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Word Count: 750
I chose to focus this optional journal on metal one of the motifs Morrison uses throughout the text of Beloved Morrison uses this common substance metal to illustrate her themes involving slavery and emotional repression If you think about metal and the images that it can bring to mind you begin to see Morrisons intent Metal is a basic element with an abundance of characteristics that add to the emotional might of its symbolism Metal can restrain and stifle it is at once strong and unbreakable its very color evokes winter themesdreary chilly gray and dark Morrison wants readers to subtly evoke these images each time they read a word or sentence that includes some form of metal Morrison takes particular care in surrounding the character of Paul D with this form of imagery Through Morrison we learn that Paul Ds heart is a tobacco tin Morrison details the lid rusted shut showing the bottling up of Paul Ds emotions By the time he got to 124 nothing could pry it open Morrison uses tin to describe Paul Ds heart which has become a sort of metal vault where he keeps all that he does not wish to think about We learn too through this imagery that this form of repression takes work It was some time before he could put Alfred Georgia Sixo schoolteacher Halle his brothers Sethe Mister the taste of iron the sight of butter the smell of hickory notebook paper one by one into the tobacco tin lodged in his chest If we think about Morrisons choice of metal for Pauls heart tin perhaps this was carefully selected Tin suggests a metal that is cold and rigid but not inflexible So from the beginning readers are subtly aware that there is hope for Paul Ds heart but the hope doesnt come from a likely source although nothing Morrison does is predictable He
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