Themes Of Slavery In Beloved

901 Words4 Pages
The novel opens in Cincinnati, where former slave Sethe lives at 124 Bluestone Road with her daughter Denver and her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs. Fifteen years before the start of the story, Sethe killed her infant daughter, trying to keep her from being brought back into slavery. The community knows about the murder and rejects Sethe. Her two sons, Buglar and Howard, left years before the novel’s start. After Baby Sugg’s death, Denver and Sethe are alone in the house with the ghost of the baby who died years ago. Sethe has accepted her lot, at least until Paul D who knows her from their slavery days arrives at the house. Sethe and Paul D have not seen each other for eighteen years so they have tried to bury and suppress their memories of enslavement and its effects. On of such memory is that of Schoolteacher. Schoolteacher is very cruel and uses all the means of conventional slavery on the slaves in Sweet Home. He introduces whipping, torture, humiliation and he dehumanizes slaves. In Beloved, schoolteacher represents of white supremacy. Keizer, Arlene notes that In Beloved, Schoolteacher is clearly the primary representative and agent of the system of white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy in the era of slavery. His interpellations of Sethe, Paul D, Sixo, and Halle lead to rebellion, madness, and death (105). Changes on Sweet Home started with schoolteacher’s disapproval of the way the slaves ate and the way they rested: “He complained they ate too much, rested too much,
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