Symbolism in Beloved

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Alantra Evans
ENG 102.023
Prof. Jarrett
May 5, 2011
Nature as Depicted Throughout Beloved
A symbol is something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance. Throughout Beloved nature is used in many ways to symbolize different things. For this paper, I will discuss how the chokecherry tree, blackberries, and water are symbolized.

The first symbol of nature I will discuss is Chokecherry tree. On Sethe back are whelp, from which she received from a beating, which resembles a Chokecherry tree entacted with a trunk, branches, and leaves. The tree symbolizes the beginning of a new life as well as the death of a loved one. It symbolizes the start of a new life because Sethe has just sent her daughter, Beloved, off to 124 so that she could have a better life along with the rest of her children. She received the whelps from Schoolteacher’s nephews because they found out that she had told Mrs. Garner that they held her down and stole her milk.

Another symbol of nature used in Beloved is that of the blackberries. Stamp Paid would pick the best blackberries there where and one day he decided on putting a few into three weeks old Denver’s mouth. The berries in which Stamp Paid picked were said to give one the feeling of being in Church. Berries symbolize the feeling of anointment, where as the thrones symbolize Jesus being crucified. Once Stamp Paid placed the berries into Denver’s mouth he had baptized her and became her Savior. That is why he believed she was not killed in Sethe’s act to save her children.

The third symbol I will discuss is water. Throughout Beloved water is used to symbolize freedom. The Ohio River is the body of water in which Stamp Paid carried all of the slaves that were on their way to freedom. Once a slave had crossed the Ohio River, they were in freed territory.

The Chokecherry tree, blackberries, and water are used as symbols to represent nature. Each is...
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