The Clearing Analysis

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Similar to 124 Bluestone, Baby Suggs’ space in the Clearing originally functions as a healing space that allows the community to come together in order to provide comfort for their trauma. This open space allows the black community to form communal bonds through their shared experience of trauma. The Clearing itself is described as, “A wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of a path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place” (Morrison 103). The Clearing is in an open area within the forest. Since no one knows why it is there or who created it, the community reclaims this isolated space exclusively for former slaves. The Clearing becomes symbolic of healing because it allows the community…show more content…
The day after Baby Suggs has a feast with an abundance of food and dancing, she notes the feeling of repulsion that the rest of the community feels towards her. The narrator mentions, “She was accustomed to the knowledge that nobody prayed for her — but this free-floating repulsion was new. It wasn’t white folks — that much she could tell — so it must be colored ones. And then she knew. Her friends and neighbors were angry at her because she had overstepped, given too much, offended by excess” (Morrison 163). The fear within the black community is still present because they know that they could be caught and returned to the south at any moment. The love that Baby Suggs offers the community is too overwhelming because it allows them to feel too much at once. This feeling of repulsion is significant because it emphasizes the betrayal and downfall that Baby Suggs experiences. While love is the only thing that Suggs has left, no one in the community is willing to return it or even pray for her. Similarly, in the article "Narrative and Community Crisis in Beloved,” scholar Scot D Hinson argues that Morrison uses Beloved to expose the consequences of slavery as the origin of violence within the black community. Hinson explains, “Powerless to confront their oppressors, the community strikes out against equally powerless members of their own community. Thus, violence instigated by whites spreads within black communities of its own accord, perverting and twisting emotions” (Hinson 153). Hinson argues that the black community strikes out against their own members because they are unable to fight back against white supremacy. The fear of excessive love caused by slavery causes the black community to isolate Baby Suggs and not warn the family when they see the white slave owners enter the town. In this way, the black community betrays Baby Suggs
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