The Effects of Violence in Beloved Essay

1050 Words Oct 5th, 2012 5 Pages
1 Literature concerning the lives of African Americans during and after slavery explores the many horrific acts of violence. Violence manifests itself in people both physically and psychologically. Physical wounds may heal over time, but it is the emotional scarring that begins to take a toll on the human mind. The novel, Beloved, by Toni Morrison revolves around the character of Sethe, an African American woman who recently escaped from a slave plantation. Sethe's home on 124 Bluestone Road is haunted by her daughter, Beloved, whom Sethe murdered in order to keep her from the life of slavery. Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, explores both the uses and effects of violence through multiple characters.

The character of Paul D is left
…show more content…
2
According to Sethe’s theory of time, past traumas continue to reenact themselves indefinitely, so it is possible to stumble into someone else’s unhappy memory. This becomes evident in Chapter 3, when Denver recalls what Sethe once told about the indestructible nature of the past, “...If you go there—you who was never there—if you go there and stand in the place where it was, it will happen again; it will be there, waiting for you ...Even though it’s all over—over and done with—it’s going to always be there waiting for you” (Beloved). Although Sethe describes for Denver what “was,” she turns to the future tense and tells her that the past will “always be there waiting for you.” Sethe pictures the past as a physical presence, something that is “there,” that fills a space. Therefore leaving Denver to believe that she too will undergo the same brutality her mother once faced. Beloved’s arrival confirms Denver's notion of history repeating itself. Sethe repeats her warning multiple times in a manner that demonstrates her inability to leave past thoughts of violence behind. Sethe displacing her past on Denver's present, and future are the main cause of why Denver’s fears of leaving 124 and of the community.

The character of Stamp Paid makes connection between how slavery affects those both physically and mentally. Working in the Underground Railroad, Stamp Paid had
Open Document