Essay On Toni Morrison S Belov

2058 words - 8 pages

Throughout the book Beloved by Toni Morrison and the slave narrative of Aunt Betty's story, the significance of the roles of the main characters as women, their strive for their freedom from the era of slavery, the memorys and "rememorys" that serve as a reminder to Aunt Betty and a haunting past to Sethe help to shape their character and further their generations by coming to grips with the past in order to move forward. The ultimate importance of Toni Morrison's work in Beloved in contrast to the real life testimony of Aunt Betty is being able to look at the different horrors of the slave era as seen through the eyes of black women. The significance of family, their roles as women, the impact on their children, and the men who help them with their struggles gives us an understanding of how it was for them to escape slavery and face their past in order to make forward progress and emerge into a free society. "Feel how it feels to have a bed to sleep in and somebody there not worrying you to death about what you got to do each day to deserve it. Feel how that feels. And if that don't get it, feel how it feels to be a colored woman roaming the roads with anything God made liable to jump on you. Feel that. (Beloved 67-68)" These are Sethe's words to Paul D that describe her feelings about the torture she received in the barn at the hands of Schoolteacher's boys. Her emotional and physical scars run deep because of the sexual violation and the beatings she took. Life on Sweet Home wasn't always a hell on earth though. Before Schoolteacher, she and the other Sweet Home men had a certain degree or respect. She was allowed to choose Halle out of the men to be her husband and was disheartened to learn there would be no ceremony for them. She had four children by him, one of which is killed. She shows a tremendous love for her children when she chooses to kill them as opposed to let Schoolteacher return them to slavery. After her escape with one daughter, Denver, she has an undying devotion to her and does a tough job of raising her and taking care of their home by herself with no help from a man. Living through all this and carrying the guilt of killing her daughter, when Beloved returns in the flesh, she takes her in and tries very hard to make up for the decision she felt she had to make. Toni Morrison uses Sethe's character to show all the hardships that a black woman in those times would have dealt with. The story of Aunt Betty depicts some of the hardships as well. At one point her master Mr. Kibbler, with a nail rod, beat her for telling her mistress that he hit her with the rod in the first place. But with Betty most slave owners in the area knew that if she was treated well she would work well, and if mistreated she was not a cooperative worker. It is amazing she wasn't killed for her stubbornness, but she wasn't. She was also a devoted wife. When she and Jerry were to be married she said she didn't want a white persons wedding,...

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