Book Review: Beloved-Toni Morrison

beloved

I am beloved and she is mine.

Life is like the ocean at times. Steady, rocking you back and forth-gentle. But waves come crashing, burying your head, your body, soul and everything in between in the abyss where no voice can be heard. It’s the strain, the belly full of what-ifs, the lungs pressed against the mind-drowning in your own life or the lives of the would haves.

Beloved felt exactly like fading in an ocean. Toni Morrison captures life and death and all it’s fineness and places it in a slavery novel that is so much more than  just about slavery. Sethe the protagonist and pioneer in the novel, lives with her daughter Denver in the house that is known as 124.  124 embodies the essence of a  home, but in the house resides a darkness that takes over the life of Sethe and Denver. When former Sweet Home slave and friend of Sethe, Paul D., comes to visit , his presence penetrates that haunted darkness and stirs an awakening. History arises and is retold through the people, the voices, songs, and scars that are bore into the house of 124. When the character that is known as Beloved shows her face, the waves pour over everything and everyone. Morrison encloses the reader into a world that is real and guttural. Morrison writes about slavery from the persepctive of man ,woman, brother, sister, grandmother, daughter, son, and ghost. It is the names that are unspoken and untold, that are imprinted beneath the skin of both Sethe and the reader. There are so many themes and symbols that are uncovered while reading. The meaning of home, of motherhood, of history. What is the true definition of home? Sethe uses her motherhood as the overarching cannon that a mother would rather kill than see pain; slavery pain inflicted on her children. Beloved is a classic for a reason, and I am disapointed in myself for having read this only now.

“….in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. “

As for my review…well this one is quite difficult as there SO many things that can be discussed within it. But if I am giving an overall review, then I have to say that this novel is a solid 5/5 stars. I’ve read the The Bluest Eye by Morrison before, so I was used to her writing style. However, if you have not read anything by her before, her style can be quite daunting and difficult to get used to. Morrison mixes poetry, and illusion, and imagery, and allory, and prose all at once, so if you aren’t paying paying attention, then it might fly right over you. I really admire her ability to be both a poet and author together. It’s not for everyone. Beloved is a learning tool and you should be fully prepared to open your eyes when reading this novel. The only criticism I have with the novel, is that yes, you must pay close attention to the words and the things in between or you will miss the point-the stories of the characters. Beloved is used in many college classroom, and for good reason. There is a pervasive amount of topics that one can amalgamate. There are so many reasons why I love this novel that I would have to dedicate another posting just on my musings about Beloved. I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone with closes eyes or ears. Or anyone not willing to get lost in the waves and sink. This is a special novel that deserves all the praise and acclamation. If you haven’t read a Toni Morrison novel yet, start abruptly with Beloved.

is a pervasive amount of topics that one can amalgamate.

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