How Does Toni Morrison Present Slavery In Beloved

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Around the turn of the 20th century, the Lost Generation was born. They came of age during World War I and as a whole became disillusioned and lost their naivety due to the senseless slaughter they saw in the war. In Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Morrison explores the harmful effects of slavery on not only the escaped slaves, but on there children, who are often overlooked. Denver is the protagonist of the story, she is the daughter of Sethe, an escaped slave who is terrified of her past demons returning. Because of her fears, Sethe shelters Denver to an extreme degree. They rarely leave the house and never interact with their community. When Beloved, Denver’s sister who was killed by Sethe returns from beyond the grave, the family becomes more…show more content…
She cannot bring herself to tell Lady Jones about Beloved, so she tells her that her mother “doesn’t feel good” (p.292) and she would like to work for food. The community came together to help feed Denver’s family and Denver slowly became a part of the community through thanking people and returning dishes. Denver used the food to keep Sethe alive and Beloved under control, but at home things were deteriorating. Denver decided to go out and find a job with the Bodwins who had been hiring her family for generations. Morrison had Denver confront her past so that she could move towards a better future. To get the job Denver had to explain what was happening the the Bodwins’ head servant, who took pity on her. Janey, the head servant, told the entire community about Sethe’s predicament. This lead to Ella, a pragmatic and stern slave to point out that although it was wrong for Sethe to kill Beloved it is also wrong for a child to “up and kill the mama.” (p.301) This lead to the community of women coming together to exorcise Beloved from 124. This played into Morrison’s idea that an ancestral history of suffering cannot be easily erased, but it can fade over time with hard work and support from your community. When the community came to help Sethe after exiling her years go, they allowed Sethe to set some her demons free, like Beloved. Denver reconnecting with the community allowed her mother to begin to move out of the past and start there family’s long road to being at peace with the demon’s of their
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