Kayla's Reviews > Beloved

Beloved by Toni Morrison
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Jan 23, 11

bookshelves: 11th-grade, advisory, check-here-for-11th-grade-books

by Toni Morrison
Paperback, 275 pages
Published in 1988 by Plume/Penguin Books
ISBN: 0452264464

“We lucky this ghost is a baby. My husband’s spirit was to come back in here? or yours? Don’t talk to me. You lucky. You got three left. Three pulling at your skirts and just one raising hell from the other side. Be thankful, why don’t you? I had eight. Everyone one of them gone away from me. For taken, four chased, and all, I expect, worrying somebody’s house into evil.’” (Pg.12). In the setting of Beloved it is uncommon for a mother to be as close to her children as Sethe is to hers. Also unlike mothers of the time, all of her children are with her when she achieves her freedom. So why is it that she thinks only of what she has lost when she has so much more than most.

Sethe is a runaway slave whose life does not describe all the horrors American slavery offered and gave to many slaves in the south. Sold to Sweet Home, owned by the Garners, her life is a life of opinion, of work that is understandable and justifiable. Her thoughts and opinions matter, she doesn't have to be afraid of what her owners can and may do to her. And when suddenly that life crumbles, she is forced to do what many have done. She has to run for her freedom, while sending her young children ahead of her. Pregnant, she finds help in the an unlikely person and manages to do what she has to, to reach her children and to reach freedom. When this is threatened, she thinks about what could happen to her children and she does what to some is incomprehensible. Years later, she has to deal with the past, deal with everything that has to do with everyone else. And when Beloved and Pauly D come back into her and Denver's lives, she has to think back to what's really important. She has to learn what she can and cannot control and where she fits into everything.

I really liked Beloved. I read some of the reviews on goodreads and I completely disagree with them. I do think that Beloved is a compelling book and the way there are so many strange and seemingly pointless details is not insignificant. I found myself having to go back to different parts of the book and checking on names or details that discreetly appear repeatedly. I thought that the ending was strange at first, but after I thought about it in context of all that had happened, I found that the story was not about what you would expect. I thought that the book was more about Sethe than Beloved even though the latter was the title of the book. Through out the whole book it's Sethe we see changing not Beloved and we feel her pain through Morrison's explicit imagery.

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