The Effects Of Slavery In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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The Deep Wounds of Slavery Trauma, especially in the form of repressed memories, has a profound effect on the lives of the people who suffer it. Past distress often causes intrusive thoughts, which manifest themselves in a variety of painful ways, including through guilt, fear, and isolation. For those who have experienced the extreme abuse of slavery, their haunted past often defines their identity and suppresses any chance of their making future progress. Sethe, the protagonist of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, experiences the worst of slavery’s aftermath as she attempts to establish a life for her and her daughter Denver. Throughout the novel, the most disturbing aspects of her history return to plague her in the form of her resurrected adult daughter Beloved, a figure that embodies the overwhelmingly captivating power of the past. Beloved symbolizes the persistent and oppressive trauma of enslavement. To Morrison, she manifests both the subconscious and overt effects of institutionalized slavery, including the overwhelming power and deceptive allure of the past. The character of Beloved, both as a ghost and as a young woman, inhabits Sethe’s life as a physical reminder of her haunting past. In the beginning of the novel, Sethe and Denver have become resigned to dealing with the malevolent spirit that wreaks havoc in their daily lives at 124 Bluestone Road. The two women “[wage] a perfunctory battle against the outrageous behavior of that place; against turned-over slop jars,
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