"Beloved" by Toni Morrison, a fragment analysis

Essay by madalina22University, Bachelor'sA, March 2007

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•Sethe - the power of being a mother“I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running – from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much.”(pg. 15)Filled with symbolism, fiction , gothic elements and biblical suggestions, Morrison’s novel is a note on the life of the slaves in America.

With Sethe as a major character, Morrison actually describes every black man or woman who was not allowed to be human and reduced to the state of an animal.

Sethe’s love for her children, however has turned her into a hero and given her the strength to fight against the white people, run away and face death.

To her, death is a relief rather than an end.

She is more than a slave woman, and, just as she hurt even when mosquitoes bit her children, she is hurting every day of her life for the loss of her baby girl. She decided to kill all her children when the white men entered into her yard, but only managed to kill her oldest daughter. Desperate , thinking about her children having to be slaves, beaten and abused, raped and tortured, with no free will and no power, she chose the only thing she could: to set them free.

The greatest act of love put her in prison and brought upon her the hatred of her neighbors.

For being a mother, she had to stand up to everyone, and in the end, even to her own daughter: Beloved.