Do we all have ghosts?

In Tony Morrison’s “Beloved”, the character Beloved is a ghost who represents the stories and traumas of her mother, Sethe, who has suffered a horrible past. However, at first this isn’t clear to the reader. We know that Beloved is this random person and if you are paying attention then you very quickly realize that she is Sethe’s daughter and that she is a ghost. But as the story develops further and further, it is apparent that Beloved is more than that, she brings up the past to Sethe and is a constant reminder of her painful times.

This is a very interesting way for Morrison to talk about slavery and trauma, and how it continues to affect people throughout their lives. With Beloved, this reminder was inescapable, and it was getting worse and worse. It was basically the main component driving the theme that the past can never truly be forgotten or escaped.

So do we all have these ghosts? Maybe they aren’t just for trauma, but for all of the past. No matter what happens in people’s lives, the past is what got them there, and it will stick with them for the rest of it. So in a way, everyone has little “ghosts” that are reminders of what we all went through, and that force us to face what has happened to us.

3 thoughts on “Do we all have ghosts?


    This is very thought-provoking and a great perspective on the meaning and underlying point of Beloved. I completely agree with your analysis and I think that Beloved represents the “ghost” of one’s past, which is something we all have too.


  2. Toby K

    Great analysis! I also agree with your analysis on one of the bigger meanings of Beloved as a ghost. Instead of Beloved just being a ghost haunting Sethe for killing her as a child, Beloved represents all of the trauma and horrible memories from her past that haunt her everyday.


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