Comparing Beloved and Night

Comparing Beloved and Night

The two novels I am writing about are "Night" by Elie Wiesel and "Beloved," by Toni Morrison. Beloved tells about slavery and an ex-slave mother's struggle with a past which is projected as the haunting of her people. It tells the story of Sethe, a mother compelled to kill her child, rather than let the child live a life of slavery. Toni Morrison uses ghosts and the supernatural to create an enhanced acceptance of the human condition and the struggled survival of the Black American.

The novel is set in Ohio in the 1880's. The Civil War had been won, slavery had been abolished, however, the memories of slavery still remain. Although the story itself is fictional, the novel is based on real events. The events are based on the trial in Cincinnati of Margaret Garner, who with her husband, and seventeen other slaves (Kentuckian) crossed the Ohio where they supposedly found safe shelter.

When it was discovered that they had been pursued and surrounded, and her husband overpowered, Margaret knew that any hope of freedom was in vain. She refused to see her children taken back into slavery. Without delay, Margaret quickly took hold of a butcher's knife which was laid on a table and cut the throat of her young daughter. She then attempted to kill her other children as well, then herself, but she was overpowered and held back before she could follow through. She was arrested and put on trial on the grounds that the child she killed was the legal property of the owner.

In Beloved, when a new proprietor takes over Sweet Home (the slave farm), Sethe, escapes the brutal beatings she now endures in an attempt to go from Kentucky to Ohio. When the pr...

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...took part in the holocaust had no other choice. They had families to take care of and home lives just like the rest of us. For example, I believe that many of the soldiers who took part in the Holocaust were forced through military responsibility or face treason or death. These soldiers have to live with themselves knowing they killed millions of innocent people. When an order is given, an order must be carried out. Many soldiers had no choice, but to kill, or be killed.

We are all human beings. We all have feelings, and families whom we love. Sometimes the force behind the brutality is too powerful to disobey, and people (soldiers, the white man, the Americans and Hiroshima, etc., etc.) have no choice but to obey, or face the consequences. In the military you don't question an order; you just do it (as in Othello and Billy Budd).
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