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Beloved Research Paper

In: Novels

Submitted By aprilfresh1975
Words 1670
Pages 7
Beloved Research Paper
Prompt #5 Final

Infanticide, neglect, rape, starvation, and loss are all terms describing what the institution of slavery may result in. These same words, however, can very easily fit to summarize Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a story that not only captures the overall theme of slavery, but also delves into a deeper understanding of what these hardships entail. Within it’s controversial pages, Toni Morrison’s Beloved properly and accurately portrays slavery’s brutality and harsh conditions. It is true that the Middle Passage was the largest migration of any group of persons, but no historian could completely grasp what trials and tribulations that this event encompasses. In Beloved, Morrison demonstrates just one of the many cruelties during the long journey across the Atlantic. Sethe recalls the sexual violence her mother encountered while being brought from Africa and the trauma brought about by such. Both Sethe’s mother and Nan were “taken up many times by the crew” (Morrison 66). During the travel to the New World, women were within a closer proximity to the deck and thus, closer to the white men on board. These black women on board were “prey to captains and crew members who would often rape them”, along with other forms of violence to keep order (Rice 9). Sethe’s mother was so affected by the traumatic experience that she murdered her children that were conceived from the white men raping her. This idea of sexual violence is not an exaggeration, but rather an accepted fact that Morrison acknowledges within Beloved. Unfortunately, sexual violence was not the only cruelty the enslaved Africans had experienced while on board. Whipping, punishing, and ridiculing the Africans became an integral part of cultivating malice and domination. In addition to disorientation from the claustrophobia-inducing boat, the enslaved Africans were...

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