Preview
Preview

Symbolic Healing in Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1813 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Symbolic Healing in Beloved  

 Toni Morrison’s powerful novel Beloved is based on the aftermath of slavery and the horrific burden of slavery’s hidden sins.  Morrison chooses to depict the characters that were brutalized in the life of slavery as strong-willed and capable of overcoming such trauma.  This is made possible through the healing of many significant characters, especially Sethe.  Sethe is relieved of her painful agony of escaping Sweet Home as well as dealing with pregnancy with the help of young Amy Denver and Baby Suggs.  Paul D’s contributions to the symbolic healing take place in the attempt to help her erase the past.  Denver plays the most significant role in Sethe’s healing in that she brings the community’s support to her mother and claims her own individuality in the process.  Putting her trust in other people is the only way Sethe is able to relieve herself of her haunted past and suffering body.  Morrison demonstrates that to overcome the scars of slavery, one must place themselves in the hands of those that love them, rather than face the painful memories alone.


 It is not surprising to see that Sethe named her second born daughter after the young girl that saved both of their lives.  Amy Denver, a white servant girl fleeing toward Boston, gave encouragement and first aid relief to Sethe’s swollen feet and helped her crawl to safety.  As Sethe lay dying on the uncomfortable ground, Amy approached her.  “She [Amy] gathered rocks, covered them with more leaves and made Sethe put her feet on them…then she did the magic: lifted Sethe’s feet and legs and massaged them until she cried salt tears” (Morrison, 35).  Amy is free of the thriving need to abuse slaves, and this ignorance proves beneficial.  U...


... middle of paper ...


...port Sethe, and in return, Sethe chooses to accept their healing attempts and walks away from Beloved.


 Slavery is and will always be within Sethe.  She was born a slave and raised a slave.  Crossing a river to freedom doesn’t change the torturous bonds of slavery.  The emotional barriers slavery places on people leave different effects but one thing remains common: the feeling of no self-worth.  Not all people are as lucky as Sethe to have people in their lives that help to overcome such obstacles.  With the help of Amy, Denver, Baby Suggs, Paul D, and others along her journey, Sethe is able to overcome the impossible and move on from her past with a life of love and acceptance.

Works Cited

Furman, Jan. Toni Morrison's Fiction. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York, Penguin Books USA Inc, 1998.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Toni Morrison's Beloved - ... However, given the depth of Sethe’s denial, this harsh course of action is necessary to force her to begin healing her mental wounds. Beloved and Sethe’s relationship can be described with an African term called Àjéj. This term loosely describes a destructive, but healing, force which perfectly describes Beloved’s method to heal Sethe. Teresa N. Washington, a professor, released a paper analyzing the Àjéj relationship between Sethe and Beloved. By ripping the proverbial band aid off of Sethe’s mental wounds, Beloved forces Sethe to recognize how deeply her past traumas affected her....   [tags: story analysis]
:: 3 Works Cited
874 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Character of Beloved in Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay - The Character of Beloved in Toni Morrison's Beloved Perhaps one of the most important issues in Toni Morrison's award-winning novel Beloved is Morrison's intentional diversity of possible interpretations. However the text is looked at and analyzed, it is the variety of these multiple meanings that confounds any simple interpretation and gives the novel the complexity. The debate rages on over many topics, but one issue of central and basic importance to the understanding of the novel is defining the different possibilities for interpreting the title character....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2498 words
(7.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Toni Morrison's Beloved - Symbol and Symbolism in Beloved - Symbolism in Beloved    In the novel Beloved, the author, Toni Morrison, attempts to promote a variety of different themes and ideas by symbolizing them in minor events and situations.  This symbolism is evident throughout the entire novel and is very crucial to the understanding and analyzing of the text.  A good example of this is the ice skating scene.  Morrison uses this scene to represent the slow, but consistent, deterioration of the family living in 124 and to foreshadow the ultimate demise of the family unit.  Morrison writes repeatedly, “Nobody saw them falling,” yet in all reality they were falling, and falling fast (Morrison 174).  There are a number of details, including the...   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1559 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Analysis of Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay - Analysis of Toni Morrison's Beloved Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Beloved, is a historical novel that serves as a memorial for those who died during the perils of slavery. The novel serves as a voice that speaks for the silenced reality of slavery for both men and women. Morrison in this novel gives a voice to those who were denied one, in particular African American women. It is a novel that rediscovers the African American experience. The novel undermines the conventional idea of a story’s time scheme....   [tags: Beloved Toni Morrison Literature Essays] 4384 words
(12.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Foreshadowing in Toni Morrison's Beloved - Foreshadowing - Foreshadowing in Beloved In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison addresses many broad themes and issues that are continually reoccurring throughout the book. Morrison uses each one of the characters to aid in the development of her novel. Sethe, Denver, and Beloved, all main characters in this book, represent many of the large issues. One of the major themes in the novel is portrayed with the falling of Beloved, Sethe, and Denver in the ice-skating scene. In the second section of Beloved, Morrison uses the dramatic ice-skating scene to foreshadow the deterioration of the relationships with in the family that occurs with the loss of Sethe's job....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays] 917 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Toni Morrison's Beloved - Bold but Unsuccessful - The Bold but Unsuccessful Beloved Toni Morrison's fifth novel, Beloved, a vividly unconventional family saga, is set in Ohio in the mid 1880s. By that time slavery had been shattered by the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the succeeding constitutional amendments, though daily reality for the freed slaves continued to be a matter of perpetual struggle, not only with segregation and its attendant insults, but the curse of memory. Morrison's heroine, Sethe, is literally haunted - by the baby daughter she killed in a gesture of terrible mercy, when threatened with recapture after her escape....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays] 736 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved - The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved        Toni Morrison's Beloved - a novel that addresses the cruelties that result from slavery.  Morrison depicts the African American's quest for a new life while showing the difficult task of escaping the past.  The African American simply wants to claim freedom and create a sense of community.  In Beloved, the characters suffer not from slavery itself, but as a result of slavery - that is to say the pain occurs as they reconstruct themselves, their families, and their communities only "after the devastation of slavery" (Kubitschek 115).  Throughout the novel, Morrison utilizes color as a symbolic tool to represent a free, safe, happy l...   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1890 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Toni Morrison's Beloved - The Prophetic Healer Essay - The Prophetic Healer of Beloved In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison creates Amy Denver’s character to serve as a prophetic healer. Amy speaks directly to Jesus, recites prophetic like wisdom, and possesses strange abilities to create good. Amy Denver was sent by a higher power to ensure that Sethe reached her well-deserved freedom; their meeting was anything but coincidental. We are introduced to Amy Denver indirectly by Beloved’s curiosity. Perhaps Beloved wants to know just how this happy-go-lucky individual came about....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays] 1173 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Ghost of Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay examples - The Ghost of Beloved One of the most engaging arguments about Toni Morrison’s book Beloved is centered around the nature of the girl Beloved. The argument is whether Beloved is simply a young woman who herself had suffered the horrors of slavery, or the ghost of Sethe’s crawling already. baby girl. The evidence shows that Morrison intended Beloved to be the ghost of the crawling already. girl. It has been said that there are basically two reasons why ghosts walk: they have either unfinished business to attend to of have died a very violent death....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays] 1501 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved - Memory in Toni Morrison's Beloved     Memories are works of fiction, selective representations of experiences actual or imagined. They provide a framework for creating meaning in one's own life as well as in the lives of others. In Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, memory is a dangerous and debilitating faculty of human consciousness. Sethe endures the tyranny of the self imposed prison of memory. She expresses an insatiable obsession with her memories, with the past. Sethe is compelled to explore and explain an overwhelming sense of yearning, longing, thirst for something beyond herself, her daughter, her Beloved....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved memorybel]
:: 2 Works Cited
803 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]