Thursday, December 28, 2023

1000 Books Project - Beloved Discussion

Yes, I missed the first discussion (doing this during the holidays is not a great year's challenge will avoid that), and I finished the book early. Just getting around to posting this. I won't say much because I have tons of stuff to get done before New Year's (our family Christmas is on New Year's Day). Also, to those who celebrate, I hope you had a great Christmas!

Books about slavery are always a hard read for me. Ever since I was a child, when my parents let me watch Roots, it is a subject that has affected me deeply. No matter how long I live in this world, I still cannot wrap my head around the horrific treatment of fellow human beings. 

What Sethe feels she must do to keep her children from being taken back to slavery is both horrifying and understandable at the same time. Imagine thinking death would be better for them than living as slaves. I imagine many former slaves had post-traumatic stress disorder, something I think Sethe suffers from. 

The supernatural aspect of the book...Beloved. She is so disturbing. When Sethe finally comes to the realization of who she really is, the story becomes even more disquieting. My theory is that Beloved is the physical incarnation of Sethe's guilt, and it almost ends up killing her. It's a statement on what a person's guilt can do to them. In those days, there was little to no help for the mentally ill, and probably highly doubtful for former slaves. As shown at the end of the book, it's community that these people relied on to get them through tough times. That was a truly heartening aspect of the book. 

Despite the difficult subject matter, I thought this book was excellent. Yet another testament to Toni Morrison's brilliance.

If you joined me for the read-along, I'd like to thank you. Please share any final thoughts you had on the book in the comments.

I'll be announcing the 2024 1000 Books Project this week so stay tuned!

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