Sethe's Dominance In Beloved

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As Denver struggles to escape the control from Sethe and Beloved the theme of dominance is articulated throughout the novel. A keynote of the novel is Denver’s relationship with her mother Sethe and the ghost of her deceased sister, Beloved. Beloved and Sethe both have unique ways of power over Denver. Their demonstration of dominance enhances the novel as it drives the plot to Denver’s partial liberation from their control and influence. Sethe’s dominance over Denver becomes more pronounced throughout the novel. As Sethe recounts her life at Sweet Home, her control over her children is represented early on: “Nobody will ever get my milk no more except my own children,”(236). Even though Sethe is referring to her rape, her tone of this statement seems to represent the service that she is providing…show more content…
Beloved has a different form of dominance over Denver. Beloved shows control over Denver through her attempts to strengthen her relationship with Sethe. As the two sisters bond early in the novel the theme of dominance is still represented: “Beloved took Denver’s hand and placed another on Denver’s shoulder,” as Beloved leads Denver in their dance it also is a metaphor for her control over Denver in the future (87). Beloved displays power over Denver when Denver is seems to gain a emotional profit off of Beloved, “‘I’ll teach you,’ said Denver, ‘how to tie your shoes,’ and got a smile from Beloved as a reward,”(77). This form of gratification provides Beloved with dominance by her ability to manipulate Denver’s actions towards her in the future. As the novel progresses, Beloved captivates Sethe so much that it leads to her losing herself to Beloved. Sethe completely cuts out Denver and makes Beloved her cherished child: “Even the song that she used to sing to Denver she sang for Beloved alone,” (282). Beloved’s dominance over Denver varies from Sethe’s, but she was equally controlling of

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