Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade December 2001

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Each of the characters in the novel is shaped by the mindset of slavery. Sethe, a mother, was raped and forced to murder, not on her own free will, but by consequence of slavery. To many of the characters, freedom has a price, yet they don't realize until the end that it is their life they have to pay with. Sixo, who along with Paul D, slaves till the end, finally becomes free from slavery, which is ironic, because he has to die in order to be free, singing the song of freedom. Along with slavery comes the idea of remembering the past to survive in the future. Like Sethe, who goes on in the novel trying to forget her bewildered past, in the end finds herself. She is told, "You are the best, Sethe. You are." With the burden of slavery upon the back of mankind, Morrison describes in vivid detail the pain and frustration of the slaves, who remember their past to find tomorrow.

A story not to be told yet in the ears of many, who read the lives of the characters, who feel the presence, who see the ghost... Beloved.

Christine Barker Two different life settings are displayed in Beloved. The hardships of Sweet Home and the free life of 124 Bluestone Road, help the reader relate to the struggles the characters endured. The ghost, Beloved, helps these characters overcome their hardships and teaches them how to forgive, regain self-love, and re-ignite their human spirit. The dehumanization of life at Sweet Home was neither sweet, nor homely. The main character, Sethe, learns the tools of survival and will protect her family at any means necessary. Even if that means killing or harming her children to save them from the horrible life of slavery. The supernatural effects that occur at 124 represent Sethe's past and all she has done to overcome her life choices. Throughout the novel, the supernatural being helps resurface the atrocious past, which in turn ignites Sethe's journey of self-acceptance and value. Beloved offers a detailed picture of how terrible slavery affects a family, and introduces the importance of the human spirit and how one's soul can never become completely diminished. Life will go on.