18 November 2012
Overcoming the Past
Dwelling on events that occurred in the past can affect what will happen in one’s present and future. A person must confront the past in order to heal the wounds it has caused in order to move forward in life. Members of the Black Community are haunted by the traumatic experiences and events of slavery and racism. Throughout the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison, Sethe work hard to avoid the past because it is filled with pain and horror for them. Morrison’s use of multiple flashbacks, nightmares, psychological, structural, and thematic logic that support the novel flow from the events that occurred when Sethe was a slave, until she faces her past, she cannot enjoy her future.
Sethe first appears as an independent and strong African American woman, whom refuses to accept help from anyone. Which her community sees her as being stuck up, “trying to do it all alone with her nose in the air” (Morrison 299) she think of herself different from her community, which the community thinks it’s unfair that former ex-slaves Sethe and her mother-in-law Baby Suggs isolate themselves from their community . When former ex-slave and friend of the family Paul D arrives on Sethe's doorstep, the past memories from Sethe former life that was stored in her mind long ago and her resolve strength to block out those traumatic events that happened in her past begins to crumble, as do her tough exterior behavior. During Paul D's arrival, Denver, Sethe's daughter notices that her mother is, "Looking in fact acting like a girl, instead of the quiet, queenly woman Denver had known all her life…The one who never looked away." (Morrison 14). Throughout the novel the character’s behavior shifts occurs between Sethe and her daughter. Denver being the most dynamic character in the novel, started out as a very dependent 18 year old girl lacking purpose in her life from suffering from years of relative isolation....
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