Beloved, Beloved By Toni Morrison

1774 Words8 Pages
In Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, Beloved is an enigmatic character. Throughout the novel, it is implied that Beloved is a reincarnation of Sethe’s dead child. However, Beloved is not just a physical embodiment of Sethe’s dead baby. Instead, Beloved is a representation of slavery and the suffering associated with slavery. Morrison displays that Beloved is a representation of slavery by the conversations and thoughts characters have about Beloved. Morrison also displays Beloved as a representation of slavery by making characters she comes across have memories about their suppressed experiences with slavery, emphasizing the fact that the painful history of slavery must be addressed before moving on is possible. Morrison uses conversations…show more content…
At first, it seems as if Ella is only talking about Sethe’s dead baby. However, it can be interpreted that Ella is also speaking about the millions who died “bad” because of slavery. Furthermore, a conversation that Beloved has with Denver can be interpreted as Beloved claiming to be a representation of those who “died bad” because of slavery. When Denver asks Beloved what it was like where she came from, Beloved tells her, “Dark…I’m small in that place…Hot. Nothing to breathe down there and no room to move in…a lot of people is down there. Some is dead” (88). Beloved describes a similar scene later in the novel when she says, “daylight comes through the cracks…the little hill of dead people…” (248-249). Beloved seems to be describing being in the deck of slave ship, where it was dark and cramped. Many slaves died on the ships they were transported in and Beloved says there were dead people in the place she came from. Morrison describes Beloved’s origins so similarly to the environment of a slave ship in order to establish her as a symbol of those who experienced the misery caused by slavery. Ella says that those who die unjust deaths don’t just stay buried, and based on Beloved’s origin story, Beloved is a representation of those who died during the passage to the New World and all those who suffered at the hands of slavery

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