The Societal Effects Of Slavery Exposed In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Individuals are defined by their experiences and their perceptions towards life. Although people say ‘the past is in the past’, it can consume an entire identity and twist a person in such a way that they can no longer move on. This can create a myriad of negative effects on people. Toni Morrison’s Beloved depicts the haunting effects of slavery and the physical and emotional devastation brought upon individuals as they question their self-worth and start alienating themselves from the rest of the world. Every character in Beloved encountered some sort of problem regarding his or her self-esteem. The slaves were humiliated as lesser beings and treated as commodities with a price tag. As an example, the character Paul D was an extremely insecure person…show more content…
But I wasn’t allowed to be and stay what I was. Even if you cooked him you’d be cooking a rooster named Mister. But wasn’t no way I’d ever be Paul D again, living or dead” (Morrison 86). He said how he would never fully be like the complete man his master was. Sethe also battled with self-worth. The biggest point of inhumane behavior was when the schoolteacher was giving his nephews a lesson, attributing Sethe with characteristics of animals. In Chapter 19, she remembered how schoolteacher counted the slaves’ teeth, as if they were animals. This made Sethe fill herself with self-loath. She failed to see any good in herself. Denver consumed the idea of overtaking Beloved’s identity. In Beloved’s perspective, she felt herself physically and mentally disintegrating. She experienced volatility and instability within her. In addition, the overall idea of slavery shattered Baby Sugg’s conception of her own reality because it denied her the opportunity to be the real wife and mother she could have been. She seemed to lose her own purpose of living because she forgot about her heart and the life she has ahead of her, “Next she felt a knocking in her chest and

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