The Effects of Violence in Beloved Essay

Words: 1030
Pages: 5

1 Literature concerning the lives of African Americans during and after slavery explores the many horrific acts of violence. Violence manifests itself in people both physically and psychologically. Physical wounds may heal over time, but it is the emotional scarring that begins to take a toll on the human mind. The novel, Beloved, by Toni Morrison revolves around the character of Sethe, an African American woman who recently escaped from a slave plantation. Sethe's home on 124 Bluestone Road is haunted by her daughter, Beloved, whom Sethe murdered in order to keep her from the life of slavery. Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, explores both the uses and effects of violence through multiple characters.

The character of Paul D is left
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“White people believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way ...they were right ...But it wasn’t the jungle blacks brought with them to this place ...It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread ...until it invaded the whites who had made it ...Made them bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own” (Beloved).

In his thoughts, Stamp Paid describes the jungle from a white slave owners’s point of view,
which was a dark, terrifying place, full of wild creatures. The white people are seen in this passage as becoming, “bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made.” The white people are becoming consumed by the jungle that they have made, while trying to project their own savagery that consumes them onto their slaves. This is seen through the imagery of the jungle growing, becoming unnavigable, inhabited by baboons with red gums ready for blood, which ends up with the whites in the place where they believe the blacks should be.

The novel