Slavery's Destruction and the Scars That Create New Identities

3258 Words May 12th, 2006 14 Pages
Slavery's Destruction and the Scars that Create New Identities

"On a cold January night in 1856, eight Northern Kentucky slaves, including 22-year-old Margaret Garner and her four children, crossed the frozen Ohio River en route to Canada and freedom. The next morning, an armed posse of 11 white men, led by Garner's master, Archibald Gaines, surrounded the Cincinnati house where the runaways were hiding. In the melee that followed, Garner murdered her two-year-old daughter and attempted to kill her remaining children." (Goodman) This is the true story behind the classic novel Beloved; a story that is filled with symbols, pain, and sorrow. Each character has their own particular baggage that they carry with them whether it is in the
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They beat her not only to cause her physical pain she would not soon forget. They also left permanent marks across her back which would follow her wherever she might go. Marks to remind her that they have dismissed and rejected the freedom she has practiced in her communication. These are marks to remind her they have taken that right away from her. However, in the end, the scars which are left become a positive means of communication for Sethe." (Kansas State) For her husband at the time, Halle, seeing is wife suffering through physical torture forever altered his mind. He was in the loft unable to speak, unable to move; unable to stop what was happening to the woman he loved. This experience broke him, and he went crazy. Slavery ruined this man by not just changing his identity, but by shattering it. His mental scars cut too deep and were unable to be changed. Paul D. witnessed the repercussions of this event on Halle, and it also impacted him. He watched as Halle smeared butter over his face and body, numb to reality, and unable to cope. When Sethe revealed what had happened to Mrs. Garnier, schoolteacher got wind of it, leading to her being beaten. Witnessing the beating impacted Paul D. more so than the rape because he got a visual image of the cruelty. For Sethe the pain was not as bad as losing her milk, but for Paul D. watching a pregnant woman being beaten was the ultimate sign of disrespect and hit

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