The Guilt of Sethe
In Toni Morrison’s historical fiction Beloved Sethe is disturbed with the guilt of the crimes she has committed in her past. Characters such as Sethe, undergo past horrors of slavery. As a mother, Sethe believed she was doing the “ motherly thing” for her children by doing the favor of putting them out of their misery. Now she discovers that her own actions are the source of the majority of not only her, but as well as her family’s problems. Sethe comes to the conclusion that it is now truly haunting her life.
Formerly, the reader finds out what Sethe had done in her past, and it is directed that she is astonishingly regretful about something from her past. “No more running – from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth.” (15). What that “another thing” is or was, why she will never run from no one again is left a question for now, but the statement’s message is apparent. Running away has clearly caused an issue before, and it has affected her so much, that she will never think about doing something like it again in her life. Sethe usually refuses to talk about it and avoids it by, giving Denver “short replies or rambling incomplete reveries” (58) whenever she questioned about it.
Once the reader understands Sethe’s crime, it becomes very clear why she feels the way she does. Reading through the book the obvious consequence is that Beloved is now haunting 124. Which then takes a huge toll on everybody in the town of 124, whom now avoid the house out of fright. The people who now live in the house are constantly reminded of Beloved’s presence; her outbursts become a routine, but they never really get used to. This becomes one of the reasons that Sethe’s two sons, Buglar and Howard, run away and never come back. As a caring mother, she believes that her children are the only things that she has; this was a calamitous loss that only served to help her regret her past. Even Denver, the only child that still lives...