Discuss The Part Played By Apparently Minor Characters In The Novel "Beloved", Indicating What You Think Are The Effects Of Their Presence.

981 words - 4 pages

Minor characters generally are not usually given special importance, however, play a crucial role in Toni Morrison's novel Beloved. Contrasts between the main characters and the minor characters provide new perspectives. In memories of Paul D. and Sethe, the minor characters often play major roles, and have direct effects on the plot. The characters presence is used to portray how it would feel to live as a slave. Furthermore, Morrison dedicates the book to the characters effected by slavery, "Sixty Million," capitalizing as if a character.Sethe was originally a slave at Sweet Home, run by Mr. Garner. Mr. Garner was a kind man, placing a great deal of trust on his slaves. But after his death, a man called Schoolteacher took over. The actions and events revolving the Schoolteacher is actually what caused such events in the book. His actions can represent what the African Americans had to deal with; they way how the blacks were objectified and compared to animals. "No, no. That's not the way. I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animals ones on the right. And don't forget to line them up.' I commenced to walk backward, didn't even look behind me to find out where I was headed." Sethe thought this to be one of the worst experiences, and was one the main reasons she did not want her children to experience. In the memories of Sethe, the Schoolteacher plays the role of a main character.Furthermore, the beginning of chapter sixteen is told from the perspective of the schoolteacher. The minor characters do not have limited impact on the plot, rather many of the events are caused and revolve around them. For the Schoolteacher, this provides the feeling of domination over the other characters, even as a minor character. The most important past events of Sethe are the rape by the nephews of the Schoolteacher, the escape from Sweet Home, and the killing of her baby. The Schoolteacher's presence provides insight into the life of a slave. His nephews are the men who 'stole milk' from Sethe. Sethe telling Mrs. Garner resulted in her being whipped which ultimately led to her escape. The Schoolteacher plays a critical role in the sub-plot that develops. The experiences and feelings one gets because of the Schoolteacher is what a slave feels.Amy is a major character in that her presence represents hope; the second evidence of black and white cooperation. Amy suggested that the scars on Sethe's back form an image of a chokecherry tree, one of the major images throughout the book. Trees are often portrayed in the novel as an image of protection. Amy saved Sethe's life, by massaging her swollen feet, soothing her scared back. And helping her deliver Denver, whose name is named for her. "Boston. Get me some velvet. It's a store there called Wilson I seen the pictures of it and they have...

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