124 Character Analysis
In Beloved, 124 Bluestone Road is not only a setting but it takes place as character in the novel as well. 124 is seen as a character throughout the novel because it‟s where the beginning of Beloved‟s haunting came into play. 124 also becomes the character Beloved due the various haunting that readers see. At first, the house at 124 Bluestone Road was nothing significant besides the home of Sethe and Denver, but it soon had a new meaning once the spirit of Beloved began to haunt the house. Sethe‟s home became something different when she was forced to kill her unborn baby to „free‟ her from slavery. From the very beginning, Morrison allows the reader realizes that 124 Bluestone Road plays a major part in the story by opening the chapter with: “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby‟s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter were its only victims.” By telling the reader that Sethe and Denver were the only victims left, it makes the readers wonder what kind of victims they were supposed to be. They were the victims of Beloved, the daughter that was killed by Sethe so she wouldn‟t have to go through suffering. 124 also relates to the daughter named Beloved because it‟s the third child that was born, yet, was also murdered, hence the missing „3‟ from the address. Beloved is also seen though the text at the very beginning because the „spiteful‟ „baby venom‟ refers to her. “In her account of the haunting of 124, Morrison employs most of the manifestations traditional to stories of haunted houses: noises, displaced objects, smells, lights, a brooding atmosphere, and the sensitivity of an animal to the presence of the ghost ("Haunting, “Encyclopedia;"Haunted Houses," Man, Myth, and Magic).” (Schmudde 409) By relating 124 to a haunted house, we are able to understand why Beloved is left behind haunting Sethe and the others. Beloved represents the restless spirit that has been left behind after being murder by Sethe and her uneasiness for revenge. Throughout Beloved, Beloved is portrayed as a character through 124 by haunting the different people living in the house. “[According to the] Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, [“Haunting” is a] "tradition established two main factors in haunting: an old house or other locale and restlessness of a spirit. The first represents an unbroken link with the past, the second is believed to be caused by remorse over an evil life or by the shock of violent death' (588). In Morrison's novel, the restless spirit of Beloved so dominates the narrative that it is easy to overlook the importance of the first factor in a haunting: an old house representing "an unbroken link with the past." (Schmudde 409) Readers tend to overlook the fact that 124 isn‟t just a house being haunted but it‟s Beloved herself haunting 124 and the inhabitants there. As Scmudde states, the haunting of the old house can be caused by remorse over an evil life or by the shock of violent death. The figure that haunts the house is Beloved‟s spirit whom of which is seeking revenge for her death. “Morrison combines traditional accounts of haunting from both European and African sources; Denver's vision of a white dress's embracing her mother parallels accounts of headless haunts, dressed in white, which appear frequently among the stories collected from blacks along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina (Drums and Shadows 6 ,19,29,44,60,123).” (Schmudde 409) Throughout the novel, 124 is also seen as a character, which is characterized through Beloved. By allowing the reader to understand that Beloved is a ghost haunting 124, we are able to realize how Beloved, as ghost, plays a role in the
characterization of the house. In the storyline, Beloved affects more than just Sethe in physical form but also affects Denver and Paul D through the house that she‟s haunting. “124 Bluestone Road is both the...
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