preview

Dehumanization Of Sethe In Beloved

Decent Essays
Since the beginning of civilization, humanity has experienced the same kinds of hardships and sorrows. From rape to loss of basic rights, people have continually been plagued by the same trials and tribulations that stem from oppression. In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison details the life of Sethe, a social pariah, living with her family in Cincinnati. Literally haunted by the atrocities from her past, she symbolizes many in America who have suffered the brutalities of an era of extreme repression and abuse. Although the story of Sethe may take place during the time of the emancipation of slaves, the ubiquitous struggles and concerns still translate into the issues surrounding today’s society. Present in any story revolving around slavery,…show more content…
As an experienced slave, Sethe knows exactly how horrific life can be. In order to save her “crawling already” baby from Schoolteacher, Sethe performs an act of pure motherly love by killing her child before she can be taken and raised as a slave, and attempting to kill another as well. Even though she may not be able to provide for her children or support them, Sethe provides baby Beloved with a final act of maternal compassion in order to regain her confidence as a mother after being milked. This feat elicits the response, “Your love is too thick” (Morrison 164) from Paul D, conveying his opinion that Sethe’s perception of love has been twisted by the inhumanity of slavery. Sethe feels the need to do this for her children in order to truly prove herself as a loving and able mother, rather than someone who abandoned her children and had no husband to help her. She also did not want them to become slaves and suffer the same horrible things that she had to go through. In a more contemporary view, single mothers everywhere try hard in order to try and become both the paternal and maternal figures for their family, while simultaneously working so she can provide for her family. In the US, 80.6% of single parents are mothers, and nearly half of those live under the poverty line. These mothers
Get Access