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“Beloved” is a novel written by Toni Morrison, published in 1987. It is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who lives in Ohio with her daughter Denver. Sethe is haunted by the ghost of her deceased child, also named Beloved. The story is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War and explores themes of slavery, motherhood, and the legacy of trauma.
The novel begins with Sethe and Denver living alone in a house that is haunted by the ghost of Sethe’s deceased daughter. Sethe is visited by Paul D, a former slave and acquaintance from her past, who has come to stay with her for a while. As Paul D tries to settle in and make a life for himself, he begins to realize that Sethe is haunted by the ghost of her deceased child.
Sethe’s past is revealed through a series of flashbacks that reveal her experiences as a slave on a plantation in Kentucky. Sethe was pregnant with her fourth child when she was freed from slavery. However, her master, schoolteacher, came to take her and her children back to the plantation, but Sethe killed her own baby girl to save her from a life of slavery. The baby’s ghost haunts Sethe, Denver, and their home ever since.
The novel explores themes of motherhood, and the trauma of slavery. Sethe’s decision to kill her own child is a clear symbol of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and the brutal choices that were forced upon enslaved mothers. Through the character of Sethe, Morrison portrays the complexity of motherhood and the weight of the maternal responsibilities.
Another theme of the novel is the legacy of trauma and the ways in which it can be passed down from generation to generation. Sethe’s trauma is not only her own, but it’s also shared by her daughter Denver and even the ghost of her deceased child. The story explores the idea that trauma is not just an individual experience, but it’s also something that can be inherited by others.
The novel is written in a poetic and evocative style, with Morrison using vivid imagery and symbolism to create a powerful and emotional narrative. The novel is widely considered to be a literary masterpiece and has had a profound impact on American literature.
In summary, “Beloved” is a novel written by Toni Morrison, published in 1987. It tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who lives in Ohio with her daughter Denver and is haunted by the ghost of her deceased child. The novel explores themes of slavery, motherhood, and the legacy of trauma, through the character of Sethe and her past as a slave on a plantation. The novel is written in a poetic and evocative style, widely considered a literary masterpiece, and has had a profound impact on American literature.