By being a slave, Paul D is dehumanized and striped of his identity as a person. With the Garners he had a degree of free will, he could move around to an extent. When the Schoolteacher takes over this small liberty is taken away from him. He is treated like a horse, used for labor and then confined when not needed. He is not trusted or listened to or least of all respected. When he has a bit placed into his mouth it is as though he is an inanimate object or less than an animal. P...
... middle of paper ...
...’t have to be.
The dehumanization of the characters in Beloved did not happen by accident. The system of slavery cannot produce any other results. When a human lives a constrained life lacking in free will they will inevitably begin to lose what makes them a human. This is also because the white people believe them to be close to animals in the first place. In their eyes the slaves are much less than the humans they are and as a result the white man’s image is impressed upon the slaves. Not only is this how the slave owners thought, but after time the slaves began to believe it themselves. Both Sethe and Paul D fell as though they are less than human. They could actually be losing their human characteristics or only feel that way because that’s what they've been told their whole lives.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved: A Novel. New York: Random, 1987. Print.
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