Books and Movies Reviews

Many Masters of Slavery

In 1865, the passing of Amendment XIII by congress abolished slavery in the United States.Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, covers a span of time just before, and just after the abolishment of slavery.Reading the novel we learn that despite being physically free, complete freedom for former slaves and their families can not be realized until they are no longer imprisoned by their pasts.
Based upon the true events of Margaret Garner, Beloved is centered around the escaped slave Sethe, who after a month of stolen freedom is tracked down to her freed mother-in-laws home in Cincinnati to be taken back to Sweet Home by the schoolteacher.Upon discovery, she attempts to kill all her children to save them from a life of slavery.She is only successful at killing her one year old baby girl, which spoils her as a slave in the eyes of the schoolteacher, and he allows the authorities to take her to prison.Later, the spirit of the murdered child haunts the house at 124, and returns as Beloved, a young women the age of what Sethe's murdered daughter would have been.Included in the novel are accounts of other ex-slaves, or family members of ex-slaves, and their struggles to free themselves from their pasts.
One of the major themes Toni Morrison is relaying in this novel is that although the ex-slaves in the book were freed by different methods, none of them actually experienced freedom.Some of the characters were freed by escaping, others had their freedom paid for, while others were born free and still feel the imprisonment of slavery a generation later.
Sethe gained her freedom by escaping from Sweet Home.Regardless of this, her past is a constant reminder of her price for that freedom.In a conversation with Paul D., she tells him "No more running-from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cos…


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