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The Character of Beloved from Beloved by Toni Morrison Essay

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The Character of Beloved from Beloved by Toni Morrison


The character of Beloved, from Toni Morrison?s novel, Beloved, is an embodiment of the evils of slavery. Beloved, the daughter of a former slave, is a child who died before her time, therefore her existential search for identity parallels the search of self that slavery created in an innumerable amount of human beings. When reading the novel, Beloved, it is vital for the inexperienced reader to pay attention to the trials of Beloved, as they are the trials of slavery.
The character of Beloved, was reborn through the souls of slavery, and gathered their collective memories as she emerged from watery depths, through a river akin to the ocean crossed by slave ships enroute to the New World.
?A fully dressed woman walked out of the water. She barely gained the dry bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree? (50).
Beloved?s birth from water is an important metaphor for the river of life. When Beloved talks of dying, she speaks of being ?on the bridge? with Sethe departing from her.
??Don?t you remember we played together by the stream?? ?I was on the bridge,? said Beloved. ?You see me on the bridge??
?No, by the stream. The water back in the woods.?
?Oh, I was in the water. I saw her diamonds down there. I could touch them.?
?What stopped you??
?She left me behind. By myself,? said Beloved? (75).
The material bridge spanning the river is a metaphor for the spiritual bridge between life and death. Beloved speaks of waiting on the bridge, then crossing over to the ?other side,? where the souls of other victims of slavery awaited sharing their collective memories with her. Therefore, when Be...


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...ractice of slavery that is centered upon the human aspects of one family. Due to the fact that Beloved focuses on Sethe and her family, it is possible for the reader to become engrossed in the novel without realizing they are absorbing Morrison?s underlying message. This causes the novel to carry a more powerful message regarding slavery that a history text of the same historical content. Although the reader may not realize that the character of Beloved is a metaphor for the practice of slavery on a conscious level, the statement is absorbed on an unconscious level, allowing the reader to experience deep emotions over the horrors of such a practice. When interviewed Toni Morrison stated that the novel, Beloved, ?rocked her? and took ?everything she had? to compose. In turn, the novel evokes such pain within the reader that it takes everything one has to read.


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