Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sethe in Beloved

Sethe was the main character in Toni Morrison’s Beloved; a strong woman with deep passionate love for her children. Being a slave, Sethe had suffered a lot of tortures and dehumanizing acts from the white people. Although she had almost never experienced love, she poured her two daughters her affections as much as she could. From her we could learn that God made us to love; that loving was a gift from Him, and has become our natural instinct. We could choose to love or not, no matter how much we experienced or lacked of it.

Sethe could endure what she had suffered in the past, I think, by shutting closely the worst part in her memory, and devotedly pour down her love to her children. For eighteen years she could live by herself quite well that way, although she did not many friends, and neighbors had been avoided her. She could even open her heart for another man—Paul D. Unfortunately when the past began to haunt her once again, her guilt and regret came back and destroy her solemn soul. From her condition, I realized that although it was better sometime to shut down our worst memory—the easiest way to continue life—it is a dangerous way, because once the memory or even the exact danger was approaching the second time, we could be dragged to a worst condition. Maybe the best way is to make peace with ourselves, especially if we have now someone who loves us, understanding and supportive.

Oprah Winfrey as Sethe

What I admire from Sethe was how she held firm her principles. When the whites ‘stole’ her milk—which was supposed to be for her babies—she became so enraged, it seemed almost absurd. But I can understand how she must have felt. It’s not a matter of the milk (or anything else), it’s the idea that somebody had seized something very precious—something that marked her love to her children—that she could not accept. To love is every human’s right, and nobody could seize that from us, at least I think that’s how Sethe must have felt; moreover after the whites had seized everything else from her.

So great her past suffer, and so great her love for her children, Sethe could not think and act logically; all in her mind was that her children must never experienced what she had. Well, I know what she had done was wrong, but still I could not blame her. Love has never been logical, has it? Sethe could endure her past because she was willing to open her heart for love; for loving others and for being loved by others.

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