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Toni Morrison�s One Sided Portrayal of White People in Beloved

Toni Morrison�s One Sided Portrayal of White People in Beloved

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Allie Oliver 10/19/07 Intro to Literature Toni Morrison’s One Sided Portrayal of White People in Beloved In Beloved , by Toni Morrison, all of the white characters treat the black characters as less than equals and often as less than human, while most black people are honest, trustworthy, and bond together to fight against cruel injustices imposed by all white people. In the novel, the degree of treatment of blacks varies from character to character, where schoolteacher and his nephews are the most base and depraved and the Garners, the Bodwins, and Amy are the closest to actually treating black people with some respect and care. The wicked actions by schoolteacher and his nephews are the most obviously repulsive and atrocious imposed by any white person throughout the book. This representation of white people shows how even someone whose education was clearly important enough to be the entire reason for his hire on Sweet Home is still the cruelest person in the novel. Schoolteacher is also the only completely “evil” white person in the novel; where others have redeeming features or at least have somewhat good intentions, schoolteacher does not. He views blacks as “Watchdogs without teeth; steer bulls without horns; gelded workhorses whose neigh and whinny could not be translated into a language responsible humans spoke” (148), basically, as non- humans. This is why when he sees the attempted massacre of Sethe’s children on page 176 he reacts with the anger of someone who has lost a purchase. He becomes irritated with the fact that he lost something with “…at least ten breeding years left” (176) due to his nephew overbeating Sethe with the natural consequences as what would happen with the overbeating of a horse; it going wild, or a hound; it randomly going crazy and biting your hand off. Schoolteacher is one of the
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