Beloved, Water Imagery

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We visually see water as a clear, constantly flowing object integrated in many areas such as an ocean, a pool, or even a simple cup. But sometimes we do not see the meaning water can have and it’s relation to society. In the novel Beloved, water is related to and involved in many instances that lead to a positive change. Characters like Sethe have experienced a situation in which she had to once escape sweet home, a former slave home, to go on to live a free life. Instances of rebirth or birth occur with Denver and Beloved being brought into the world. At the time, being a slave was hard and even harder when one was pregnant; one would still receive constant abuse, and for Sethe, it was a difficult life. Beginning a new life with a family could have been the start for so, but they would have to escape their slave homes. Therefore, it is seen that the motif of water serves as a positive concept for the characters and their future. At first, it is seen that Sethe, a black, female, pregnant slave who resides in sweet home, is under the care of a cruel man, schoolteacher, who enforced slave-like behavior. The brutality Sethe suffers gets to the point where she has to run away from sweet home in secure of a peaceful life. Captured, beaten, and under the control of schoolteacher after her attempt to run away, she does so again, despite being caught previously. Upon her arrival at the Ohio River, she sees a white girl by the name of Amy Denver, who aids in the birth of Sethe’s daughter as the canoe is being filled with water; her child is named Denver, after Amy Denver helped her. Later another character named Stamp Paid helps Sethe go across the Ohio River without any problems. The water in these scenes is significant because a new child is born, and without the water, it would be a harder process to deliver. With the help of Stamp Paid, Sethe goes over the Ohio River on the way to Baby Sugg’s house. The water also signifies the first steps to Sethe’s freedom by...
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