How Does Toni Morrison Show Identity In Beloved

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In life, there may be some things we dwell upon in our past. We fail to realize we can no longer relive the past in our future. Toni Morrison’s story of Beloved tells of the protagonist, Sethe, who is faced with the feeling of guilt and awe upon the arrival of a woman named Beloved after once killing her baby daughter. Sethe is determined to become the real mother to Beloved, whom she feels is a reincarnation of her dead child. However, in her attempts to love Beloved, Sethe loses herself and this takes a dramatic toll on Sethe and her family mentally, emotionally, and physically. Toni Morrison portrays Sethe as a strong woman and loving mother of four children; Howard, Burglar, Denver, and a two year-old babygirl. The time period of the novel is that of slavery and Sethe and her children are fugitives of the Sweet Home plantation. Sethe fears of the children being dragged back to Sweet Home, so she kills the two year-old. She and the rest of her children make a…show more content…
According to Lannette Day of the “Beloved and The Bluest Eye” comparison article, Morrison uses the physical, emotional, and spiritual desolation produced by slavery to create her characters' senses of self through direct experience with slavery and white oppression (Day). The majority of her novels capture the importance of identity, the formation of the 'self', and the influence of the environment and society on that development (Day). In Beloved, the most important negative impact of slavery Morrison focuses on is the way in which former slaves are haunted. Of Ron Eyerman’s Cultural Trauma: Slavery and the formation of African American Identity, 'cultural trauma refers to a dramatic loss of identity and meaning, a tear in the social fabric, affecting a group of people that has achieved some degree of cohesion', according to Lannette Day (Eyerman

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