In Beloved, Toni Morrison talks about family life, mother-daughter relationships, and the psychological impact from slavery.
This particular book was based on a small slave family in Cincinnati, Ohio after the American Civil War (Deck). Seven people lived in the small house at 124 Bluestone Road (Morrison 2). The 3 in the address is missing because the third child out of the four children is dead. The seven people that live in the house were: Sethe, Halle, Denver, one of the daughters of Sethe and Halle, Baby Suggs, Beloved, who was murdered by her mother when she was only two years of age, Howard and Buglar, who were the sons of Sethe and Halle (Morrison 2).
Sethe, the mother of Beloved, Denver, Howard, and Buglar, attempted to kill hers children when she found out they might go back into slavery again when she saw the schoolteacher heading their way, but she only succeeds with only one child being killed (Deck). Even though she tried to kill her children, Sethe loved all of her children; she was very conferring with the time that she gave to them. Sethe never got to know her mother very well, she basically raised herself. Surprising, but one of Sethe’s best characteristics was mothering, she had no problems with it at all (Cain).
Sethe’s last child, Denver, was delivered on the Ohio River with the help of a white woman who stopped along the way who, was on her way to Boston for velvet. In 1850, Halle and Sethe gave birth to their first son Howard. Sethe and Halle’s second son, Buglar, is born in the year after his brother was born, in 1851. The couple’s third child, and first daughter, Beloved, was born in November of 1854 (Crow). Then in 1855, Sethe’s fourth child, Denver, was delivered with the help of a white lady that goes by the name is Ella Denver, who Sethe then names her baby after (Mock).
Halle’s mother, Baby Suggs, was brought out of slavery by her son who had done other work to make money so he could buy his mother from her slave master (Mock). The both migrated to Cincinnati to 124 Bluestone Road, where Baby Suggs became the spiritual backbone for the town of ex-slaves and other blacks. Baby Suggs began to hold some kinds of meetings at a special place in town; it was kind of like going church (Cain). Baby Suggs gatherings stopped after she had heard of Sethe’s incident with her two year old baby girl, Beloved.
After Sethe’s mother-in-law dies after months of being on her death bed, it is only Sethe and her daughter, Denver, who stay in 124 (Cain). Then Paul D. comes into their life with the weight of his pass wearing him down, from being enslaved for such a long time, beaten and bruised. Shortly after Paul D. becomes Sethe’s lover and that brings up a little animosity between him and Denver, because of the jealously he has against Denver (Morrison 38). Then on, Sethe helps him look forward and not backward into his past (Morrison 18).
Mother-daughter relationships were not common for blacks in Beloved or outside of Beloved when...