Rhetorical Analysis Of Beloved

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The novel Beloved by Toni Morrison fundamentally relies on the relationship between the former slave Sethe and the daughter she murdered as an infant, only known to the reader as Beloved. In one scene, Beloved is attempting to make Sethe feel guilty as Sethe argues that her attempted murder of her children was out of love, and that she intended for them to be “together on the other side.” Beloved’s response, in which she points out that, after she “died,” “ghosts without skin stuck their fingers in her and said beloved in the dark and bitch in the light,” shatters the intensely loving, devoted tone that Sethe attempts to establish in favor of a more dramatic, graphic tone and creates intense juxtaposition, a device which is continually used throughout the text. (254) The phrase “ghosts without skin,” overall, exemplifies Beloved’s immature perspective. Although she is physically only about a year older than Denver, her rhetoric is not as developed, and has many childish qualities to it; the…show more content…
Here, however, the more positive epithet is given to Beloved in the dark; when intensely analyzed, this aligns well with the idea of African-American empowerment found within Beloved. In addition to this, “beloved” is seemingly used as an adjective in this quote, since there is no capitalization, which contrasts with Morrison’s typical use of the word as a name. “Beloved” is not the character’s actual name, which is never revealed, but this description may be where the “nickname” originated. There also may be emphasis placed on the fact that Sethe and the ghosts are calling her the same name, through the simple inclusion of the word “beloved,” which serves to underscore the point which Beloved is trying to argue: Sethe is no better than the
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