Morrison's Infanticide

1055 Words5 Pages
Yet another example of Sethe’s dependence on her own strength is the account of Sethe’s own escape from “the grips of slavery in order to protect her children from what Morrison describes as School teacher’s brutal empire”.(196) Sethe is married by fourteen and is a mother by fifteen; but she is older and pregnant with her last child before she has to become superior protector of her children. Twenty-eight days after being a free woman, Sethe is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice as a mother. Although she is jailed as a murderer, her attempt to kill her four children is done so that her children would never know the life of a slave, so they would never be acquainted with “what Baby Suggs died of, what Ella knew, what Stamp saw and what…show more content…
It is left to the readers to analyze her decision. Infanticide was condemned by the society but Sethe is forgiven in the end by the same society. Since solidarity is the proposed solution to the humiliations suffered by the blacks, therefore, the crime of Sethe cannot be viewed as an isolated decision. The community is also directly and indirectly involved in the execution of the infanticide. That is why the community also shares the burden of guilt along with Sethe. But it is not forgetting of the past that the author propagates it is actually living the past to overcome it.
Sethe’s consciousness is always working, always a part of her decisions affect her children, the best things in her life. She is indeed, ambivalent too what would destroy her mothering. As strong as Sethe is, she cannot stop her children from leaving; and her strength is what scares some of them. In the following passage, Nancy Jesser’s in African American Review words express the future repercussions of one’s negative choices , which characterize the motives for and results of the acts committed by Sethe, acts carried out in the interest of mothering, but also in the interest of living as women:
We are bound, to some degree, to act and make rough choices within
Get Access