*THIS PAPER IS FOR REFERENCE AND STUDYING PURPOSEES ONLY! PLEASE DO NOT PLAGARIZE OR COPY THIS PAPER AS IT IS AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE AUTHOR AND THE CODE OF ACADEMIC HONESTY. THANK YOU. Paper on ?Beloved? by Toni Morrison The Dangers of Regret In Mixing Past and Present, Michael Petlak reveals how the characters in Beloved, especially Sethe, were living the past and present simultaneously. She referenced two passages in particular; both have to do with baby Suggs preaching on a flat sided rock in the middle of a clearing. What I found to be particularly interesting was how the memory seemed to follow Sethe and Baby Suggs wherever she went. For that reason, neither woman could become too attached to anyone; the stronger the bond they had with a person, the more it would hurt when slavery took that person away, as it often did. Sethe and Baby Suggs couldn?t let themselves grow too attached to anything, if they did; its loss would consume and destroy them. Life as a slave taught Sethe many things about surviving, one of which was never to grow too attached to anyone. Paul D knew the risks, when he realized how much Sethe loved Denver he knew the danger she was putting her love in. ?For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous, especially if it was children?The best thing, he knew, was to love just a little bit, so when they broke its back or shoved it in a croaker sack, maybe you?d have a little love left over? (54). Baby Suggs knew it too. She had lost too many children over the years to let herself love too easily. Baby Suggs wasn?t even scared of news of Halle?s death, after all, ?She had been prepared for that better than she had for his life? (163). Baby Suggs never put too much love into any of her children, and neither did Sethe, apart from Denver. This was possibly the reason Sethe was able to keep on living, even though she had to slit her own daughter?s throat. Many slaves were unable to deal with their painful memories, and it drove them to do terrible things. Paul D. had seen such things during his travels, he once ?saw a witless colored woman jailed and hanged for stealing ducks she thought were her own babies? (78). Even though Sethe had moved past killing her daughter, she still had trouble accepting what she had done. The baby?s ghost haunting 124, smashing plates, crawling up and down stairs, and beating Here Boy against the wall could have just been brief acts of insanity by Sethe. That would explain why the haunting stopped after Paul D arrived, and why Denver always sought solace in the green room in the forest. But despite the fact that she might have lost control a few times, Sethe has displayed an enormous ability to hold herself together. That she can hold a job and provide for both herself and Denver proves that she didn?t let regret ruin the rest of her life. Sethe had to learn the hard way about giving too much love to one of her children. When she had to kill beloved in order to spare her from a life of slavery, the pain and regret became so bad that she started lose her mind. Baby Suggs couldn?t risk having her heart broken, especially when everything else in her body already was. It wasn?t a question of showing affection or a lack thereof; it was a method of survival. If you let the past catch up with you, chances are you would never be free from its grasp.
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