Passion of a Mother

In Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, the character that is focused on the most throughout the whole text is Sethe. Sethe is a strong, independent women and mother. Her strong motherly instincts are perhaps the most distinct characteristic of her, even leading her to great extremes.

Part I of Beloved ends with Sethe saying, “It ain’t my job to know what’s worse. It’s my job to know what is and to keep them away from what I know is terrible. I did that” (194). At this point in the novel, the reader is beginning to get hints at the big secret of the novel, until it is finally revealed.

Sethe truly believes that when “the four horsemen” came to 124, she did the right thing for her children. She believes that killing her baby and trying to kill the rest of her children would have been better for them than a life of slavery. Her quote on page 194 reveals that she truly believed that this was right.

Image result for margaret garner

The brutality, cruelty, and horrors of slavery pushed a mother, who loved her children more than anything, to do the unspeakable. Sethe believed that dying would be better for her beloved children more than slavery. This scary and astonishing truth, reveals the true and absolute horror of slavery and what knowing the truth about being a slave can push someone to do.

Image result for horrors of slavery

One thought on “Passion of a Mother

  1. Micah D

    I remember reading this part of the novel, and it really shook me. I immediately understood the little clues Toni Morrison left us before event was revealed to the audience. Although the people in Sethe’s town responded to the situation by icing her out, I understood Sethe. If I were Sethe, I would never want my kids to go through anything like the horrors she went through. I began to ask different people if they would kill their own kids to avoid the chance of their kids becoming slaves and many would have sympathized with Sethe. Morrison really detailed the absolute horror of slavery in such a horribly terrific and discreet way.

    Like

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