Love's Effect

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Love’s Effect The theme of love connects all the characters, Sethe, Beloved, Denver, and Paul D, throughout the book, Beloved by Toni Morrison, between the love they share with each other and the love that drives them to the extremes. All four main characters, Sethe, Beloved, Denver, and Paul D, are connected through love, individually and separately. Morrison, the author of the novel Beloved, uses imagery and repetition to portray the theme of love in Sethe’s murder of Beloved and attempted murders of all her children, Beloved’s strange relationship with Paul D, Beloved’s reason for returning to the family as a reincarnated version of the dead daughter, and the weird love between the whole family (Sethe, Denver, Paul D, and Beloved), supporting the theme of love between all the characters. Beloved returning from the dead is a massive thematic and plot point in the book; she endures a long journey and ends up at 124, as if 124 was her destination all along. When she showed up at 124 she was wet. The family invited her in as a guest and she ended up staying with them. Morrison uses the imagery of the sea, sunlight, and the dead to portray the theme that Beloved is the dead daughter and this is her journey back to 124. While in purgatory, the place that acts as a waiting room for heaven and hell, Beloved experiences a loss of love and decides to come back to life to pursue this love; Beloved and Sethe are in the sea with dead people and Sethe disappearing in the sunlight. A main point was the repetition of the phrase “she was getting ready to smile (Morrison 214),” this shows that Beloved is waiting for a smile from Sethe, a sign of love that she never got because she was murdered at a young age. Once Beloved loses Sethe, she swims after her and washes ashore; this represents Beloved escaping purgatory and coming back to life. She is wet and begins to journey back to 124 in order to get the love she never received from Sethe. The imagery of the sea, sunlight, and

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