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Lit exam.docx - Felicia Foo S4542827 Engl1800 Jennifer...

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Felicia FooS4542827Engl1800Jennifer ClementChoosing one text studied this semester, show how ghosts challenges assumption of individualcoherent selfhood.Beloved is about the forgotten voices of thousands of slaves after the American Civil War;emphasizing how slavery brings about the destruction of identity, which continues to hauntcharacters even after they were freed. In this essay I will argue that the ghost, Beloved, challengesand mould the identity of characters she interacts with, by bringing up the past and making themconfront their pain.When Seth was a child, her mother tried running away from slavery, leaving her to face the horrorsof slavery on her own; Seth thus vows to never abandon her children.After having 4 children withher husband Halle, Sethe fled Sweet Home to provide them a better life. However, Sethe attemptsfilicide when her master threatened to send them back into slavery in Kentucky; managing only to killher eldest daughter. Seth was sent to jail, and then ostracized by her community; and when she wasfreed, lived with her youngest daughter Denver in House 124. A former slave, Paul D, lives with theduo and forms a relationship with Sethe.After 18 years, a young woman named Beloved, whom Sethe and Denver believed is thereincarnation of Seth's dead daughter, took residence in the house. When Seth first saw Beloved, sheformed an immediate strong attachment to her, providing her with food and care. Seth's guilt ofhaving to kill her eldest daughter caused her sense of self to shatter; and wanting to be the motherthat she always wanted to be, devoted herself to Beloved, to the point of losing her job and starvingher family.Beloved grew healthier, fatter, and even got pregnant while Sethe grew weaker, slaving away for her‘daughter’.Beloved becoming pregnant represents health, and productivity; is contrasted with Seth
Felicia FooS4542827Engl1800Jennifer Clementgrowing weak, tired, and hungry just to serve her, symbolizing that if left unchecked, the past cangrow bigger than the present, and suck the life out of people.However, Beloved's presence was also a positive catalyst for the other characters in shaping theiridentity. By devoting herself to Beloved, Sethe became the mother she vowed to be; and alsobecomes a daughter when Denver had to be the one to earn money, take care of Sethe, and put foodon the table like a mother.

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Beloved, Jane Eyre, Jennifer Clement, Felicia Foo

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