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Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Beloved by Toni Morrison X
Beloved by Toni Morrison
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 360 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 352 pages

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There are currently 4 reader reviews for Beloved
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Bedur Alshrif

Beloved
While reading Beloved, I found myself enjoying Morrison's eloquence. Although the book is set in the 1800s, I found myself understanding it easily after I got the timelines. She drew me in and made my experience what the characters were going through. She made me judge Setha, Beloved and Paul D, which is weird since they all had different beliefs. I would like to analyze it in class and understand it better in terms of symbols and characterization.

I found it a little bit challenging because of the timelines and the flashbacks employed to discuss the character's past. However, as I progressed, it was easy to understand the order of events. I found Sethe's character to be fascinating because she was dealing with so much and it was not clear whether to blame her, understand her or empathize with her. Some archetypes in the novel are the mother archetype, rebirth and the child archetype.
Theresa Bradley

A Classic in Any Eye
Though slavery was over long before I was even thought of, the book Beloved by Toni Morrison carried me back to some of the darkest years in world history. Sethe, the main character, escapes slavery and has to deal with the personal trauma in which the years of abuse –physically, mentally and sexually—caused her to withdraw inside. Along with her remaining family member –and child—Sethe crosses her path with her past on several occasions and is forced to make difficult decisions.

The first time Sethe is “met by her past” a tragic incident ensues that ends with the loss of her child. After, in constant reminder, it’s as if the house has come alive through a poltergeist –her dead child? Years later, when her past comes trailing again, it’s as if her lost child is coming back to her. Beloved is one of the most intriguing characters in the story. Is she really a reincarnate of her Sethe’s daughter, or some estranged girl they found who washed up from the river?

Beloved does not end there with its list of amazingly complex characters. Paul D, the brother of Sethe’s “deceased” husband finds Sethe after years of slavery and jail time. He usually finds himself roaming, never in one place too long until Sethe. Although Sethe is the very symbol of the past he wants to forget, Paul D is drawn to her past, present and future and fights for the family he believes he already has.

I believe the larger theme of this story is about becoming a stronger person by letting go of your past and fighting for a future. Every character in this story has a personal struggle that they have experienced that surmounts any that I have ever heard of – throwing slavery (even the fear of slavery) into the mix. Each of these characters, in the end, found a way to better their lives and unite as a family, a people, and even a town.

Beloved takes you into the horrifying truths of slavery in the United States. Clear pictures are drawn for you as you find your favorite characters hurt time and time again. To learn for yourself just how gruesome slavery was on the individual slaves and the consequences it had not only on that individual but their family, friends and community, read Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Mainali R. K.

Heart Touchability
The renown masterpiece 'BELOVED' by Toni Morison is a heart touching piece of art about blacks and the treatment done by whites. This novel clearly and vividly portrays the miserable condition of Negroes. It also makes the reader aware about the slavery system of blacks. Settee's father had been working in the baby Sugs home for ages, but he himself doesn't know how much money and matter he had borrowed from masters. Hundreds of years have passed but the same slavery system couldn't have removed. Generation after generation passed but the system couldn't change. Same fate have been faced by Seethe. She believes that she will not give birth to any child. She even killed her own child instead of dying multiples by master later, now as she is dying.
John

A Disturbing Book with no Literary Merit
This is essentially one of the worst books I've ever read in my entire life. The slavery element has been pounded into a pulp in American history. What about native americans- what about heroes/legends like Davey Crocket that killed thousands of them?

If you don't enjoy a fictional book what is the point in reading it. Point being, I can read a miserable book about anything. It makes me feel awful, not much else. In addition, I think Morrison may have a lot of built up sexual frustration or something, because the first chapter starts out with bestiality and it seems to get worse from there. It is a disgusting book.

In addition to the content, there is nothing that ever made me want to keep reading it. Often times the plot will just completely go off trail and make you wonder what it has to do with anything. I found myself stopping several times to slap myself and make sure I was actually reading the right book. In essence, the book goes so off topic that its hard for readers to take anything out of it...

Come on, slavery still exists today in some countries. What does Morisson know that makes her perception of slavery more or less credible than anyone elses, and why feel miserable about something you didn't cause or condone. If we want to feel sorry for people and focus on the past, there are billions of others we could focus on all day who aren't actually fictional characters with really dramatic lives. (I'd say the same thing about watching a reality show)
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