Truth and Maturation in Beloved by Toni Morrison Essay
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Truth and Maturation in Beloved by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, allows for one to experience slavery through three generations of women. The complex development of the horrors of black chattel slavery in the United States intertwined with a story a freedom helps the reader to understand the ongoing struggle of the Afro-American population after emancipation. Denver, although never a slave, is at first held in bondage by her mother's secrecy about her past and only sets herself free when her mother is forced to cope with her memories.
As a young woman, Denver is lonely and terrified. She knows that, "her mother had secrets -- things she wouldn't tell; things she halfway told" (38). These secrets, she understands, are…show more content… Now she wants to extend her world to include her sister. With this extension, Denver presents herself with an opportunity to mature.
As Sethe's demise and Beloved's mischief become overwhelming, Denver assumes the responsibility to assure the survival of her family. Due to Beloved's presence, Sethe loses her job and soon all of her savings is spent. There is no food, however, Beloved's demands do not cease. Sethe begins to wither away from frustration and a wounded conscience and Denver becomes "listless and sleepy with hunger" (242). Denver realizes that, "she would have to leave the yard; stop off the edge of the world, leave the two behind and go ask somebody for help" (243). Denver must face her terror of a mundane society to keep her sister and mother from starvation.
Denver grows up in the instant she steps off of her front porch. Morrison beautifully describes the moment of her blossoming: "Denver wrapped her hair and her shoulders. In the brightest of the carnival dresses and wearing a stranger's shoes, she stood on the porch of 124 ready to be swallowed up in the world beyond the edge of her porch" (243). Leaving her yard, Denver steps onto an endless highway of unanswerable questions, questions that she is afraid of because of her mother's failure to provide answers. Nonetheless, Denver is emboldened by hunger and a desperate love for her mother. She resolves that she must provide nourishment