Summary Of Rape In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Sethe and her daughter named Denver, reside in a haunted house on Bluestone Road outside Ohio. As a matter of fact, her house was once a way station. Historically, the way station was a treasured salvation for ex-slaves who lack, food, clothing and safe passage among whites. The way station also served as a postal center and message drop. Meetings with other wayfarers sometimes reunited them with friends and loved ones. In addition, the way station provided a warm, dry and safe rest stop for slaves who escaped from Sweet Home. In that house, Denver is a reclusive 18 year old daughter who once upon a time lived with her two brothers named Buglar, Howard and her infant sister, Beloved. Now they are “all by themselves in the gray and white house…show more content…
While Morrison depicts myriad abuses of slavery, like brutal beatings and lynching, the depictions of and allusions to rape are of primary importance; each in some way helps explain the infanticide that marks the beginnings of Sethe’s story as a free woman. Sethe kills her child so that no white man will ever “dirty” her, so that no young man with “mossy teeth” will ever hold the child down and suck her breast (Pamela E. Barnett 193) Stamp Paid, a former slave who ferries Sethe and Denver across the Ohio River, tried to take Beloved’s corpse from the mother’s clinging hands and give Denver to her. A mother killing her own child is an act that subverts the natural order of the world. A mother is expected to create life, not destroy it, but with Sethe’s case, she was insane and out of control at that specific moment when she imagined that her child might face the same assault in the future. Thus, she prefers to put an end to this situation. On the other hand, we notice that she was very anxious about the feeling of the Beloved, her murdered child. She stated, “Do you forgive me? Will you stay? You safe here now”
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