Spiteful in 1873

“Beloved by Toni Morrison”, the story is based on an unexpected hardship faced by slave mother and their four children.  The women were more prone to abusers. They suffer twice as men did during the slavery period.

In the first chapter, Toni Morrison describes the characters in the story by starting with Sethe and her three children. It took place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Baby Suggs’s tells her daughter-in-law that she remembers all her eight children gone away. “My first-born. All I can remember of her is how she loved the burned bottom of bread. Can you beat that?  Eight children and that’s all I remember.” P5. Baby Suggs died after two songs Howard and Buglar ran away leaving Sethe and Denver behind.

Paul D came to Sethe’s house after eight years. Denver felt that the house is haunted. She started crying before Paul D to share her sorrows. She said she has no friends after her brothers left their house and nobody comes by to talk to them. Everyone seemed avoiding them. But her mother Seethe never want to leave the place after much suffering in the past.

Sethe told Paul D the pass events that made her run away from the slave owner. Paul D remembers her at Sweet home. “He had never seen her hair Kentucky. Although her face was eighteen years older than when last he saw her, it was softer now.” P10.

She was pregnant when two white boys abused her by milking from her breast and later whipped her for complaining about it. “They used cowhide on you?” “They beat you and you was pregnant” p20 Paul D rubbed his cheek on her back to share the sorrow. He could feel her tears rushing down without looking at it. Later, Paul D tried to drive away the ghost that seemed to haunt the house.

 

1 thought on “Spiteful in 1873

  1. This post gives a snap shot of parts of the story that talk about memory. It also gives an idea about effect of the characters past struggles on their present life. This part of the post catches more of my attention, “It took place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Baby Suggs’s tells her daughter-in-law that she remembers all her eight children gone away. “My first-born. All I can remember of her is how she loved the burned bottom of bread. Can you beat that? Eight children and that’s all I remember”. This I believe tells us what Baby Suggs and Sethe have in common. Thus to say, the relationship between Sethe and her mother is similar to that of Baby Suggs and her children. This is to say, Sethe did not know her mother and Baby Suggs also did not know her children. This is a remarkable experience considering the “exceptional” 18 years “unappreciated” relation between Denver and her mother

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