Characters of Beloved
Characters of Beloved
Sethe is a hardened but loving woman. Her memories of the brutality she suffered as a slave corrupt her everyday life and lead her to conclude that past trauma can never really be forgotten; it reveals itself at every chance. She thus spends her life attempting to avoid encounters with her past. The quality that best describes Sethe in my mind is persistence. Her constant devotion to Denver and her ability to function daily with her ever-present mind-scars shows an inspirational inner strength. Also, the act of attempting to kill you're children to prevent their suffering is proof of her devotion to her children's wellbeing (though obviously questionable to say the least) and her hatred of the slavery that has destroyed her life. So in respect to this, I compare Sethe to a salmon swimming upstream; in that her struggle is tremendous and her strength unparalleled.
This power in this book is defined in the suggestion and allusiveness of the writing. The epitome of this is provided in the character Beloved. Beloved's true purpose in this book is never directly expressed, but throughout the book there are clues that lead you to believe that Beloved is a representation of the past that has come to bring reconciliation to those who suffered at Sweet Home. Beloved's presence and persona can be described as therapeutic. This is because of her ability to be a good listener and someone that you can confide in, as well as doing things to achieve a beneficial reaction out of people. I see Beloved as a messenger from God, so it would be hard to say that she loves or hates
anything; she is simply an entity with a purpose. Beloved could be symbolized as a biographical mirror, because she forces you to confront yourself and as long as she is there you can not forget you're past.
Denver is introduced as a fragile creature that is dependant upon close attention. Though she is a young adult in age, she shows much immaturity in her tentative self-image and her fear of the world outside of their house. She becomes aggravated at anyone that disrupts her bond with her mother, because Sethe is her whole world. But as circumstances in the house become more irritating, Denver finally musters the courage to venture outside of 124. The change that she displays in this book requires the quality of courage, because that is what it takes to venture away from all that you have known your entire life in order to find yourself. Denver's actions are driven mostly by the necessity of self-fulfillment, but lead her to dispatch of her resentment of all that is not Seethe and to embrace the outside world and the people in it. Denver can be symbolized as an escaped prisoner; after deciding to leave her familiar domain she is in awe of the possibilities and beauty of the world that has been right outside her door the whole time.