A Comparison of Freedom in Beloved and Secrets and Lies

2262 Words10 Pages
Finding Freedom in Beloved and Secrets and Lies What is freedom? Freedom is the ability for every individual to have complete control of his life, the ability to make his own decisions. From the moment an individual wakes up in the morning to the moment he lays back down to sleep in the evening, thousands, if not millions, of choices have been made. Some of these choices have had negative consequences, and some of these choices have had positive consequences, but regardless of the outcome, there remained the freedom of choice. Too often, ones’ freedoms are encroached upon by someone or something else This encroachment can be both physical and emotional. Such circumstances can be very difficult to deal with and often times lead to hardship and emotional trauma. Sometimes it takes an external force or personality to come forward to help survive such instances. Such a scenario exists in both Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved and in the movie Secrets and Lies. In both stories, there is a family disturbed by circumstances from the past and in response a character “from the past” comes back and helps to mend the somber situation, helps to free them from the past. In Beloved, a slave by the name of Sethe escapes with her children from the dark and dismal environment of plantation life to the bright and carefree environment of freedom. From being shackled and torn from her family, to having her breasts sucked dry of milk by white plantation owners, Sethe has survived too many horrific situations and witnessed too many inhumane acts on her fellow man. In order to deal with such pain and the resulting bitterness, she tries to forget, tries to hide the memories deep down in her self. Sethe refers to these as “rememories.” Living on a plantation and being a slave, Sethe had experienced first hand what it was like to be deprived of nearly all freedoms. Deprived of the opportunity to make her own choices and decisions, as well as the deprivation of love, it appears the only thing Sethe was not deprived of was bitterness and hatred. Thus, after escaping the captivity, the only life she had ever known, freedom was pure heaven. For twenty eight days, she and her four children lived in a state of bliss. Unfortunately for them, this freedom was short lived. On that twenty eighth day, as Sethe and her children worked in the yard, the white plantation owner, known as School Teacher, approached Sethe’s house in search of his lost slaves.
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