"It is the ultimate gesture of a loving mother. It is the outrageous claim of a slave"(Morrison 1987). These are the words that Toni Morrison used to describe the actions of the central character within the novel, Beloved. That character, Sethe, is presented as a former slave woman who chooses to kill her baby girl rather than allowing her to be exposed to the physically, emotionally, and spiritually oppressive horrors of a life spent in
showed first 75 words of 1623 total
showed last 75 words of 1623 total
death, not slavery. Sethe kills her daughter to demonstrate her love. Sethe exhibits her selfish pride by repudiating her own guilt. Does Sethe realize her fault? Perhaps. When presented the notion that Sethe, and not her children, is her own "best thing", her reply takes the form of a question, "Me? Me?"(273). Morrison leaves the reader with the sense that Sethe might realize that she has loved her children too much, and herself not enough.