Saturday, October 26, 2019

Beloved, by Toni Morrison :: Literary Analysis, Toni Morrison

The novel Beloved, written by Toni Morrison, shows a family’s life before and after slavery. The main character, Sethe, escaped from slavery and had a daughter, Denver, while she was escaping. Although Denver never actually experienced slavery, her life has still been affected by it. Morrison uses Denver to show how although people can be affected by a life destructing experience such as slavery they do have the ability to move forward in life if they believe they can. Before Beloved comes to 124, Denver was not able to learn much about the past because of Sethe’s inability to experience the past again. She feels left out because she is not involved. This causes her to consume herself in the events of the past. Denver also starts out very shy. When Paul D first comes to 124, he and Sethe reminisce about the past. Denver says, â€Å"How come everybody run off from Sweet Home can’t stop talking about it? Look like if it was so sweet you would have stayed† (17). Sethe replies, â€Å"Girl, who you talking to† (16). Sethe’s surprised tone shows this is not normal behavior for Denver and she is usually much more soft-spoken. Denver’s outspoken behavior comes from her frustration with her ignorance of the past. Denver also locks her self away from the rest of the world before Beloved comes. After the incident with Nelson Lord, Denver â€Å"never went back† to Lady Jones’ house (121). Denver was cut off from the outside world even more when â€Å"she walked in a silence too solid for penetration† (121). Denver’s hearing returned â€Å"by the sound of her dead sister trying to climb the stairs† (122). The dense diction used by Morrison shows Denver’s deafness was very powerful. Denver believes Beloved got her hearing back for Denver, which makes Denver look to Beloved to solve her problems later in the novel. This makes Denver and Beloved’s relationship even more powerful because something very strong had to happen to bring back Denver’s hearing and Beloved was it. Unlike the other characters in the novel, Denver refers to Beloved as an actual family member and not just a baby further connecting the two characters. Before Beloved returns to 124 in person, Denver has a connection with her spirit and she relies on her companionship.

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