The Significance of Sixo

Toni Morrison's novel Beloved contains many secondary characters, of which one of the most significant is the character of Sixo. Though the novel is based in post-Reconstruction America, much of the content is in the form of memories of ex-slaves. It is in these memories that the character of Sixo is revealed. Both Sethe and Paul D were among six slaves that lived at Sweet Home, the remaining four of which are long since gone yet live on in their memory. Morrison seems to have intended Sixo's name and roots to be ambiguous to portray a sense of "everyman" in him. Along with this representation, there are several Christ-like parallels that can be drawn from Sixo's character. Though only a minor character, Sixo is representative of a larger slave ideology that is apparent in Morrison's depiction of him.

The name Sixo is extremely important for a number of reasons, the most prominent being found in the dedication in the front of the novel. It reads, "Sixty Million and more." By naming a character Sixo, Morrison is paying homage to the number of slaves that were in America which is what the dedication refers to. This is especially significant because Sixo encompasses the ideology and has the...

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