Feminism In Toni Morrison's Beloved

987 Words4 Pages
In the 21st century, there has never been quite a more polarizing depiction of the psychological strain of slavery than in Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved. Sure, Alex Haley’s Roots was one of the first contemporary pieces of literature to highlight the atrocities of the time, but, it’s almost rudimentary in comparison. Continuing with her usual trope of tragic black female protagonists, Morrison ups the ante by implementing themes such as magical realism, destruction of identity, mental illness, and the importance of community solidarity. Loosely based on true events, Beloved is a raw, thought provoking account of life in post-slavery America for not only the protagonist, but for many black women of the time. The novel begins in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1873. Sethe, a former slave, has been living at 124 Bluestone Road with her last remaining child, Denver. The house used to be inhabited by Baby Suggs, Sethe’s mother-in-law and Howard and Buglar, her two sons. After Suggs’ death, the two boys were driven out of the house by a violent spirit who the women believe to be Sethe’s dead daughter. The presence is a constant reminder of her horrible past, when she murdered her in infancy 18 years prior as…show more content…
Banumathi, Sethe’s strength and desire to move on from the demons of her past highlights the traditional resilience of black women over the years. She displayed a mother’s love in it’s rawest form, believing murdering her child was more beneficial than a life of enslavement. Sethe is very much a victim of misogyny, sexual abuse, and abandonment, all being qualities in which feminism wishes to diminish. The physical manifestation of Beloved is, in a sense, a final test of her ability to overcome. Whether she was able to forgive herself, let go of the past, and live the rest of her life in peace is open ended and up to the
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