The character of beloved in the novel by Toni Morrison in his book entitled “beloved” symbolizes a lot of important ideas which are crucial to a comprehensive understanding of the novel. Taking a look at the context of the story itself, Beloved is seen as an apparition that came back to haunt the woman who was responsible for her death when she was a toddler.
The event of her return caused lots of emotional reaction in other characters most especially Paul D and Sethe who as a result of trying to avoid their past were unable to truly know themselves, thus, this prevented them from forming a strong relationship with their children.
To be more specific, the characters of Beloved in the novel assisted two other characters namely Paul D and Sethe to resolve their past events. Moreover, to flash back, we can say that Beloved can be understood to be an epitome of the kind of problems which arise between mothers and their daughters that occurs as a consequence of the extreme cruelty experienced via slavery. On an intense, subliminal level to the characters in the story, the character of Beloved may be considered to be a reminder of the past.
The Beloved succeeded in forcing the characters in the novel, especially her mother to first of all understand the pains from her past before beginning to work through it. Her presence caused all of the characters to come to terms with themselves before her departure. Personally, not only do I think this novel asserts the chance of reconciliation of the past or a better understanding of it from a symbolic point of view, I think it also serves some other essential function for the readers as well.
It also relates a dramatic, severe and ruthless picture of some of the worst terrors of slavery. Beloved, when viewed symbolically is more than merely a character in “Beloved” but holds a huge significance as a symbol in the novel as well. All the stories enclosed within the multifarious character of Beloved in this novel by Toni Morrison, is made of many fragments which cannot be fully comprehended until the end of the novel, At the outset, the reader is made to be believe that Beloved is a ghostly being, who is an incarnate figure of Sethe’s slain daughter.
But Later, a story was revealed by Stamp Paid of “a girl locked up by a white man over by Deer Creek. Found him dead last summer and the girl gone. Maybe that’s her”. Toni Morrison presented the text afterwards in such a way that both assumptions were well supported. The possibility that Beloved is the slain child is backed by the fact that she sings a song which is known only to Sethe and her other children; Somewhere else, she also speaks of Sethe’s earrings although she had not seen them.
From my perspective, Beloved being Sethe’s reincarnated child would have helped the characters in the story and it would have helped Sethe to assuage the guilt she feels over the death of her child. I think Morrison’s intention in presenting the story in such manner was to make the readers more active rather than passive and make them work to unravel what is going on. In conclusion, I think the character Beloved in the Novel entitled “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
is Sethe’s child, the third one, who was murdered at the age of one and became a ghost in 124 for up to next twenty years before she was reborn. Although, she was 21 years old in her outward appearance, she has the mind of a toddler. Thus, Beloved was trying to find Sethe’s affections as well as a revenge for a murder which she still cannot comprehend. In the novel, she serves as both a character as well as a representation for the past and the sixty-million slaves that were murdered in the Middle Passage. .
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