Analysis Of The Mother In 'Nameless Possesession In Beloved'

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The most important moment that Sethe ever has with her mother is when she shows Sethe the slave’s mark upon her body, “the cross in the circle burned into the skin under her breast, by which Sethe will be able to identify her if the need should ever come.”(61) As a result of her motherless childhood, Sethe wishes to be the woman and the mother who has “milk love enough for all.”(100) As Paul D informs Sethe, this kind of love is unhealthy for a former slave woman, who might have anyone or anything taken from her at a moment’s notice. She is considered overprotective, over obsessed and too prideful because of her attitude about her mothering. Even though Sethe lacks a real knowledge of her mother when she was a child, she is still able to claim some information about her from Nan, who was assigned to care for Sethe and the other slave children. Her memory of the …show more content…

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. Sethe tells Beloved: “You came right on back like a good girl, like a daughter which is what I wanted to be and would have been if my ma’am had been able to get out of the rice long enough before they hanged her and let me be one.”(203) Her obsession with mothering her children is a direct result of her denied role as a daughter, but it includes more than her need to protect her children. She is also obsessed with isolating her children from the community that has condemned her

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