Conceptualizing Home in Toni Morrison's Beloved College

When grappling with the concept of home within Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, one should first constitute what does not make a home. Paul D encapsulates the irony of the plantation name at Sweet Home when he describes that “it wasn’t sweet and it sure wasn’t home’” (Morrison 16). Perhaps one could count 124 Bluestone to be home, considering how much Sethe sacrificed—including her own daughter and the eventual departure of her sons—to live free from slavery and Sweet Home at 124. But a physical house like 124 does not necessarily make it a home. On the other hand, Denver approaches 124, viewing it as a “person rather than a structure. A person that wept, sighed, trembled, and fell into fits. Her steps and her gaze were the cautious ones of a child approaching a nervous, idle relative” (Morrison 35). Denver’s depiction of 124 does not connote feelings of comfort or homeliness, but instead a place from which to remove herself. In fact, Morrison frames Beloved into three sections punctuated by the tone of 124 Bluestone Road: “124 was spiteful” (1), “124 was loud” (199), and “124 was quiet” (281). These characteristics express the emotional instability of a person rather than a structure where Denver can truly feel a sense of...

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