The Murder of an Innocent

At the beggining of this unit, when Mr. Heidkamp gave us the questionaire, there was a question about the murder of an innocent person. The question was along the lines of “Can the murder of an innocent person be justified?” I answered that no, it could not be justified. I could not think of a situation in which the murder could be forgiven or justified. After reading Beloved, my opinion has changed.

When we got to the part about how Sethe murdered her child, I was very surprised and had to reread it to fully understand it. At first I thought it was totally wrong and it was insane that any mother would kill her child. Then, after reading on and thinking about it more, my opinion began to change. Slavery was the worst thing that this country has ever done, and we can’t truly begin to understand the conditions and how severe they were. Because of how awful slavery really was, Sethe was helping her child by keeping it from slavery. Death was a better option that needing to grow up a slave. In the end, Sethe made a true sacrifice to keep her children safe, and because of this, the murder of her innocent child was justified.

4 thoughts on “The Murder of an Innocent

  1. Jane V

    I agree with this, also the fact that an incident like this happened in real life made the story all the more heart wrenching. The fact that before we couldn’t even fathom hurting your own child goes to show the kind of horror that would justify the act.


    1. JOHN V

      I also was mortified when I learned that this had actually happened. Slavery is the ultimate torture as it can break one’s love for life. It forced a mother to believe her children would be better off dead, and that is beyond fathomable and horrific.


  2. Anthony L

    I agree with this completely. I too answered that the murder of an innocent person cannot be justified and since my opinion has changed. The killing of Beloved is the highest form of love Sethe could show her children. She’s been through slavery, and obviously thinks death is better.


  3. Zach B

    I agree with this take. I think Beloved’s death is justified because her fate would have been worse than death. What Sethe did was essentially a mercy killing to save her from the pain that she knew too well.


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