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Word Count: 609
Toni Morrison enhances the effectiveness of Beloved with symbolism This symbolism has a myriad of origins as well as forms Number symbols come from astrological sources while characters names are allusions from ancient Egyptian mythology the Bible and African culture Furthermore important color symbols are discernible throughout the novel From the very beginning of Beloved the number 124 is distinguishable In fact it appears as the first character of each book of the novel As the address of the home where most of the plot takes place this number is extremely important According to astrology the numbers 1 3 7 and 22 are ascribed with magical powers Samuels 135 These magical powers are said to be symbols of completion and creation 124 fits this astrological delineation because the sum of the three digits in the number add up to the aforementioned 7 In addition a significant association among characters in the novel is in the form of three people -- Sethe Beloved and Denver Secondly the name of the protagonist of the novel Sethe is associated with one of the major gods of ancient Egypt and the Biblical Seth who was the child of Adam and Eve Samuels 136 This Egyptian god was part man and part animal or bird which explains the animal imagery surrounding Sethe in the novel For example when explaining her secret about Beloved to Paul D Sethe is described as if she is a circling falcon or bird Morrison writes She just flewand the hummingbird wings beat on 163 The name Sethe is also unique as a name for a female slave because it is derived from the names of Egyptian and Biblical males Morrison uses the name to add to the masculinity of Sethes character Sethes ability to overcome overwhelming tragedies and challenges such as her escape from slavery in Kentucky and the murder of her child identifies her with this quality Additionally
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