The Importance Of Motherhood In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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At a time when families were torn apart, friends were killed and people were hunted, love was scarce. Slavery destroyed families, where the only link between a mother and her children was blood. If a slave woman had a child, that child would be enslaved as well. Slave children were separated from their mothers while they were still nursing, breaking any ties between mother and child. It was one woman’s job as a slave to provide milk for all of the slave children while their mothers were sent back to work. These children could be bought and sold to new masters, breaking any chance of a family bond. This separation of mother and child prevented Baby Suggs from ever being a mother and Sethe from being a daughter. Denver is a child born into slavery, however, she never experienced this separation of a mother and her child as Sethe…show more content…
The generational gap between Baby Suggs and Sethe compared to Denver’s experience of family shows what was inherited as a daughter, where Sethe was never a daughter and Denver has too high of expectations of her mother. Toni Morrison’s Beloved depicts the different experiences and attitudes towards motherhood through Baby Sugg’s opportunity of being a mother being stolen from her and her generosity later in life, Sethe’s introduction to motherhood and Denver’s unrealistic expectations of her mother, which all show the generational gap between slaves from the final days of slavery and the beginning of the Reconstruction years. Baby Suggs was the mother of eight children to six men. The opportunity of being a mother was stripped away from her when her children were taken and sold. Seven of her eight children
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