The Importance Of Love In Toni Morrison's Beloved

1585 Words7 Pages
In Toni Morrison’s Beloved, love proves to be a dangerous and destructive force. Upon learning that Sethe killed her daughter, Beloved, Paul D warns Sethe “Your love is too thick” (193). Morrison proved this statement to be true, as Sethe’s intense passion for her children lead to the loss of her grasp on reality. Each word Morrison chose is deliberate, and each sentence is structured with meaning, which is especially evident in Paul D’s warning to Sethe. Morrison’s use of the phrase “too thick”, along with her short yet powerful sentence structure make this sentence the most prevalent and important in her novel. This sentence supports Paul D’s side on the bitter debate between Sethe and he regarding the theme of love. While Sethe asserts that the only way to love is to do so passionately, Paul D cites the danger in slaves loving too much. Morrison uses a metaphor comparing Paul D’s capacity to love to a tobacco tin rusted shut. This metaphor demonstrates how Paul D views love in a descriptive manner, its imagery allowing the reader to visualize and thus understand Paul D’s point of view. In this debate, Paul D proves to be right in that Sethe’s strong love eventually hurts her, yet Paul D ends up unable to survive alone. Thus, Morrison argues that love is necessary to the human condition, yet it is destructive and consuming in nature. She does so through the powerful diction and short syntax in Paul D’s warning, her use of the theme love, and a metaphor for Paul D’s heart. Paul D’s assertion that Sethe’s “love is too thick” is complex and powerful, as a result of Morrison’s use of short syntax and carefully selected diction (193). Short sentences are often perceived as simple, but in Morrison’s style of writing this is far from... ... middle of paper ... ...ck” proves this, since it is short yet compelling (193). The choice of the phrase ‘too thick” suggests that Paul D opposes Sethe’s excessive love, which is supported in Morrison’s uses of the theme love. This universal theme allows readers to connect with the characters and comprehend Morrison’s message that love is destructive. Paul D knows this, and attempts to suppress his feelings in a metaphorical tobacco tin heart. This metaphor uses imagery to help the reader understand Paul D’s beliefs and emotional state. Yet Paul D is unable to suppress his feelings entirely, and eventually opens his heart to love. Morrison crafts her argument through the use of a short statement with powerful structure and word choice, the theme of love, and a metaphor for Paul D’s heart, working together to prove that love is dangerous, consuming, and necessary to the human condition.
Open Document