Toni Morrison Beloved Analysis Essay

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Lacanian Psychoanalytic View of Beloved in Beloved
Beloved in Toni Morrison’s Beloved displays the influence lack of parenting and time on earth had on her when she re-materializes as a woman creeping out of the water (Morrison 50). Beloved’s life was cut short as a result of her mother 's grave decision to execute her to prevent her from living a life of slavery. This act in itself may have saved what was left of Sethe’s family, but not without long-term consequences. Aside from being shunned by the surrounding communities, Beloved haunted the family as a ghost until one day she respawned in human form out of the water. When Beloved reentered into Sethe’s reality, she inhabited the body of a woman opposed to an infant. Since Beloved’s life
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She retained that feeling of oneness due to her lack of time on earth to experience the “mirror stage”. Beloved gives us insight on her feelings from what seems at first to be Heaven while also showing the reader how basic her understanding of language is. She claims to be observing a woman “but the clouds are in the way” (Morrison 210). The reader can infer that this woman is Sethe when Beloved claims she is “not separate from her there is no place where I stop her face is my own and I want to be there in the place where her face is and to be looking at it too” (Morrison 210). These broken sentences appear to be a child trying to explain the effects of Lacan’s “mirror stage” and the connection a child has to its mother. Opposed to making the distinction between herself and Sethe, Beloved views them as one being. She does the best she can to describe this feeling of oneness with the limited vocabulary that she has. She refers to this feeling as “a hot thing”, which could be interpreted as many emotions as she says it several times throughout the chapter (Morrison 210). Due to her lack of emotional understanding, she can’t express how she feels mentally, only the physical attributes that accompany the emotions. When feeling intense emotion, such as love, anger, and grief, Beloved describes it as “ a hot thing” because those are the only words she knows to describe it (Morrison 210). As the chapter progresses, Beloved…show more content…
Once reunited, she struggles socially as a result of the lack of communication prior to getting murdered. Beloved had difficulty finding the correct words to express herself and instead used the words she did know to explain feelings she didn’t fully understand. She also seems to cling to the sense of oneness infants lose when looking in a mirror and identifying oneself as a separate being because she lacked a “mirror stage”. Consequently, Beloved lacks a sense of self and has to rely on Sethe’s memories that she gained access to as a ghost. Through a Lacanian psychoanalytic lens, Beloved tries to resolve the unresolved complications of her brief childhood created by the prolonged separation from her
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