Essay on Symbolic Healing in Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Symbolic Healing in Beloved Toni Morrison’s powerful novel Beloved is based on the aftermath of slavery and the horrific burden of slavery’s hidden sins. Morrison chooses to depict the characters that were brutalized in the life of slavery as strong-willed and capable of overcoming such trauma. This is made possible through the healing of many significant characters, especially Sethe. Sethe is relieved of her painful agony of escaping Sweet Home as well as dealing with pregnancy with the help of young Amy Denver and Baby Suggs. Paul D’s contributions to the symbolic healing take place in the attempt to help her erase the past. Denver plays the most significant role in Sethe’s healing in that she brings the community’s support…show more content…
Her healing actions toward Sethe, not only gives Sethe the physical strength to go on, but the restoration of self-worth and dignity. When Sethe finally arrives at 124 Bluestone Road, she is greeted with her loving mother-in-law, Jenny Whitlow, known to her as Baby Suggs. A second healing takes place when Baby Suggs tends to her mutilated body. “She led Sethe to the keeping room and bathed her in sections, starting with her face…Sethe dozed and woke to the washing of her hands and arms…When Sethe’s legs were done, Baby looked at her feet and wiped them lightly. She cleaned between Sethe’s legs…”(Morrison, 93). The methodical washing of Sethe’s body emphasizes the sympathy and love that fills Baby Suggs’ heart. Putting her trust in Baby Suggs for the relief of physical and emotional torment, is the only way Sethe is able to relieve herself of her haunted past and suffering body. Baby Suggs knows as well as Sethe, the haunting miseries of black men and women who have been brought low by slavery, yet she urges her daughter-in-law to keep going and be strong. The love and care that Baby Suggs exhibits is not only evident in Sethe, but with the entire town in which they live. When the weather allows for it, Baby is followed by every black man, woman, and child to the Clearing where she preaches love and hope to those who need it. “She became an unchurched preacher…opened her great heart to those who

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