what is the effect of this structure? why might Morrison want to achieve this effect?
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Beloved is an extremely complex novel whose plot, told largely through flashbacks, spans several decades. The flashbacks come largely through storytelling, which is a way for the ex-slaves to deal with their repressed memories of a painful past. The stories are often told and retold in bits and pieces by different characters and from different perspectives. The characters also ponder the stories in their minds, giving a different twist. As a result, it is only towards the end of the novel that the pieces of the puzzle all fit together into a complete whole.Beloved has an intentional loose structure. It never proceeds in a straight line. Instead, it meanders, with flashbacks and storytelling, through forty years, from the birth of Sethe in 1835 to the close of the novel in 1875. The novel also repeatedly changes its point of view. Some of the stories are told by Sethe; others are told by Denver, Beloved, Paul D, and other characters. Although the novel is not unified by time, place, character, or point of view, it is clearly developed around its main theme of the necessity of dealing with the painful past caused by slavery. All of the characters must deal with their history in order to heal themselves in the present. By the end of the book, Sethe, Denver, and Paul D have all made remarkable progress in their recoveries.