Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Beloved Analysis Toni Morrison's book, Beloved, is an exceptional work that addresses a myriad of ethical issues surrounding slavery. Most import, the book poses the question: what could possibly drive a mother to commit infanticide? The book also uses symbolism to an extent which I have never before experienced. This adds to the complexity, but also to the magnitude with which her themes affect the reader. The symbolism of chock cherry trees, iron bits, animals, milk, color, the fence that used to be outside 124, and red hearts, all add to the intricacy of the book. Furthermore, Morrison uses several different types of writing. It is mainly written in the third person, but there is also a stream of thought section in part two, and a section where she uses no punctuation. Lastly, Morrison draws upon ideas like left and right, good and bad, biblical references, color, possession, what it is to love, and the effect of slavery to address the question- how much racism and cruelty can a human endure before they crack.

Morrison uses several major symbols to continually thread an idea thought the book without literally spelling out its significance. Understanding the meaning of milk as a theme is imperative to understanding the book. All the significant characters refer to milk. After Sethe was milked by Schoolteacher's boys we are posed with the question of what does it really symbolize. There are times milk is referred to as sourer and even Paul D uses it in the book. Milk is not a simply a synonym used in lieu of love, slavery, pride, freedom. Instead, it is a noun that encompasses all these ideas. Sethe constantly repeats that no one can take her milk, and complains of not having enough milk for her own babies. When...