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Describe the house in Morrison's Beloved.

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hinsani | (Level 1) Honors

Posted January 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM via web

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Describe the house in Morrison's Beloved.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 31, 2013 at 7:15 AM (Answer #1)

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The house in this powerful novel is given human qualities through personification that makes it seem as if it were another character along with Sethe and Denver and the rest of the characters populating the pages of this novel. The house in a sense is shown to bear the emotions of Beloved, and is severely impacted by the events that took place in it, namely the infanticide that robbed Beloved of her life. Note how the house is first described in this book:

124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughters Denver were its only victims.

Note the use of personification to describe the house as if it were a character in its own right. But also think too of the way in which the house is shown to have been created through what happened to Beloved so long ago. Past events are shown to have consequences for the present, and a major theme of this novel is the way that the past intrudes in on the present, and cannot be forgotten. The house is one way in which Baby Suggs is shown to be unable to escape what happened previously.

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