Beloved Character Analysis

Topics: Family, Toni Morrison, Novel Pages: 2 (697 words) Published: March 31, 2011
“Anything dead coming back to life hurts” (Morrison 35). Does anyone have a firm grasp on who or what Beloved actually is? Beloved is the focal point of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, but she has also been the center of many debates. Morrison’s depiction of Beloved throughout the novel is unclear and much is left up for interpretation by the reader. Is Beloved the ghostly reincarnation of Sethe's murdered baby, a flesh and blood version of the spirit Paul D. drives from the house? Or is Beloved unquestionably a ghost? The uniformly accepted notion that Beloved is a ghost is interesting, given that evidence throughout the book suggests that she is a reincarnated being. As the reader recalls, Sethe killed her first daughter with the idea that doing so would free her daughter from slavery. As a result of Sethe’s “motherly” actions, Beloved, enslaves the rest of the family including Sethe’s daughter, Denver. The family becomes disconnected from and outcasted by the black community, as everyone fears approaching the residency “haunted” by the supernatural. As the novel progresses, the presence of an unknown girl at 124 intrudes, yet again, on the lifestyle of Denver and Sethe. This character, who is identified as Beloved is ambiguously portrayed and therefore her analysis is the topic of debate and discussion.

The character that is recognized at the 124 residency is in fact the reincarnation of Sethe’s first daughter, Beloved. The idea of the reincarnated in this novel is well established. Although, to the reader the possibility of this seems unlikely, in the book there are several examples that point to this being true. For example, the reader witnesses Sethe overlook obvious signs showing that this girl actually could be the personification of her murdered baby daughter. Additionally, Beloved is approximately the same age that Sethe’s first born would have been if still alive, and more evidence lies in the fact that she shares the same name as the one...
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