Friday, March 28, 2008

Thoughts on Beloved

I have been having contractions over the past week and I am getting nervous that the baby will come before the book deadline and then I will miss out on the whole discussion! For those of you who have not read past the first about 50 pages don't read on or I will spoil it for you. I went to a play last night called "Civil War" and the whole time I was thinking of how much that story correlates to Beloved that we are reading. In the book Sethe thinks that the Master has shown up at her house, so she takes her children out to the wood shed to kill them because she is so passionate about protecting her children and not alllowing them to be put into slavery like she was. It would be better for them to die than to live that life. I cannot imagine, as a mother myself, how Sethe must have felt to get to the point that she was willing to take the life of her children to protect them from the life of a slave. In the play last night it talked about the war our country went through all in the name of freedom for the Negros. There were 240,000 white men that died fighting for the cause of an equal rights for all men. Sethe decided to take matters into her own hands and stop slavery in her family. I cannot imagine living in fear of being taken back to Sweet Home, or of getting turned in for a cash reward since you escaped from your Master. ALways looking over your shoulder and never knowing if you were going to be safe. There are so many things that living in this country at this time, I know I take for granted. Waling down the street by myself, giving birth to my children in a hospital and not in a field. I don't have to worry about being traded as a slave to someone and having to succomb to all their needs and whims they desire. I guess as I am reading this, I am realizing that this life is so much more than just myself. We are so connected to the past. I have such a greater appreciation for our freedom and for those who went before and fought for the rights that we enjoy everyday, but at times forget they were even fought for becuase they are so commonplace now. Anyhow, that is enough of my soapbox for now. I am interested to know what others have to say...
--Michelle Jamison


Melvin and Carly said...

Aren't you glad we live now and not back then? That's not to say that there isn't trouble or hardship or whatever else now, and we all know that racial, ethnic, cultural, religious (continue list ad infinitum) struggles continue, but it could just about always be worse.

I liked your comment, Michelle, that we are connected to the past. I hadn't really thought about that theme in the book until you brought it up. No matter what Sethe does or where she (or Paul D or the other characters) goes, her past tags along. It shapes her and has effect on her actions. Thanks for bringing up that idea.

I finished Beloved a couple days ago and have lots to say. We've all been sick here at my house - when my head doesn't hurt so much, I'll post some thoughts.

Hope all goes as well as possible with those contractions!

Sarah said...

Nice post Michelle. Thanks!! I'm not quite done with the book so I won't write anything yet ... but when the baby comes, post some pics on the blog so we can all see. Congrats!