Terrill Valentine's Reviews > Beloved

Beloved by Toni Morrison
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's review
Nov 24, 2007

really liked it

This novel stretched my already broadened mind to the plight of others based on race. Toni Morrison does a great job at capturing the emotions of the characters and introducing the reader to a reality that was not so far in the past. In Beloved there is great effort in creating a reality that is similar with its main point but yet different than the Margaret Garner case which was an incident about a runaway slave who in 1856 killed her own child to keep it out of the hands of her pursuing owner. One of the main differences is that Beloved creates a sort of supernatural aspect in its story. This aspect might make the characters appear strange to the reader but it is also sets the mood and tone of the book perfectly.
When reading Beloved it is important to realize the impact of names. Black people were often labeled in a derogatory sense. Given such names as Paul A, Paul B, Paul C, and so on. They were labeled as if they were cattle and were thought of as nothing but property, which was horrifyingly true. Once freed, men and women would often take the surnames of their former owner as their own or adopted the names of popular historical or contemporary figures of social importance.
Beloved shows us a very traumatic part of our history and it also shows us how cruel life and people can be. When you look back at the history of slavery names you can see how owners of slaves treated them as pets and named them so. To truly understand this essay you need to understand how naming relates to people more so than just the identification of someone and how it is used to look down upon others.

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