One theme you could address in a critical essay is the way in which the physical pain of one generation gets transferred into the emotional pain of the next generation. This is a common theme in many of Morrison's books, especially "A Mercy," Beloved," and "Love." In "A Mercy," Foren's mother experiences brutality as a captured and enslaved person in Africa, then across the Middle Passage, and finally as a victime of rape and physical mutiliation in the New World. This physical pain and suffering results in numerous emotional pains for her Florens. Florens - the offspring resulting from her mother's rape - suffers from feelings of abandonment when her mother gives her away. She doesn't love herself and doesn't trust others. She is haunted by the knowledge not only of her own pain but also of her mother's. This relationship between the pain of two generations is a strong theme in this novel and in Morrison's body of work.