Toni Morrison’s Beloved
Throughout Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, there are lots of apparent themes and symbols. The story handles slavery and the results that the horrifying treatment of the slaves has on a neighborhood. Another major style, apparent throughout the story, is the supernatural. The idea of haunting is extremely apparent since the characters are not only haunted by Beloved at 124, however are likewise haunted by their past. The story of Beloved is not only about freeing oneself of a ghost, but also about launching one’s hang on what happened in the past.
Sethe is the most badly haunted throughout the book, both by her past and by Beloved. Her previous haunts her with what happened to her and what she did. She was beaten so badly that her back has a long-term blossoming scar, one that she calls “A chokecherry tree. Trunk, branches, and even leaves. Tiny little chokecherry leaves. But that was eighteen years earlier. Might have cherries too now for all I know” (pg 16). The fantastic significance of the scar on her back is that it is simply one more thing she can not see, however understands it is always there, comparable to her past.
Likewise, the line “Could have cherries too now for all I understand” reveals that she comprehends how she is not just stuck with her past, however that it is growing and impacting her in many different ways. The story focuses on the haunting of 124. Beloved’s existence is apparent to Sethe, Child Suggs and Denver, and they deal with it for some time. It is not up until the day that Paul D enters the house that things change. He squanders little time in annoying the spirit to leave. God damn it! Hush up! … Leave the location alone! Get the Hell out!” (18 ). The spirit leaves, much to Paul D’s delight. This may have occurred because Paul D is not only a figure from Sethe’s past, however is likewise the very first male to go into 124. Cherished is able to play off of Sethe’s own haunting, that of her past, to get what she wants. Sethe’s judgment was blurred as she focused mainly on the child she had murdered years back. Precious made ludicrous needs. Anything she desired she got, and when Sethe lacked things to offer her, Beloved created desire” (pg 240). Sethe ended up quitting her task, entirely disregarding Denver, and entirely ignoring herself as she dwindled away. Cherished, and her past, drained pipes Sethe with their constant nagging. There is also significance to the word choices of the characters when talking of the past. It is clear they will always remember their past and what had actually taken place to them. So rather than forget, they “disremember.” They press it to he back of their mind where they will not think about it, however it is constantly there, waiting for them to “rememory” it. This shows how they will constantly be haunted by their past. Through the addition of a supernatural measurement in Beloved, Morrison pushes the limitations of typical interpretation. The characters settle into believing the supernatural is normal. To them ghosts and premonitions is a way to understand the world around them and through this, Morrison is able to draw a comparison to one’s previous and a problematic ghost.?