Beloved: Toni Morrison and Hard Time Essays

Submitted By JessicaLavery1
Words: 1050
Pages: 5


I consider that Toni Morrison believes that the act of telling is not very important in the opening of the book, Beloved. This is what I believe because she starts out with the characters not wanting to talk about their past, or even thinking about it. As we read more in to the book, I suppose that Toni Morrison thinks the act of telling is more important. Some of the main characters start to realize that sharing their past is a sense of release, or more of a reassurance to get everything out on the table. Even though they can start to talk about their stories and feel a bit of release, there is still that lingering effect of it having a negative consequence on other characters.

The act of telling in the story is told through different points of views. Different views that eventually all come together to give a sense of effortless release. Throughout the book, you can plainly see that all of the characters have a hard time with their past. Not wanting to talk about what they have been through, and having the fear of telling anyone. Simply because they don’t want to feel any more pain, they just want to forget about everything and move on with their lives. To me, the character that had the hard time coming out about their past was Sethe.

Toni Morrison does a nice job in portraying how Sethe has a hard time dealing with the act of telling. For example in chapter 1, Sethe’s memory of her two boys running away starts to fade. I believe this is so, is because Sethe doesn’t really want to add on to her pain. Sweet Home was a big impact on everyone, from Baby Suggs all the way to Denver. This being because Baby Suggs is the oldest, all the way down to Denver being the youngest, of the family. Another example of Sethe’s painful past is her having to be known as a slave. Not only was she a slave, 18 years later she still feels as if she was never set free. Toni Morrison uses Beloved as a representation of a harsh past, but also a dazzling opportunity in the future.

In chapter 1, Paul D comes to visit 124 and finds Sethe and her daughter to be living there, along with a ghost, or in other words the ghost being a metaphor for Sethe being haunted by her past. He starts to change Sethe’s mind about not talking about her past with anyone. She starts to slowly open up to him, and in doing this it brings out the ghost of the house. This just so happens to be Beloved, the child that Sethe had taken the life of. This is Sethe’s past coming out in the open to haunt her.

In chapters 1, things start to get lot better for Sethe, and Denver. Ever since Paul D showed up to 124 Sethe starts to notice how he is kind of taking the place of Halle, who hasn’t come home. Paul D, as Toni Morrison explains, is the kind of man who could walk into a room and make a woman cry. To Sethe, this reminded her of how Halle was and how he would treat her. I believe because of the way Paul D was treating Sethe, he was replacing Halle, and showing Sethe that everything was going to be just fine, and everything was going to work out, without any more worries of the past. Paul D had shown Sethe that if she wanted to talk about anything from the past, that he wouldn’t let her fall.

Getting towards more of the middle of the book, the reader can start to tell where the negative effect of the act of telling can possibly take place. The more Sethe talks about her past, and what she has been through, the deeper she gets into the stories from Sweet Home. For example, she talks about how schoolteacher came after her and her children. She explains how she hid in the shed, and killed all her kids one by one, but Stamp paid had grabbed