Beloved Essay

2136 WordsOct 2, 20069 Pages
Beloved Essay In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison delves into not only her characters' painful pasts, but also the painful past of the injustice of slavery. Few authors can invoke the heart-wrenching imagery and feelings that Toni Morrison can in her novels, and her novel Beloved is a prime example of this. Toni Morrison writes in such a way that her readers, along with her characters, find themselves tangled and struggling in a web of history, pain, truth, suffering, and the past. While many of Toni Morrison's novels deal with aspects of her characters' past lives and their struggles with how to embrace or reject their memories, Beloved is a novel in which the past plays an exceptionally important role. Most often, it is Beloved's…show more content…
However, upon seeing Sethe alive and well at 124, something unusual takes place within Paul D. The narrator tells us that Paul D, "…could not account for the pleasure in his surprise at seeing Halle's wife alive…The closed portion of his head opened like a greased lock" (p 41). This is the first instance in the novel that Paul D sees Sethe, and immediately a portion of his body that he shut in an effort to keep from seeing, feeling, and thinking about his past, has opened. At this point, it is merely the sight of Sethe that causes Paul D to open a part of himself, however; later on in the novel, Paul D once again opens himself to Sethe through storytelling. On page 71, after discussing a painful memory of Sethe's past, Paul D begins to tell Sethe a piece of an agonizing memory from his past. After some prompting from Sethe, Paul D attempts to tell Sethe his story of feeling dehumanized while he had an iron bit in his mouth. He remembers comparing himself to roosters, and feeling that the roosters were better, freer, and more in control than he was. Immediatley after Paul D decides to stop telling his story and talking about his feelings, we learn of the tobacco tin within his chest where he hides all the painful memories of the past. However, if we examine what has just happened through Sethe's prompting and Paul D's story telling, we find that Paul D is not as successful at
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