Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay

868 Words4 Pages
Trauma: an emotional shock causing lasting and substantial damage to a person’s psychological development. Linda Krumholz in the African American Review claims the book Beloved by Toni Morrison aids the nation in the recovery from our traumatic history that is blemished with unfortunate occurrences like slavery and intolerance. While this grand effect may be true, one thing that is absolute is the lesson this book preaches. Morrison’s basic message she wanted the reader to recognize is that life happens, people get hurt, but to let the negative experiences overshadow the possibility of future good ones is not a good way to live. Morrison warns the reader that sooner or later you will have to choose between letting go of the past or it…show more content…
Beloved and Sethe’s relationship can be described with an African term called Àjéj. This term loosely describes a destructive, but healing, force which perfectly describes Beloved’s method to heal Sethe. Teresa N. Washington, a professor, released a paper analyzing the Àjéj relationship between Sethe and Beloved. By ripping the proverbial band aid off of Sethe’s mental wounds, Beloved forces Sethe to recognize how deeply her past traumas affected her. With Beloved providing some much needed tough love, Paul D symbolically acts as Sethe’s protector and shield. He first displays his protective nature towards Sethe when he exorcised the ghost from the house, “She got enough without you. She got enough! (Part 1-pg 19)” Though he is able to give Sethe peace for a short time, it is superficial and therefore, it does not last long. Once Beloved returns to the house in physical form, it is clear that what Sethe needs is an enemy, not a friend. This results in Paul D being inevitably driven out of the house. However, once Beloved has done her job and opened all of Sethe’s wounds, it is time for Paul D to swoop in once again to save the day, “me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow (Part 3-pg.273).” By doing this Paul D is transformed into an essential character in Sethe’s road to recovery, this is because he offers her the hope to
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