Beloved Essay. The Impact Of Slavery


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“Beloved” is the most famous novel by Toni Morrison, her first bestseller that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize (1988) and later the Nobel Prize (1993).The book is based on real events that took place in Ohio in the 80-ies of the XIX century: the story of an African-American slave who kills a daughter and saves her from slavery. I found this book very interesting, so that is why I wrote this Beloved essay.  

The story of maternal love

I’m going to start Beloved essays with a brief summary. Once upon a time, before the abolition of slavery, the African-American woman whose name was Sethe got to “good white” owners that were the only one who behaved well with African-American people. Their house was called Sweet Home. Among African-American people were Sethe, a few men and Halle – Sethe’s husband. White owners, who were really kind, allowed Halle to buy his old mother Baby Suggs from her owners. She finally found freedom through the efforts of her son. Her owners took care of her: they gave her a two-storey house for personal use, she did some simple work and they paid her money for it. The story of Sethe, daughter-in-law of Baby Suggs is a story of escape and constant fear. When in Sweet Home died “white owner”, there came a “teacher” who professed quite different principles of education. The life became unbearable and Sethe being pregnant ran away. After crossing the river, she reached the home of Baby Suggs already with a baby in her arms. She called her Denver by the name of the white girl who helped her to give birth. A few years later, Sethe was picking in the garden and suddenly felt the approach of the teacher. She felt unknown instinct. She grabbed her children and locked them in the shed. There she managed to kill the youngest daughter. And because of that, she was put in jail. Of course, the end is the most interesting. It must be said that the end is sad. To Sethe returned the image of her murdered daughter and over time it acquired a full power over her.

My analysis

What is this book about? I think that everyone will answer differently. But I divided this story into two sections in my critical essays on Beloved:

  • The main line was the mother’s love for children. It is so strong, that when she faced with a choice what is better the death or the horrors of life in slavery, she did not hesitate to choose the death. There is taken the theme of slavery, when you do not belong to oneself but the human nature yearns for a freedom and for a better life. Everyone gets their wish in different ways.
  • Slavery. It would seem that it is such a popular issue, so what new can be said? People always talked about racial and cultural differences. On our website you will find cultural differences essay, by the way. But Morrison turns to reveal this theme in a new way. I liked that she was not trying to idealize African-American people or denigrate white people. All of them have advantages and disadvantages. This imperfection makes them equal and connects under one definition “people”. My soul was overwhelmed with pity for the main characters; I sympathized them hoping that in the future they would find happiness, that would be able to recoup all their past sorrows. But, I can notice that the book is saturated with the dark and bleak atmosphere.

And, of course, I determined for myself the character of Sethe

Sethe is the main character of the book. When she was a little girl, she was lucky to get to the good owners, who allowed her to independently choose her husband, and didn’t use her as a human conveyor belt. They allowed her to give birth to children for herself and not for sale. For the sake of her children she was able to escape despite the fact that no one believed she could do it. She was proud, self-confident, independent, self-sufficient, a little bit arrogant, a very strong woman with a difficult past. She wanted to love and be loved but the incident that happened many years ago didn’t leave her a chance to do it. But the universal condemnation was not horrible, the only thing she feared was that her beloved eldest daughter would not be able to understand her and therefore to forgive.

Toni Morrison

The slavery and the racism are merely the inevitable background of Morrison’s novels. And if we touched this issue, then essay about racism will give you some information. Usual themes of Toni Morrison – the miracles of survival, a search of oneself, the vicissitudes of love, the oppression of memory, the birth of hatred and the mysteries of relationships between men and women, parents and children, between the living and the dead.

She was born on 18th February 1931 in Lorain (Ohio). The years of her formation as a writer came at the peak of the struggle of African-American people for their civil rights. The involvement in the movement largely determines her political activism in America. Not coincidentally, her passionate speech at the II Congress of American writers “For heroic movement” (1981) contained not only criticisms of American life, but also the call for active struggle against the domination of mass culture and to the unification of all democratic forces in the literature of the United States.

  • The first prosaic experience is a short novel “The Bluest Eye” – a story about the tragic fate of a young African-American woman, who from childhood dreamed about blue eyes and fair skin. The first book of Morrison did not attract special attention of readers and critics, although it was largely predetermined by the basic motives of writer’s creativity.
  • Thoughts about the hard life fate of African-American women are presented in the novel “Sula”, which was released in 1974. Here the writer, by her own admission, intended to affect the problem of good and evil. In the center of the novel is the fate of Sula, a young African-American woman who unsuccessfully trying to escape from the vicious circle of hopeless existence. It is noteworthy that female characters of Toni Morrison’s first works are deeply unhappy and they live in unbearable living conditions. Not by chance, only death is their only way to find peace.

In 1993 she received the Nobel Prize in literature, as a writer “who revived an important aspect of American reality in her full of dreams and poetry novels”.

And at the end of my essay, I want to say that Toni Morrison takes an active part in the feminist movement, performs at African-American congresses. Her works have been translated into many languages, and her work and biography became the object of study in several monographs. Hope it was a pleasure for you to read Beloved critical essays, because I described the book about a mother’s love. It is strong and destructive and about the African-American slave Sethe who has the only treasure and it was her children. By the way, buy essays of premium quality. Visit our website and you will find a lot of useful information about us, our services, prices, writers etc.