Foreshadowing in Beloved
In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison addresses many broad themes and issues that are continually reoccurring throughout the book. Morrison uses each one of the characters to aid in the development of her novel. Sethe, Denver, and Beloved, all main characters in this book, represent many of the large issues. One of the major themes in the novel is portrayed with the falling of Beloved, Sethe, and Denver in the ice-skating scene. In the second section of Beloved, Morrison uses the dramatic ice-skating scene to foreshadow the deterioration of the relationships with in the family that occurs with the loss of Sethe's job.
The ice-skating scene begins with Sethe, Denver, and Beloved heading out to the pond for a day of skating and entertainment. Since there is only one set of skates and one extra one, Beloved, the spoiled child, wore the pair, and Denver wore one skate, while gliding over the treacherous ice. Sethe wore her shoes and thought they would hold her up. The three women skated, "holding hands, bracing each other, and swirling over the ice" (Morrison 174). In this quote, Morrison describes the family bond that is present for the first time in the novel. This connection between Sethe, Denver, and Beloved is evident when the willingness to embrace one another in their arms is a natural reaction that occurs. The three women seem to be helping each other stay upright on the ice, yet with every tumble it delighted them even more. They all screamed with laughter as they skated over the slippery ice. Holding hands, "making a circle or a line, the three of them could not stay upright for one whole...
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...b, "Sethe played all the harder with Beloved, who never got enough of anything: lullabies, new stitches, the bottom of the cake bowl, and the top of the milk"(240). Beloved always got her way because Sethe was sure to give in to Beloved's every wish. The relationships with in the family had begun to fall apart.
In this novel, the ice-skating scene foreshadows two main events that occur in the last section of "Beloved". The termination of Sethe's job and deterioration of the family relationships are great examples that demonstrate how the ice-skating scene was foreshadowing. The destruction and turmoil that occurs within the final section of "Beloved" come as no surprise too close readers. The foreshadowing was a clue that was revealed.
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