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Word Count: 1,634
For Morrison history is a subject that she often reflects upon in the novel Beloved One obvious connection between history and her novel is the inescapable horror of slavery and the impact it has on the characters especially Sethe At first glance the tree on Sethes back appears to represent nothing more than scars from a past beating However when analyzed more closely the tree illustrates the need for characters to cope with the past in order to progress into the future It is explained in the book that Sethe was robbed of the very breast milk which was meant for her young baby She was caught and whipped by the school-teachers boys of the plantation who left her with a tree on her back a physical scar a metaphorical reminder of her sorrow p15 17 This sorrow which the tree represents can be seen through the character of Beloved As soon as Sethe was reunited with Beloved in the North she was able to let her nurse she enclosed her left nipple with two fingers of her right hand and the child opened her mouth They hit home together p94 The importance of nursing as a bond between mothers and daughters is stressed throughout the book when for example Sethes mother went back in rice and Sethe sucked from another woman whose job it was p60 The inhumanity of slavery is given power through this distinct example The emptiness of Sethes relationship with her mother increased her maternal compulsions for her own children Her need to protect them went so far as to murdering the crawling already baby because her desire to save her children from receiving the white mans mark was stronger than her humanity The baby was brutally murdered and buried under the headstone Beloved Beloveds true importance lies in her ability to affect Sethe The crawling already baby is related to painful memories and Beloved personifies the present pain
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