The Importance of Community in Beloved
The immortal words, "Am I my brother's keeper?" uttered by Cain to God are answered in the book Beloved by Toni Morrison. She responds that everyone is responsible for the people around them. The community in the book is an important influence to the fate of the protagonist, Sethe, and her family. When everyone joins together they are almost invincible because everyone is taken care of; however, as residents of 124 Bluestone Road are rejected they become vulnerable to the world beyond. The community in Beloved began as a collaborative force, that helped each other and celebrated together, but personal emotions cast 124 as an outsider and eventually liberated the family from Beloved's presence.
At the beginning, the community surrounding the home is linked by their common heritage and struggles. They help each other, celebrate together and are all bound by a sense of equality.
Although the outside world is a constant threat, within the community everyone is protected and no one is better than anyone else. Stamp Paid and Baby Suggs both served as important links to connecting the people around them. They cared for and inspired hope within everyone with their constant help and kind words. Stamp, especially, always served as an important figure to every family within the community; "Since all his visits were beneficial, his step or holler through a doorway got a bright welcome" (Morrison, 180). He devoted his time towards assisting everyone in the community, and through this he brought them all together. Baby Suggs, before the tragic incident, was also an important individual within the community. She constantly devoted herself to all the people around her; she "loved, cautioned, fed, chastised and soothed" (92-93). Everyone respected Baby Suggs, and 124 was always a "cheerful, buzzing" (92) place...