Violence In Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay

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Born on the cusp of her mother’s freedom, Denver experiences the biggest transformation as a victim of both Sethe and Beloved’s violence. Denver is burdened by her mother’s past; not only by the physical action of her mother killing her sister, but also by the psychological scarring and her overwhelming guilt that has her cling to Denver to a fault. This second-hand violence sees Denver become the scapegoat for Sethe’s guilt; the prodigal child that is slowly isolated in an act of unintended psychological violence. Like many of Morrison’s young female characters, she learns about – and imbibes – violence within the “matrilineal home setting [and] toward, and then from, [her mother]” (Putnam, 2011: 26). Sethe deliberately does not tell Denver about her past, preventing her from moving out of the isolating confinement of 124 Bluestone Road to adult independence. Just as she clung to the presence of her dead sister’s ghost before Paul D banished it, she also clings to the…show more content…
The physical embodiment of Beloved’s spirit therefore becomes a “disruption necessary for healing” (Krumholz, 1992: 397); the force that drives Sethe to insanity and back in order to not only explore the ramifications of this physical act of filial violence, but also the psychological torment of an enslaved life, what Putnam (2011: 25) calls the act of “mothering violence”. The reincarnation of Beloved therefore becomes both a foreboding presence and necessary catalyst for change in the lives of Sethe and Denver. Plagued by her early death, the consequences of the introduction of this corporeal character have varying impacts on the characters in the novel. Sethe, once burdened by her past and the psychological scarring of having been driven to killing her own child, is given a miraculous second chance to redeem her

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