Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Today, the majority of the population only knows slavery as much as the minimal definitions and descriptions that authors give. Our generation today does not know the agony that slaves endured on a daily basis, the misery that they went through when separated from their loved ones, and the inhuman treatment that they received behind the curtains. Beloved, by Toni Morrison, emphasizes the hardships that slaves endured and gives multiple reasons that justify Sethe’s murder of her child through the past of Baby Suggs, Paul D, and Sethe. By presenting Baby Suggs’ past, Morrison provides the reader with some insight on the brutality of slavery. In her days from the farm in Carolina, Baby Suggs experienced the difficult hardships as all slaves…show more content…
A large part of Paul D’s past consisted of the time he served at the prison camp with the other forty-five blackmen who were chained together. The prison camp assigned such rigorous work that Paul D’s blood rippled along his hands (Morrison 128) while working, but he still continued going. This sort of painful endurance that slaves must carry is why Sethe’s effort to murder her children is justified because she is simply performing the duties of a mother by protecting her children from any sort of agony. The time Paul D spent as a slave affected his identity as well because it made him turn insecure. The tobacco tin that he “…lodged in his chest” (Morison 133) is what signifies his personality because it shows how he prefers keeping things locked up rather than encountering them. Also, due to this he frequently tried convincing himself that “…he was a man…” (Morrison 148) because of the insecure feeling that captivated his body. Paul D clearly did not know who he was because he lost his identity to slavery. The recurring cycle that always leads former slaves back to their past is why Sethe tried killing her children. She didn’t want them to continually living in their past, like she and millions of other slaves did. Therefore, when schoolteacher returns, she resorts to attempting to kill her children in order to protect them rather than descending them “…to the hell of slavery” as Winston Coleman described (qtd. in Moss and
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