A Mother’s Timeless Dilemma in "Beloved" by Toni Morrison Essay examples

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Women throughout time have been forced to cope with the challenges of motherhood along with society’s expectations as to what a mother’s relationship should be with her child. Novelist, Agatha Christie said of the relationship between mother and child, “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” In Beloved, Toni Morrison examines the same idea; ultimately showing that the mother’s willingness to protect her child at all costs often endangers the mother herself. Beloved is set in the late 1800’s but Sethe’s experiences as a mother ring true with the experiences of mothers throughout time because the act of being a…show more content…
Morrison writes Beloved as a modern woman warning other women that every once in a while a mother must take some time for herself in order to ensure that as Sethe says, “she [has] milk enough for all” (118). In Beloved, Morrison shows the forced separation of mother and child through Sethe’s relationship with her own mother and her relationship with her daughter, Beloved. Sethe’s own mother was unable to care for her because she was forced to go to work in the fields everyday like so many modern women must to go to their jobs. When any mother and child are separated it goes against the natural order of life and leaves both feeling as if they are missing something. Sethe creates such an unnatural separation when she kills her daughter to protect her from the evils of slavery. Sethe’s bond with Beloved is evident when she explains to Denver that Beloved’s ghost has so much power over them because of how beloved her dead daughter is to her. A powerful bond is formed between a woman and her child during the nine-month gestation period in which the two share the mother’s body, and in a sense are one. Morrison shows that Sethe and Beloved have this strong connection before she even reveals Beloved’s true identity as Sethe’s daughter through the moment when she first sees Beloved’s face and “[her] bladder fill[s]

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