In Toni Morrisons novel Beloved there is an overwhelming ammount of talk about trees and their beauty. Over and over they are talked of in such a way that nobody can deny their beauty and strenghth. But this is only a surface of beauty, what lies within and around these trees are sorrow, pain, pent up feelings buried beneath the roots of the these trees.
Sethe always talked fondly of Sweet Home before the schoolteacher had arrived. She talked of the beautiful meadows and the wonderfully blue skies. She talked of the beautiful trees. She then described the men hanging from them as if it added to its beauty. Morrisons nonchalant descriptions of the horrors being beautiful everyday ocurrences enhance the actual savage acts that Sethe buries deep into the roots.
Along with the hanging bodies there is another beautifally gruesome reference to trees; Sethes back. “It's a tree, Lu. A chokecherry tree. See, here's the trunk -- it's read and split wide open, full of sap, and this here's the parting of the branches. You got a might lot of branches. Leaves too, look like, and dern if these ain't blossoms. Tiny little cherry blossoms, just as white. Your back got a whole tree on it. In bloom. What God have in mind, I wonder." Sethes back had been so brutally whipped but never once was it described in a negative way. Throughout the book it was reffered to as a chokeberry tree, which good connotations are often provoked. The readers never once pictured a beautful chokeberry tree though, every blossom and branch described made the audience cringe with disgust and pity, and that was fully Morrisons intention. With describing Sethes mutilated back as a thing of beauty, it helps the reader come to their own imaginitve conclusion that beauty is really a horrible thing.
Trees represent cover, protection and represion of the past. “In her dreams she saw only their parts in trees; and kept her husband shadowy there -- somewhere.” Sethe uses them to cover the ugly...