Comparison Of William Faulkner's Beloved And Absalom

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Beloved written by Toni Morrison in 1987 and Absalom, Absalom written by William Faulkner in 1936 have similar characteristics. The two novels discuss race relations in the South and how they affect everyone involved. Beloved tells the story of an ex-slave named Sethe and her daughter Denver. They live in a house which is haunted by the ghost of Sethe’s child, named Beloved. Beloved comes back to haunt the family in human form and tries to tear the family apart. In the end, the neighborhood, who abandoned the family many years before, comes back to exorcise the baby ghost and rid the family of all of its misfortune. Absalom, Absalom is about a man named Thomas Sutpen who comes to Mississippi in search of wealth and a woman who will give…show more content…
Beloved is told by an ex-slave, while Absalom, Absalom is told by family members that came from slave owning families. Sethe embodies the psychological trauma of slavery, which could be found in many slaves throughout America. Sethe made the consequences of slavery well known by emphasizing that, “freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another” (Morrison, p. 95). This statement clarifies that even once a slave was free, he or she still felt captured and it was hard to break free of those chains that held them there for so long. The mental drain that is caused by slavery parallels the suffering and loss that the slave community had to endure for so long, which made it difficult for them to ever feel like real human beings. When Thomas Sutpen was young, he went to a wealthy white family’s home to delver something, but when he knocked a slave told him he had to come around to the back door. This door was reserved for slaves, so when he heard this it destroyed him on the inside. He had always been raised to believe he was better than African Americans, so this gave him the drive to accomplish many things so he could be considered better than even most white people. His ambition led to his demise which Mrs. Rosa Coldfield described like this, “He had been too successful, you see; his was that solitude…show more content…
Paul D, a man who was a slave with Sethe, came to visit her once they had both been set free. They fell in love with each other but Paul D’s self defense strategy was, “to love just a little bit; everything just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croker sack, well, maybe you’d have a little left over” (Morrison, 1987, p. 45). The impact that slavery had left on him led to him picking up his stuff and leaving for good when something went wrong. Paul D felt that he never had a chance at pure happiness because everything decent that came into his life was always snatched away, which told him he was never good enough. This destroyed him on the inside and kept him on the run, constantly searching for a life that did not exist. In Absalom, Absalom, Thomas Sutpen had a child with a woman that he was in love with. Soon after this, he discovered that the woman was partially African and he denounced his son and the mother and ran away. His life could have been incredible if he had not been worried about the race of the lady, but he looked down upon anyone of a different race. Quentin, one of the narrators, describes Sutpen’s reasoning by stating that, “the brain recalls just what the muscles grope for: no more, no less; and its resultant sum is usually incorrect and false” (Faulkner, p. 134). What a person has been raised up
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