Morrison investigates the psychology of motherhood when Sethe and her children encounter freedom. No longer a "breeder," Sethe is free to love her children absolutely and, therefore, becomes capable of making controversial sacrifices to protect them. Morrison highlights the extreme parenting steps that Sethe takes to save her children from a life she once lived. Throughout her childhood and into her adulthood, Sethe felt abandoned by her mother when she escaped slavery without taking Sethe with her. Sethe did not want her daughter, Beloved, to feel this
Without names, she threw them. You she gave the name of the black man. She put her arms around him.” (62) Therefore, Sethe is the only child her mother conceived in love or conceived willingly at least. Deborah Hevitz even suggests in “Nameless Ghosts: Possession and Dispossession in Beloved” in Studies in American Fiction, that, “Beloved is not only the reincarnation of Sethe’s dead daughter but she is also the detailed representation of Sethe’s mother.”(158) Not only is she a representative of Sethe’s mother, but she represents much more. Sethe longs for the relationship she was denied with her mother.
Due to the death of her father her ability to help others was more challenging. Her mother was a housewife one day and a worker the next. Her ability to step up and support her family made Mother Teresa look up to her and her strength even more than she already
Sethe, like many other female slaves, was raped, tortured, sold, and was forced away from her children. This led to deep psychological damage as well as physical scars. From Sethe’s point of view,
Sethe’s identity is formulated with the relationship to her past which she retrieves through the ghost of Beloved. Beloved does not belong to the present nor the past but she portrays the relationship between the present and the past. Therefore, the lives of Sethe and Denver are connected with the past that is impersonated in Beloved. Otten interpretes the return of Beloved thus: Beloved is both Sethe’s doomed infant and one of the “Sixty Million and more,” a victim both of Sethe’s “rough love” and the manifest cruelty of slavers. What is more, she becomes a demonic force returned to punish and to redeem Sethe, a remarkably ambiguous force able to free Sethe at last from her past, but only by exacting an enormous price; she is on one
There are some other examples in the American history where mothers have killed their infants to take away the extra burden of slavery on them. Mary Montgomery for instance, escaped the plantation with her child but when she found it difficult to escape with a baby in tow, she left, “her sucking infant behind to die” (Drew 49). In the novel, Sethe kills her daughter Beloved and Stamp Paid said she did it because she ‘was trying to outhurt the hurters’, she didn’t want them to have access to her children. He also said she did it because ‘She loves those children’ (243). The act of Sethe killing her own child is at first not easy to understand and cannot be
Sethe’s passion for her children shines through this passage, she identifies her children as “the part of her that were precious and fine and beautiful;” for Sethe, to allow her owner to take her children, would be to allow him to destroy everything that is beautiful in herself, to destroy all the “life” she had made. To this understanding, Sethe’s murder of her daughter seems a less morally reprehensible crime because it becomes more of an act of self-defense. Morrison withholds judgment on the action, instead throughout the book, Toni focuses her criticisms on the forces of slavery that led Sethe to kill her daughter. In this passage, Morrison condemns slavery as an institution so cruel that it could mutate a mother’s love into murder. 12.
Morrison had Denver confront her past so that she could move towards a better future. To get the job Denver had to explain what was happening the the Bodwins’ head servant, who took pity on her. Janey, the head servant, told the entire community about Sethe’s predicament. This lead to Ella, a pragmatic and stern slave to point out that although it was wrong for Sethe to kill Beloved it is also wrong for a child to “up and kill the mama.” (p.301) This lead to the community of women coming together to exorcise Beloved from 124. This played into Morrison’s idea that an ancestral history of suffering cannot be easily erased, but it can fade over time with hard work and support from your community.
Mother Teresa was a low profit and humble person that did not publicize her contribution to people to gain population and famous. She has a true and pure heart to help others. Mother Teresa did not expect any kind of reciprocation from the society and yet keep helping and feeding starving people on the street. She also appreciates that these poverty groups accept her help and support. “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” she said.