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.
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.