Toni Morrison 's Beloved : Cycle Of Claim

Decent Essays
Cycle of Claim in Toni Morrison’s Beloved
Toni Morrison’s Beloved centers around the repercussions of slavery. The novel reveals that the memories of enslavement, particularly the denial of them, effect life even after slavery is abolished. The black community is unwilling to accept their past, causing them to lack self identities. Even after escaping a life of bondage, the characters are forever trapped in the external world of slavery. As Sethe says on page 95, “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” The effects of slavery have inculcated the need to claim others in an effort to hold on. The aftermath of being possessed has created a subconscious cycle of claim which is prevalent in the mother-daughter relationships throughout the novel.
Community plays a large role in the recovery of the aftereffects of slavery. They all are haunted by the same past, and therefore rely on each other to get through it. By joining the freed slave community, Sethe and her family would be accepting of their past. But after killing her daughter in fear that she would one day be a slave, Sethe and her family have been socially rejected from society and have alienated themselves from any social interaction. The tension between 124 and the black community is shown on page 14, “It had been a long time since anybody (good-willed white woman, preacher, speaker, or newspaperman) sat at their table, their sympathetic voices called liar by the revulsion in
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