Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Beloved"

So I was just researching ghosts after I finished reading what we were assigned for last night. It is interesting that the character "Beloved" comes back to Sethe. She is only there for Sethe, basically to torment her in real life rather than by spirit. I interpreted her as a ghost as still a baby. It made me wonder if ghosts would grow to an adult age, even though they are dead. This is why I was slightly confused when Beloved came back as the age she would have been if she were alive. Most importantly, I was thinking about the name beloved. Spread apart, it is literally "be loved." Sethe wanted nothing more for her baby than for her to be loved. However, the baby ghost feels rejected and hated ("sad" according to Sethe.) She is not being loved, and is reflecting the hatred she feels from her own mother. Sethe is being tortured by the person/thing she truly cares about, trying to give love.

2 comments:

Belin Manalle said...

You make a very interesting point Jaclyn. I see where you're coming from with the baby ghost versus adult ghost thing. I too picture her ghost as a child still. That is the state in which she died and I think as there is no actual growing life within her she will remain that way. However, there is the issue of the state that she came back to the family in. I think her baby spirit just inhabited an adults body. It is still the same childish personality and habits but just in a body that you wouldn't expect to act that way. We see these traits of Beloved's same baby form in the ways that she sleeps constantly, wets the bed, only wakes up for food, and loved sweet things. Despite this soul inhabiting a body, I think some of her physical traits are more powerful and can stick out through the body. For instance, her eyes are similar to Sethe's still. It is definitely a strange concept that can have many theories.

madison kahn said...

The whole obanje concept is odd to me in this book. I think both sides as to whether or not Beloved is an obanje are arguable. The fact that Beloved comes back to haunt her mother, first as an "evil spirit," then as a being definitely leads me to believe that the culture could've considered her an obanje. However, the concept is quite different from what we saw in Things Fall Apart. In that novel, Ezinma was allegedly a soul which had been birthed and rebirthed by her mother Many times because the soul would die every time. Ezinma's soul, while it did cause her mother a lot of emotional pain because of all the deaths of her children, did not haunt her mother in an evil way like Beloved. Also, I'm definitely getting the feeling that Seethe had something to do with the death of Beloved. And if so, Beloved has a reason to haunt her. However, the form of obanje we saw in TFA had no reason to "haunt" Ekwefi.