Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, reveals the effects of human emotion and its power to cast an individual into a struggle against him or herself. In the beginning of the novel, the reader sees the main character, Sethe, as a woman who is resigned to her desolate life and isolates herself from all those around her. Yet, she was once a woman full of feeling: she had loved her husband Halle, loved her four young children,
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suffering for it. Beloved fought to live again and took the life of the woman who loved her enough to die for her. Towards the closing of the novel, Sethe's eyes "[were] bright but dead, alert but vacant, paying attention to everything about Beloved" (242-243). Beloved characterizes the tragedy of love: so strong it can kill, so strong it can become hate.
Penguin Books, Plume Publications: NY, 1988. All references are taken from this edition.