved and the film Secrets and Lies, the enslavement that Roxanne and Denver feel result from their mothers’ possessive love.  Sethe and Cynthia both have horrific pasts, leaving them in captivity and causing them to have unhealthy relationships with their daughters.  Sethe and Cynthia love the only way the know how, possessively and dependently, causing Denver and Roxanne’s mental enslavement.

 In the film Secrets and Lies, both Cynthia and her twenty-one year-old daughter Roxanne, live a life of captivity.  Cynthia’s is due to her unexplained past, while Roxanne’s is in result of her overbearing mother.  Cynthia’s lack of freedom does not result from another’s actions, but from her own past.  The trauma and lack of love she has experienced, has been blocked out and instead of dealing with it, she lives off of the attention of others.  When she meets her daughter Hortense, whom she had given up for adoption years ago, she can’t believe or understand the fact that Hortense is black.  Cynthia says to her, “I’m sorry sweetheart, but it just isn’t possible.  I have never been with a black man in my life.”  Seconds later, we see the shock in Cynthia’s face as the past comes back to her.  The experience of being with such a terrible man (as we find out later) and having a baby at the young age of fifteen, was such a horrific experience for her that she blocked it out.  Instead of freeing herself from the past and dealing with the experience, Cynthia buries it within herself and blocks the past out completely.  This is one of the most likely reasons for Cynthia’s unexplained, odd, and possessive behavior toward Roxanne later in life.

 The deprivation of love and loss of self that Cynthia experiences in her younger years leads to unhealthy relationships between herself and family members.  It is evident that Cynthia is constantly striving for the love she never had by the way she treats herself and her brother, Morris.  Upon being left by Roxanne for the evening, Cynthia retreats to her room where she closes her eyes and caresses her breasts.  This scene stresses Cynthia’s need and desire for intimacy and love.  Another...

Find Another Essay On Comparing Love in the Film, Secrets and Lies and Toni Morrison's Beloved

Freedom in Beloved, Secrets and Lies, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

2109 words - 8 pages of restricted by one’s past or future.  But in the society that we live in today, true and total freedom does not work.  By analyzing the novel Beloved and the two movies Secrets and Lies and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I will show how total freedom has led to the death or demise of the characters in all three of these pieces of expression. In the society we live in many laws have been put into place to aid in ones pursuit of

The Goddess in Toni Morrison's Beloved

1706 words - 7 pages is possible that it only takes place as a prerequisite to motherhood, but more likely that it is something she must experience in order to rest, and be free of the psychic chains that bind her in the land of the living, where she no longer rightfully belongs. As a ghost, she can experience only a ghost of a good sexual relationship, because mortals are not meant to love phantoms. At times she acts as a mother Sethe. In fact, as Beloved waxes

Rememory in Toni Morrison's Beloved

1307 words - 5 pages Rememory in Toni Morrison's Beloved To survive, one must depend on the acceptance and integration of what is past and what is present. In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison carefully constructs events that parallel the way the human mind functions; this serves as a means by which the reader can understand the activity of memory. "Rememory" enables Sethe, the novel's protagonist, to reconstruct her past realities. The vividness that

Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved

815 words - 3 pages Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved     Memories are works of fiction, selective representations of experiences actual or imagined. They provide a framework for creating meaning in one's own life as well as in the lives of others. In Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, memory is a dangerous and debilitating faculty of human consciousness. Sethe endures the tyranny of the self imposed prison of memory. She expresses an insatiable obsession with

Confronting the Past, Living the Present, and Enjoying the Future in Toni Morrison's "Beloved"

1906 words - 8 pages So often, the old adage, "History always repeats itself," rings true due to a failure to truly confront the past, especially when the memory of a period of time sparks profoundly negative emotions ranging from anguish to anger. However, danger lies in failing to recognize history or in the inability to reconcile the mistakes of the past. In her novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison explores the relationship between the past, present and future

Toni Morrison's "Beloved"

1421 words - 6 pages In Toni Morrison's Beloved, the characters struggle with accepting the horror of their pasts in the world of slavery and moving on with their lives. Despite their theoretical emancipation, Paul D and Sethe are still enslaved, not only by continuing societal prejudices, but also their own need for self-preservation. A major part of that self-preservation is maintaining their hard-sought emancipation, not just from slavery, but from any type of

The Importance of the Past in Toni Morrison's Beloved

2282 words - 9 pages chose to do with this memory of the past will shape our future. This lesson is one of the most important themes in Toni Morison's novel, Beloved. History was not only a significant theme in the novel, but the book was also very historical itself. I had learned and educated myself very thoroughly on the issue of slavery before I read this novel. Reading this novel I felt as if I were experiencing slavery first hand. Morrison creates her

The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved

1923 words - 8 pages The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved        Toni Morrison's Beloved - a novel that addresses the cruelties that result from slavery.  Morrison depicts the African American's quest for a new life while showing the difficult task of escaping the past.  The African American simply wants to claim freedom and create a sense of community.  In Beloved, the characters suffer not from slavery itself, but as a result of slavery - that

Essay on Toni Morrison's Beloved - Freedom and Independence

1516 words - 6 pages Freedom and Independence in Beloved     Toni Morrison’s important novel Beloved is a forceful picture of the black American experience.  By exploring the impact slavery had on the community, Beloved evolves around issues of race, gender, and the supernatural.  By revealing the story of slavery and its components, Morrison declares the importance of independence as best depicted by Sixo.  The combination of an individual amongst a

A discussion into the nature and function of the character 'Beloved' In Toni Morrison's book of the same name.

1396 words - 6 pages Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning book is a masterfully written tale. Beloved begins in the late 1800's in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sethe, a former slave, lives with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver. Sethe's mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, lived with them until her death eight years earlier. Just before Baby Suggs's death, Sethe's two sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away. Sethe believes they fled because of the malevolent presence of an abusive ghost

Comparing the Role of the Ghost in Morrison's Beloved and Kingston's No Name Woman

1003 words - 4 pages The Symbolic Role of the Ghost in Morrison's Beloved and Kingston's No Name Woman The eponymous ghosts which haunt Toni Morrison's Beloved and Maxine Hong Kingston's "No Name Woman" (excerpted from The Woman Warrior) embody the consequence of transgressing societal boundaries through adultery and murder. While the wider thematic concerns of both books differ, however both authors use the ghost figure to represent a repressed historical

Similar Essays

A Comparison Of Love In Secrets And Lies And Beloved

2473 words - 10 pages mother deprives her child of the space to make her own decisions and mistakes, it is a possessive, unhealthy love. Two works which demonstrate this type of love are the movie Secrets and Lies and the novel Beloved, by Toni Morrison.  In these masterpieces, unhealthy love characterizes the relationships between both Cynthia and Roxanne and Sethe and her daughters.  Cynthia’s possessive love toward Roxanne is evident in the way she interacts with

Tragedy And Redemption In Toni Morrison's Beloved

2390 words - 10 pages Tragedy and Redemption in Beloved "This is not a story to pass on."(1) With these enigmatic words, Toni Morrison brings to a conclusion a very rich, very complicated novel, in which slavery and its repercussions are brought into focus, examined, and reassembled to yield a story of tragedy and redemption. The "peculiar institution" of slavery has been the basis for

Essay On Toni Morrison's Beloved Symbol And Symbolism In Beloved

1567 words - 6 pages Symbolism in Beloved    In the novel Beloved, the author, Toni Morrison, attempts to promote a variety of different themes and ideas by symbolizing them in minor events and situations.  This symbolism is evident throughout the entire novel and is very crucial to the understanding and analyzing of the text.  A good example of this is the ice skating scene.  Morrison uses this scene to represent the slow, but consistent, deterioration of

The Contrasting Nature Of Love Explored In Toni Morrison's Beloved

1381 words - 6 pages In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison explores the paradoxical nature of love both as a dangerous presence that promises suffering and a life-giving force that gives the strength to proceed; through the experiences of the run-away slave Sethe. The dangerous aspect of love is revealed through the comments of Paul D and Ella regarding the motherly love of Sethe towards her children. Sethe's deep attachment to her children is deemed dangerous due to