Beloved Abuse In Beloved

822 Words4 Pages
Critics often call good novels beautiful or haunting; but Beloved, both the character and the novel, are actually haunting. For me at least when I am reading this novel my pulse begins to quicken as I feel the presence of unsettled wrong souls beneath and around me. There are so many untold fates and stories in this novel. There is the fourteen year old boy who is alone in the woods and never remembers living anywhere else. There are the other Pauls, the men on Paul D’s chain gang, Sethe’s mother, Halle, and etcetera. Beloved embodies the disremembering that is woven into life and art in the United States. Toni Morrison’s story is fiction. It is full of improbabilities and ghosts, but it is also one of the most powerfully convincing depictions of slavery I have ever read. Because in the process of what Sethe and Paul call rememory, we are confronted with the reality of what love looks like in a world of twisted conscience, and we are finally left with the unassailable resiliency of human beings to continue in the face of all attempts to dehumanize them. “Definitions belonged to the definers, not the defined”, we read in Beloved; but in a world where slaves were defined as inhuman, in this story they were compared to hogs and cattle and horses. Slaves themselves, unnamed and unknown, who resisted and persevered; and therein lies the hope in this very, very sad novel. The mother and child relationship is mythologized as the most important among humans and most other animals;
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