Role Of Beloved In The Novel
Beloved is the reason why everything in this novel transpires. Beloved’s death caused the townspeople to stay away from 124, transmuted Sethe holistically, and the other characters too. Beloved scared the townspeople enough to not come close to the house since her death and reappearance.
She also ruined Sethe by draining her energy and rewiring her emotionally. The other characters in the novel like Paul D and Denver were also greatly affected by Beloved. Sethe once free, was at 124 with all her children. One day Schoolteacher and other white men go to 124 to take Sethe’s kids and introduce them to slavery but Sethe does the unpredictable. She goes quickly to kill her children before Schoolteacher and the other white men arrive and take her children. She only has enough time to kill one and the unfortunate one is Beloved. Beloved’s murder is what keeps everyone in town away from 124 even though they have great memories there. That’s why no one visits Sethe and Denver and they eventually become very antisocial and isolated from everyone. Later after Beloved returns from the dead, they are even more scared. That is why towards the end, a group of women come together at 124 to expel Beloved from there. They want to help Sethe and stop that deep feeling of emptiness and sorrow that is felt just by passing by.
Beloved is the main reason why Sethe is the way she is. Sethe is guilty since she is the one that murdered Beloved. According to Sethe, she did it to save her from slavery and keep her safe. Since the occurrence, she feels guilty and the past has been haunting her the entire time, even when Beloved arrives at 124. That being said, Beloved takes advantage of Sethe in every way she sees possible. When she first arrives at 124, Sethe immediately feels an attachment towards her just by knowing her name. After Beloved is taken in by Sethe and given food, water, and shelter, Beloved begins to have an unhealthy and parasitical attachment towards her. She is constantly with Sethe and won’t let her do much around the house. Coming towards the end of the novel, Sethe becomes Beloved’s servant. Beloved seems to be unpleasable and have an abundant desire for food. Sethe loses her job and leaves chores at home undone in order to keep Beloved comfortable and fulfill her demands. She drains Sethe’s energy and food resources while Sethe and Denver eat almost nothing. Beloved becomes fat and weak as if she were pregnant from all the food she eats and Sethe provides her. Sethe becomes tired of Beloved’s demands at times and tries to tell her how she suffered as a mother for her and the other children. Beloved seems to not be affected by Sethe’s words and reverses the entire conversation towards Sethe.
Beloved blames her about leaving her behind and killing her. As Sethe hears that, she tries to explain why and tries to please her even more since she feels guilty for her actions. Beloved seems to win everytime and always gets what she wants. As we can see, Beloved has great power over Sethe in order to get what she wants. Beloved changes Sethe completely without her noticing. We can almost say that she’s back into slavery but this time with her own child. Sethe doesn’t seem to be the only character to be affected by Beloved and her actions. Paul D and Denver are both uncomforted by Beloved throughout the novel at different times. Paul D immediately feels perturbed when seeing Beloved for the first time and later on, just by being around her. It’s inexplicable. Paul D one day feels the urge to leave the house because of great uncomfort but doesn’t want to leave forever because he actually loves Sethe and wants to stay with her.
Because of that he goes to sleep at the cold house but Beloved goes and seduces Paul D against his will. Paul D has sex with Beloved but he didn’t want to. He later leaves 124 in order to get away from everything that has to do with Beloved and Sethe’s past. Denver on the other hand is impacted by Beloved differently but ends up with the same result. When Beloved arrived at 124, Denver became attached to Beloved thinking she was the reincarnation of her sister. Denver began to ignore and not care about Denver while Denver was on her tail at all times. This whole time Denver believes Sethe is the problem because she killed Beloved in the first place and as time passes by Beloved and Sethe begin to fight constantly. We can see right here that Beloved is such a strong and manipulative character that she can put a family against each other. Times passes by and Denver sees that it’s all the way around. Beloved is the problem and Sethe is the victim. Beloved had Denver blinded thinking her own mother was the problem. Somehow, Denver wasn’t able to see Beloved’s manipulations towards her mother and Paul D.
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