The People and Groups Represented by Beloved

Beloved is so much more than just the spirit of Sethe’s dead child. She represents the spirits of all the slaves who died on their forced voyage to America. Beloved possesses memories that are unique to the trauma that slaves went through during their time on the Middle Passage. Beloved shares this memory with Sethe’s mother and therefore raises questions about Beloved also representing Sethe’s mom.

Because of Beloved’s unique supernatural characteristic and portrayal of so many forgotten slaves, she is individually underdeveloped in the story. Sethe’s actions and experiences shape Beloved and she proves to a beneficial part of Sethe’s life, until she isn’t. She assists Sethe by asking her to reveal stories of her past but later turns too needy. Her role as more of a force than a person helps this idea become clearer. While Beloved represents Sethe’s unnamed child, she is also a character for the masses that died during America’s most shameful period.

3 thoughts on “The People and Groups Represented by Beloved

  1. JENNA S

    I like your interpretation of the significance of Beloved in the novel. I agree how she represented all of the slaves who died of any result of slavery and still affected those who had made it out the other end. Even when Sethe had been free for years, Beloved shows the everlasting weight slavery had on her life.


  2. Alex W

    I agree with this view on Beloved. I think it is really powerful how she represents all the slaves who passed and how this can affect not only the people that died, but others who got out. This can be seen in the book, like you said, through Sethe and I think the way the author showed that was really cool.


  3. Danny K

    I agree and see your point of how Beloved represents the slaves horrific experience on The Middle Passage. I am confused though of how Beloved knows that story of those people? I know its a fictional book built around a true story but how does Beloved know the story of The Middle Passage only being a child who died very young? It also makes me ponder of how much of the true story she used and what amount she added for the novel. Overall it is a great book of slavery, The Middle Passage, and dealing with horrific trauma.


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