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In one example, Sethe enjoys a moment of respite, imagining the soothing hands of her deceased mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, massaging her neck, a moment that turns to alarm when she is choked - by the hands of Beloved.“For eighteen years she had lived in a house full of touches from the other side. You can use this password for unlimited period and you can share it with your friends!
No matter how horrific or emotionally damaging, it cannot be changed.
What we chose to do with this memory of the past will shape our future.
Sethe knows they have come to take her and the children back to Kentucky and she tries to kill her children in an act that can only be described as an attempt to save them from the cruelty that she knew awaited them there.
Unfortunately, at least in terms of Sethe’s initial objective, she is only successful in killing her oldest daughter who is not yet two years old.
The manner in which the dead child is named is, in itself, an indication of the desperation and resignation that follows slavery.
When Sethe cannot afford the humiliation or the cost to have a full epithet engraved on the child’s headstone, she must settle for only one word - Beloved. Once her boys had left her and Baby Suggs had passed on, Sethe and her daughter were left alone to wage “a perfunctory battle against the outrageous behavior of the house, against turned-over slop jars and gusts of sour air."The future was sunset; the past something to leave behind.And if it didn't stay behind, well, you might have to stomp it out.The conclusion is prefaced by the consensus of the community to forgive Sethe’s crime, to “turn infanticide and the cry of savagery around and build a further case for abolishing slavery”.As Sethe prepares to finally part with the ghost of slavery that has haunted her for so many years, Beloved is revealed as wearing “vines of hair twisted all over her head”.Although the ghost that haunts the house at 124 is not acknowledged by the name Beloved until she manifests herself in the form of a young woman, she is early on and although unseen immediately recognized as Sethe’s dead baby daughter because of the misery she creates. For they understood the source of the outrage as well as they knew the source of light”.“Who could have thought that a little old baby could harbor so much rage? The use of Beloved as the symbol of bondage incarnate has implications for several of the novel’s characters however for none as much as for Sethe.I had learned and educated myself very thoroughly Others are constantly clinging to it as Denver does.Both methods prove to be emotionally unhealthy for the characters throughout the course of the book, and in the end they learn the best way to deal with this.Slave life; freed life-every day was a test and a trial.Nothing could be counted on in a world where even when you were a solution you were a problem"1 The past is something that, without clinical illness, is impossible to forget.