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beloved

Toni Morrison depicts the physical and psychological effects slavery has on an African American woman and her family following the civil war in her famous book, Beloved. Throughout the novel, Morrison uses various themes to capture the impact of slavery had on the various characters portrayed in Beloved. The effects on these characters were not just physical but psychological as well. The impact of slavery has left a great impression on this family even long after the civil war. Slavery has led to physical damage, the killing of ones child, families being broken up, characters going crazy, and not being able to move on from the past that haunts them. Slavery has had a physical affect on many characters. School teacher made one open on my back, and when it closed it made a tree. It grows there still, (17) states Sethe describing the scar of a tree on her back. Sethe was whipped with cowhide for telling Mrs. Garner that the boys of the schoolteacher had taken milk from her that was for her baby. Sethe was whipped so hard that he had touched every ridge and leaf of it with his mouth, none of which Sethe could feel because her back skin had been dead for years (18). Even though years had passed Sethe is still effected by the punishment that was dealt to her during her time as a slave. Below her bloody knees, there was no feeling at all; her chest was two cushions of pain, (34) describes Sethe of her body as she lied in the woods pregnant and in severe pain. The fear of slavery and hope of freedom had led her to run away pregnant into the woods to try to save herself and her unborn daughter from the chains of slavery. Slavery also affected Sethe psychologically because the threat of slavery onto her children lead to the killing of one of her own children. Sethe did not want one of her children, Beloved, to live like how she had and to suffer like how she had suffered. Sethe believed that Beloved would be better off dead then to have been ...

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