Beloved
Beloved is a novel set in Ohio during 1873, several years after the Civil War.

The book centers on characters who struggle fruitlessly to keep their painful
recollections of the past at bay. The whole story revolves around issues of
race, gender, family relationships and the supernatural, covering two
generations and three decades up to the 19th century. Concentrating on events
arising from the Fugitive Slave Act of 1856, it describes the horrendous
consequences of an escape from slavery for Sethe, her children and Paul D. The
narrative begins 18 years after Sethe's break for freedom, and it gradually
persuades the reader to accept the haunting of 124 Bluestone Road by a 2 year
old child, killed by her mother Sethe: "Full of baby's venom. The women in
the house knew it and so did the children...by 1873 Sethe and her daughter

Denver were its only victims" (Page 1). The novel is divided into three
parts. Each part opens with statements as to indicate the progress of the
haunting--from the poltergeist to the materialized spirit to the final freeing
of both the spirit and Sethe; Part I: "124 WAS SPITEFUL" (Page 1);

Part II: " 124 WAS LOUD"(Page 169); Part III: "124 WAS

QUIET" (Page 239). These parts reflect the progressive reconciliation of a
betrayed child and her desperate mother. Overall symbolizing the gradual
acceptance of freedom and the enormous work and continuous struggle that would
persist for the next 100 years. The dynamics of the story attempt to distance
the reader from an immediate and direct exposure to the extremes of the real
horror contained in the narrative. The narrative jumps from one setting to
another, from the past to the present. However, the complex chronology is
necessary to understand the psychological and emotional state of all the
participants in the story. Reading the story resembles "listening" to
a story. This peculiar "oral" style surfaces; it feels as if the novel
is speaking the emotions of each character out loudly, allowing the reader to
identify with each one. Events that occurred prior and during the 18 years of

Sethe's freedom are slowly revealed and pieced together throughout the novel.

Ever so painfully, Sethe is in need of rebuilding her identity and remembering
the past and her origins: "Some things just stay. I used to think it was my
rememory. You know. Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's
not. Places, places, are still there. If a house burns down it's gone, but the
place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in rememory, but out there in the
world" (Page 35). The author moves around the characters allowing each
participant in the story a turn--Baby Suggs, Paul D, Stamp Paid, Denver, Sethe
and Beloved--to convey their perceptions of events to the reader. Baby Suggs'
horror at her grandchild's murder is passionately displayed: "Baby Suggs
had got the boys inside and was bathing their heads, rubbing their hands,
lifting their lids, whispering, 'Beg your pardon, I beg your pardon,' the whole
time" (Page 152). Within this horror, the insensitivity of her landlord is
shown when Baby Suggs is approached by her landlord's kids regarding fixing some
shoes, not knowing and not caring to know they just give her the shoes:
"Baby Suggs ... She took the shoes from him...saying, 'I beg your pardon.

Lord, I beg your pardon. I sure do" (Page 153). Paul D's memories of Sweet

Home are remembered to confront his and Sethe's past: "Paul D smiled then,
remembering the bedding dress. Sethe was thirteen when she came to Sweet Home
and already iron-eyed" (Page 10). These various voices act as witnesses to

Sethe's experiences and showing how black women had no control over their
husbands, children or own bodies. Racial issues are one of the main issues in

Beloved. The story revolves around the life of a former slave and her attempts
to get on with her life as best as she can considering what the white slave
owners have put her through. The cruelties of the slaves by the slave owners in
this story are probably conservative compared to what really occurred in many
cases. This novel is about emotions and perceptions of African-Americans and of
the burden of sorrow that they have inherited from being deprived of their
homeland and treated like animals. These emotions are complex and very deep. The
violation begins at the moment of capture, when the native Africans were
forcefully taken and transported cross the Atlantic to the New World: "She
told Sethe that her mother and Nan were together from the