Toni Morrison's Beloved Essays

Good Essays

If ignorance is bliss, then why is it human nature to uncover the truth? In Toni Morrison’s Beloved, the character Denver uses knowledge to feed her craving in hopes that it will fill the void her mother unsuccessfully tried to satisfy with the blood of the past and too little milk. To understand these truths one must accept that Beloved is a physical representation of the past, Sethe embodies the present, and Denver exemplifies the future. Throughout the novel these three characters interact on a superficial level, but each action has a deeper underlying influence on the other. This is why Denver’s assumed motive of using the attachment she forged with Beloved to develop a closer relationship with Sethe is cursory. When in fact it was for …show more content…

Denver claimed she was the first to know it was her dead sister “as soon as she spelled her name” and from that moment “Denver tended her, watched her sound sleep, listened to her labored breathing and, out of love and a breakneck possessiveness that changed her.” (64) Developing aplomb was essential If Denver was to get any information she knew she had “to appear uninquisitive about the things she was dying to ask Beloved, for if she pressed too hard, she might lose the penny that the held-out hand wanted,” (141) meaning if she were to get the information she wanted, Denver would have to use deception and strategy. Opportunity was key for Denver’s scheme to be successful. So when it presented itself, Denver suggested Beloved could sleep in her room, where “they could have their talks easier.” (80) As Denver’s questions began to narrow, Beloved’s answers became more precise. Too precise. Her answers were no longer ambiguous: they were real, emotion-filled, and supernatural. The type of answers that made Denver feel like the amount of time before her mother would find out, and kill Beloved again had drastically dwindled. It was then that “Suddenly Denver, who was sitting cross-legged, lurched forward and grabbed Beloved’s wrist,” commanding, “Don’t tell her. Don’t let Ma’am know who you are. Please, you hear?” (89) Leading Beloved to reply, ”Don’t tell me

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