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Reflection of Beloved

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Every story is different from each other and has a particular focus on one main aspect that is told throughout the whole story. There are stories which fluctuate by flashbacks, while other stories narrate the incidences that happened in a character's life and link it with the present story. In Toni Morrison's "Beloved", there are incidents that have occurred in the protagonist's life Sethe, which haunts her present and is never able to forget the past. As the novel's main focus is on memory and history, at the same time for the slaves in the novel this is past suffering and pain that they badly try to forget. However, for Sethe the memories of her slavery continue to haunt her with the spirit of her dead daughter. Sethe thought that the death of her children would be better then them going through the same life as her. The novel circles around with the past of Sethe and her present as Paul D and Beloved come to her life and drive her back to the past.

One of the main incidences in the novel is the encounter between Sethe and the Schoolteacher, which is the most important one since she has spent her life in the plantations working for him. The schoolteacher is incharge of Sweet Home and behaves very racist with his slaves having very strict rules and punishment on the plantations. Sethe shares her memories of her past slave life with Beloved about the schoolteacher being so cruel to all of the slave workers at Sweet Home. The schoolteacher treated the slaves really badly by measuring their body parts and studying them like animals. The scars on Sethe's back are also another powerful image of the act of dehumanization and physical abuse. The schoolteacher was a bad influence even on his own nephews and use to give them lessons on how to differentiate between humans and animals. However, Sethe encounters her own incidences with the schoolteacher and does not want her own children to be working as slaves so she she finds that murder is a good option in her mind. This cruel act of her's cannot ever be erased as she herself suffered as a slave in her everyday life

which continues to exist in the present. However, she tries to spend her life by attempting to ignore the encounters with her past. However, this does not last long since her fear of the past tends to lead her to the evidence that Beloved is the reincarnation of her dead daughter. Sethe has to face her past so that she can head on with her future and live a peaceful life. Sethe is guilty of her cruel act but has a sense of relief that atleast her children are not going through the same that she did. These incidences really made me disturbed and sad as a reader as I could feel the pain that the slaves were going through as it was effectively described with use of powerful language and I wanted to be a part of it by helping the slaves by abandoning slavery everywhere.

Morrison uses powerful images of the encounters that



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