Blog #4 Sethe
Sethe is the heart of Beloved. I believe Sethe represents all of the mothers who were in slavery. These ladies had to be strong and endure so many hardships that is really beyond our comprehension. Sethe’s real since of being was challenged by the treatment she received from Schoolteacher. Sethe already knew the savagery that slavery held but she met it head on with Schoolteacher and his nephews. She knew that they already thought of her as an animal. Beloved gives us a small view of what life was like for a woman slave. Sethe was a protective mom that loved her children dearly. Her later actions do not sound like it but she did what she felt like she had to do. She was terrified when Schoolteacher and his nephews found her and her children and she knew they would go back to the plantation and if they did she knew from her painful experiences. One experience was when Schoolteacher let his nephews hold her down and sucked the milk from her breast when she was pregnant. As a woman I can not begin to imagine the pain and humiliation she felt. They were brutal to her and as I said before they thought of her as an animal. Then when they opened up her back, oh my gosh, can you imagine the extreme pain that would have been to have left scars. I have some small scars and when I was cut it hurt real bad but to have been purposely cut open and you know it did not heal right without the proper stuff to keep it clean, it just upset me to think about all of it. Anyway, so she was their with her children and all she could think about was getting her children out of the hell hole called slavery and the only way she could think of doing it was killing them and letting them go to a better place. Do I think this was rational thinking, no, but nothing about the situation was rational. When she killed her daughter she had to have been hysterical with fright and worry for her children. So, she killed the one child and the others survived. She no doubt is tormented by what she has done. Eighteen years pass, Baby Suggs, Sethe, and Denver are living at 124. Strange things keep happening in the house. Dishes break, glass breaks, and things move. It is not unusual for slaves to think about spirits because that was a belief from Africa. This spirit or ghost seem upset. Because of what Sethe had done people did not like her nor her daughter so Denver stayed at home. Denver sort of befriends the ghost. When Sethe becomes reaquainted with Paul D from Sweet Home Plantation we see the ghost get upset and get angry. Paul D. shows her how to feel like a woman again and shows her he cares for her. The jealous ghost becomes flesh and shows up to destroy her relationship with Paul D. Sethe feels so guilty about her past that she treats this person called Beloved as a queen, buying her things when the money should go for food. Sethe comes very close to loosing her mind, which many slaves did. If it had not been for Denver leaving 124 and letting someone know what was going on, Sethe would have completely lost her mind. She was letting Beloved run her life to the point that she was exhausted. Paul D. had caved in and had a sexual relationship with Beloved and Beloved told him what Sethe had done eighteen years ago. Paul leaves. Here is Sethe very fragile. The women from the community come and it sounds like some type of excorcism was done when they sang in the yard of 124 because Beloved just disapprears from sight. Of course this could have been a good what to leave the story open for the next book by Morrison. So, when Beloved leaves, it seems Sethe is able to begin to heal and Paul D. returns to her. I am so thankful that Toni Morrison wrote Beloved. Slavery was a dark part of our history and I think we really need to understand all we can about it so we can prevent something like this happing again. We must also be informed about the countries that still have slavery. We can not keep our heads in the sand. With the foreign countries that approve of or turn their heads the other direction, we have to be so careful not to become one of their tools to keep the trade going.