Walking to Life in Beloved

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.

 

Exit West and What it says about Immigration

Exit West is an incredible novel by author Mohsin Hamid. A somewhat love story of two people desperate to get out of a country on the brink of civil war. Through magical doors, the title characters Saeed and Nadia are able to leave their old lives behind and start a new life together in three different locations.

While it seems like getting out of their country will serve to benefit them, it almost seems like everywhere they go is much of the same. In just about every country they go to, they are on the outside looking in. From the locals scorning them, to the government constantly spying or attacking, it seems that Saeed and Nadia are not wanted anywhere. We see this within our own society as well.

The United States was built on immigration from a vast amount of countries. But these days, it seems as if we have forgotten that. In the case of Saeed and Nadia, all they want to do is show the people of whatever country it is they may be in that they want to contribute to the society the locals have built, and that they are just here to help. We see this manifest in our own country, with hundreds of people being denied everyday.