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    Theme of Slavery in “Beloved” by Toni Morrison

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    Slavery lasted for 400 years in America. It stil affects many of America lives with today. Due to Slavery there is black inferiority that results in an unfair education system, unfair employment system and social institutions that support this notion. In the book Beloved by Toni Morrison it is related to events surrounding the Civil War, which allowed southern slave owners to travel north and reclaim any slaves that had escaped from their ownership. In the book there is a woman named Sethe who had been enslaved and kills her youngest girl( Beloved) in order to keep her away from the trauma she went through being a slave. Beloved, ends up reincarnated and haunts Sethe because of her past. In the book, Beloved, Sethe, Baby Suggs, and Paul D were affected by slavery even after it ended because it caused them to be l. Ultimately though the journey of being enslaved Toni Morrison suggest that slavery causes people to relive their past and never forget what happened to them.

    Through being enslaved Sethe had been traumatized because she was forced to make hard decisions that impacted her negatively. Sethe had “ gone wild, due to the mishandling of the nephew who’d overbeat her and made her cut and run. “(16.4) Sethe did not want her daughter to go through the misery that she went to so she made a decision to kill her daughter to save her from slavery. This shows how slavery had driven her to kill her daughter and made her make a decision that negatively impacted her life. Physiological effects on Sethe after being owned comes up when she kills Beloved. She hears of the white men approaching and out of fear takes her children to the barn and chooses to kill Beloved. Killing Beloved is done out of love because she did not want Beloved to be endure pain. Instead, of letting her daughter live she kills her because in her mind she is doing the right thing. This impulsive decision comes from thoughts of fear of what Beloved’s future was going to be with the school teacher.

    Being enslaved caused Baby Suggs to not open her heart to anyone at the beginning but it had also made her more empathetic to other slaves because she has gone to the same pain they went through. “The Garners, it seemed to her, ran a special kind of slavery, treating them like paid labor, listening to what they said, teaching what they wanted to be known” . Being enslaved made Baby suggs change her how she viewed life and family. She became a lot more harsh and tough on her children because as a slave she knew that it could all be gone. As soon as, Baby Suggs reached Cincinnati, she became a preacher. After going all through the trauma she says how she lost lost everything but her heart. After escaping from slavery, Baby Suggs wanted to take care all the former slaves in her community. Baby suggs knew what the pain they endured and wanted to make sure that were happy. Baby suggs never had the opportunity to take care of her children but after being free she started to preach to try to take care of her community and anyone in her life. Baby suggs had her whole life taken away from her and when she was finally free her pain made her appreciate what she had. She made it an obligation that her community was fed and had love that she did not get in slavery. Baby suggs transformed into an empathetic person because she used her past experience to try to help others get over the negative impacts of slavery.

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    Theme of Slavery in “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/theme-of-slavery-in-beloved-by-toni-morrison-176720/

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