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Toni Morrison's Beloved - Symbol and Symbolism of Color

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The symbolic Use of Color in Beloved

In the novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison uses color to show the reactions of some of the main characters. Color represents many things in the book. Freedom is an example because once the slaves were free, they noticed the beautiful colors all over. They see that the world is not just black and white and two different races, there are many beautiful things that were unnoticed. When Baby Suggs was free, she was able to spread happiness and joy to the community. When the community did not accept that, she fell into depression, but still enjoys freedom, in a different way, more by herself than with others. It was when she wanted to see bright colors. She loved color. In his journey to the north, Paul D. was told to follow the flowers. Flowers are known to be bright, beautiful plants. Many colors symbolize Paul D.’s trail to freedom. Morrison uses colors such as orange, lavender, and pink, in Beloved to represent the freedom. She uses red to represent death. Baby Suggs, Sethe, Denver, and Paul D all have had experiences where intense colors have either warned them or effected their lives forever.

Baby Suggs is a very inspirational character in Beloved. She has a very warm heart and she wants her family to enjoy their new freedom. They accepted her in the community around 124, until she is betrayed. She then falls in a deep depression. It is described by Morrison as, “Her past had been like her present-intolerable-and since she knew death was anything but forgiveness, she used the little energy left for pondering color.” (4) She always asked Sethe for lavender and pink. They are very bright and cheerfulness to her last days. The colors represented her indivi...

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...epresented the woman in Sethe’s past, and that made her feel complete again. She was also starting to enjoy her freedom of life for the first time. This was the only time Morrison made Sethe look happy and confident. This confidence did not last a long time for her, but she expressed it by using bright and cheerful colors in clothing and nature.

Bright and beautiful colors brought the family together in Beloved. It represents freedom and experiences that each of them shared together or apart. The color red is a symbol on death and evil in the book. Paul D. is one who received many “red” warnings at 124, before he realized the evil in the house. Paul D. is one who received many “red” warnings at 124, before he realized the evil that is contained in that house. In the novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison uses vibrant colors bring out the liveliness in 124.
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