Use of Violence in Beloved by Toni Morrison Essay

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As much as society does not want to admit, violence serves as a form of entertainment. In media today, violence typically has no meaning. Literature, movies, and music, saturated with violence, enter the homes of millions everyday. On the other hand, in Beloved, a novel by Toni Morrison, violence contributes greatly to the overall work. The story takes place during the age of the enslavement of African-Americans for rural labor in plantations. Sethe, the proud and noble protagonist, has suffered a great deal at the hand of schoolteacher. The unfortunate and seemingly inevitable events that occur in her life, fraught with violence and heartache, tug at the reader’s heart-strings. The wrongdoings Sethe endures are significant to the meaning…show more content…
One may argue that she does not display much emotion while killing her children, she unquestionably resembles a lunatic. Without this vital scene, Beloved would lack the utterly shocking element that such violence provides. People want to immerse themselves into stories about lunatics, emerge in the drama, and sympathize with the dire pain Sethe feels. Violent scenes, among other elements, allow for this to occur in a novel.
Destruction of identity, another theme of the novel, relates to the violent scenes. In the second part of Beloved, Sethe takes a stand and expresses her feeling on the violent acts being performed on her. “Nobody will ever get my milk no more except my own children. I never had to give it to nobody else—and the one time I did it was took from me—they held me down and took it. Milk that belonged to my baby” (Morrison 200). Sethe finally comes to terms with her past and vows to never let such a horrendous act happen to her again. Beloved’s reincarnation occurs because Sethe needs to face her dark past head on and free herself from living in shame. It took time, but, Sethe eventually overcomes the odds and begins to live freely and peacefully in her house.
Morrison bases Sethe’s character off of real-life murderer, Margaret Garner. Morrison leaves few of the important elements of the story the same and alters others. Why did Morrison go through the trouble of writing Beloved? She did not write it for
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