How Does Toni Morrison's Use Of Tobacco Tin In Beloved

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Grimy, biter , and rusty are not your common words when talking about a heart. This is exactly what Toni Morrison does in the novel Beloved. The symbol of a tobacco tin representing Paul D’s heart is used throughout the novel to utilize the impact slavery has on African Americans. Toni Morrison utilizes the symbol of a tobacco tin to genuinely visualize Paul D’s true feeling. The tin in his heart is utilized an abundance of times in the novel. Showing when the tobacco tin first gets represented in the book is when the narrator says, “He would keep the rest where it belonged: in that tobacco tin buried in his chest where a red heart used to be. Its lid rusted shut. He would not pry it loose now in front of his sweet sturdy woman, for if she…show more content…
As Paul D is conclusively free, his deplorable experiences were forgotten. As the narrator says, “It was some time before he could put Alfred, Georgia, Sixo, schoolteacher, Halle, his brothers, Sethe, the sight of butter, the smell of hickory, note book paper, one by one into that tobacco tin lodged in his chest. By the time he got to 124 nothing in this world could pry it open.” (133). When something is locked away in a safe it is hard to reach. As Paul D locks things into his chest it makes it easy for him to forget the awful events that had such an impact on him. Not only does this tin restrict Paul D from authentically doting things, but it shows the impact that slavery undoubtedly has on him. Slavery has given Paul D a plethora of things. Doubtfulness would be one of them, it causes him to question everything that he does in regards to him being apprehensive he will lose it all like he did as a slave. Toni Morrison utilizes the tobacco tin in Paul D’s chest to show the pain that slaves have to go through and the struggles of endeavoring to keep everything in the past locked…show more content…
Due to the oppression of slavery it is irresistibly hard for Paul D to keep everything contained in his tobacco tin. Morrison uses Beloved to loosen up the rusty old tin. Paul D says, “‘Beloved … but she did not go. She moved closer with a football he didn’t hear and he didn’t hear the whisper that the flakes of rust made wither as they fell from the seams of his tobacco tin. So when the lid gave he didn’t know it.” (137-8). Toni Morrison who uses Beloved as an allegory for slavery, opens Paul D’s tobacco tin. This is used to represent how much of an impact Beloved as slavery can be put on to someone that has so many events stored away like Paul D. The novel Beloved does a well job on showing how slavery cannot be forgotten but it must always be remembered no matter how hard someone

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