Sethe Denver Slavery

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Denver also fits into many of the same categories as Sethe. She is black, female, and excluded from the large part of society. Despite these connections, she is unable to understand her mother’s actions. This is because Denver was never a slave. Enslaved black people and free black people were essentially a different class, with entirely different social experiences, although they all faced discrimination and prejudice. The distinction between Sethe, as an ex-slave, and Denver, as a free black girl, is highlighted by the fact that Denver was born at the precise moment that Sethe crossed into free territory. She didn’t know slave life, even as a baby. Her thirst for knowledge of the past is limited by her narcissism to only those events that…show more content…
They were assumed to be animalistic, barbaric, and subhuman. This image was deliberately perpetuated in order to uphold slavery’s ideals and continue the enslavement under the guise of kindness and guidance to the poor, apelike creatures. Obviously these stereotypes were not true, but nonetheless they were pervasively accepted within Southern, and even Northern societies during the eras before and after the civil war. Schoolteacher even teaches his nephews idea that slaves are animal-like. “ I was about to turn around and keep on my way to where the muslin was, when I heard [Schoolteacher] say, “No, no. That’s not the way. I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animal ones on the right. And don’t forget to line them up.” (Morrison 193). This cool detachment, the way schoolteacher regards this as merely a lesson, demonstrates that he truly believes this idea and does not regard the classification of a person’s “animal” characters versus their “human” ones as a degrading violation of their humanity. The United States successfully instilled in its inhabitants the notion that black people were not even people, creating and upholding the society where slaves were held at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Because Beloved focuses on the differences between the social status of black people before and after the civil war it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the systems of oppression in place before the war which aided in the control of slaves by placing them at the bottom of any social
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