Character of Beloved in Toni Morrison's Beloved Essays

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The Character of Beloved in Toni Morrison's Beloved Perhaps one of the most important issues in Toni Morrison's award-winning novel Beloved is Morrison's intentional diversity of possible interpretations. However the text is looked at and analyzed, it is the variety of these multiple meanings that confounds any simple interpretation and gives the novel the complexity. The debate rages on over many topics, but one issue of central and basic importance to the understanding of the novel is defining the different possibilities for interpreting the title character. As Robert Broad recognizes, "the question, "Who the hell is Beloved?" must haunt the reader of the novel," and the reader must come to some basic understanding of her character…show more content…
Here the ghost is a positive force for Sethe, making the smoldering issues of her past life finally come to resolution. Rather than repressing past horrors, the active memory of the past is shown as the path to moving on. But Beloved, Horvitz also asserts, is coming back to pass judgment on the central moral dilemma of the novel: is Sethe responsible for the murder of her child or is it the larger institution of slavery that is at fault? Horvitz interprets the novel as Morrison's attempt to humanize the lives millions of slaves and the horrors they endured. The attempt to humanize the slaves after years of being thought of as objects under slavery, is shown by Sethe claiming her own actions, as Morrison wrote "Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another" (Morrison 95). When Sethe asserts her free will over the slave owners by denying Schoolteacher his "prize" when he comes to catch his runaway slaves, she becomes fully responsible for her destructive choices. In "saving" Beloved, Sethe is responsible for the murder she commits but also asserts her freedom and humanity. The earliest objection to this point of view came from Elizabeth B. House in her 1990 essay "Toni Morrison's Ghost: The Beloved Who is Not Beloved." She maintains that the novel goes to great pains to deny the supernatural nature of Beloved, and that the language others have taken as ironic should
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