The Role of Motherhood as Freedom in Toni Morrison's Beloved College

Toni Morrison explores the legacy of slavery and the price for freedom and motherly love within her novel Beloved through her main character, Sethe. For Sethe, her vision of freedom equals the ability to love her children as much as she wants without the fear of slavery taking them away from her. The novel contrasts Sethe’s present life at 124 Bluestone with her history as a slave in Kentucky. When talking about raising her children at Sweet Home to Paul D, she explains that she “‘couldn’t love ‘em proper in Kentucky because they wasn’t mine to love’” (Morrison 191). In that case, Sethe’s children did not belong to her; rather, they all collectively were the property of Sweet Home. So as long as her children belonged to someone else, she could not love them entirely due to the possible chance of losing them or being separated. However, Sethe finishes her explanation to Paul D that when she escaped to 124, there “‘wasn’t nobody in the world I couldn’t love if I wanted to” (Morrison 191). Sethe confirmed she had gained her freedom when she realized that a choice as normal and human as to love was now an option available to her when it was previously not an option. On that note, Paul D affirms Sethe’s sense of freedom deriving...

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