Slavery And Symbolism In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Nature: In Beloved, trees are sources of healing, comfort, and life. Denver’s hideaway in the boxwood bushes is an escape, a place of solitude. Paul D and Sethe, on the other hand, use trees to literally escape and find freedom. Paul D follows flowering trees to the North, and Sethe runs away through a forest. The trees of Sweet Home act as almost a way to cope for Sethe. Their beauty in her memory blocks out the more horrific memories from the plantation. When Amy sees Sethe’s scars on her back, she sees them as a tree. This turns a thing of trauma and brutality into a thing of beauty and growth. However, trees also show the darker side of the world when they are displayed as sites of lynchings and Sixo’s death. The pear tree displays…show more content…
The characters that are former slaves have their freedom affected because they are so haunted by their pasts. Paul D becomes so separated from himself that at one point he can’t tell if he is screaming or if he can just hear someone else screaming. Because slaves were treated as objects rather than humans, Paul D developed some serious doubts in himself. He is very self conscious and questions what it means to be a “real man”. He constantly is worried about his value as a human being. Sethe was treated similarly and because of that, she is full of hatred for herself. She also becomes sort of separated from herself. She believes that the best part of her isn’t actually a part of her at all, but is in fact her children. But her children are only human as well, and are unstable just like her. Her sons leave and Denver seems to combine her identity with Beloved’s. Beloved reflects this with her feelings of physical disintegration. Baby Suggs and Paul D share a spiritual and emotional exhaustion rooted in their own self doubt. Paul D hides away all his emotions in his rusted old “tobacco tin” heart. He decides that nobody should love anything too deeply. Jackson Till, Aunt Phyllis, and Halle all went insane, completely losing their identities. After seeing this deterioration, Sethe fears losing herself in madness as well. However, Sethe was already a bit insane, which was best shown when she killed her own

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