Essay Justifying the Murder in Beloved by Toni Morrison

Decent Essays
Justifying the Murder in Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved is a tale about slavery. The central character is Sethe, who is an escaped slave. Sethe kills her child named Beloved to 'save her'. The book is written so that different peoples points of view are put forward in different chapters. Toni Morrison presents three types of love relationships, parent-child, brotherly love and sexual relationships - within or near the confines of slavery. Slavery weakens the bond between mothers and there children. Three parent- child relationships exhibited in Beloved are the bond between 'maa'm and Sethe', Sethe and Beloved and Sethe and Denver. Their relationships explore the bond between all the characters.
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Sethe truly loves her children yet still ignores the act of responsibility in respect of Beloved. Sethes frustration tells with Paul D due to her confused state. The only good thing she has is her children and they needed a mother's help and protection, whatever the situation. This love and protection however leads her to kill her baby. Sethe sees no problem with all of this as it saves Beloved from going through the horror of slavery. This was all she cared about and therefore how she justified murder. Paul D's character suggests that although the act of killing might have been committed out of a irrational hysterical loving mothers need to protect her child. He understands what Sethe can't; her act of so-called love is amazingly self-centered. She doesn't see this as being the case. When Beloved is re- incarnated, Sethe believes this is her baby and explains and defends her actions to her. Amy Denver saves Sethe. Amy is a white girl who came to Sethes side when she required it the most, aiding Sethe to deliver her fourth child. Amy means 'amor' in Latin, which is another word for love.

Sethe felt she was Beloveds sole protector, unlike many other slave mothers who never felt the attachment because they knew they wouldn't be with them all the time. When the girl appeared eighteen years later Sethe states ' I cannot lose her again'.

Sethe and Halle have a
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