Throughout all of Beloved, we see tons of motifs that have strong symbolic meaning in the book. One in particular that stands out to be is the motif of feet. Feet are quietly a very important aspect throughout the entire book.
Feet, in my opinion, are the symbol for life and death. Every time we see feet used in the text, it’s either to compare it to life and death or use it as a segue to talk about the subject. On page 42 of the book, Amy says to Sethe that “anything dead coming back to life hurts” when she is massaging her feet. A clear example of the motif, feet are the physical representation of life and death in the book.
Another example where we see this is when Beloved arrives at 124. Her feet are “soft and new” as she is revived from her past life. As she continues to experience this second life, her feet continue to grow and get fatter, as Sethe’s feet grow smaller. As Sethe approaches the end of her life, Morrison shows this with the description of her feet.
One thought on “Walking to Life in Beloved”
This post was really interesting. I never thought of the feet symbolism in the novel but now that you point it out it makes a lot of sense. The magnitude of symbolism in this book was to too big to track everything so it is interesting to hear a more in depth analysis.