Saturday, March 19, 2016


So we have been seeing a lot of trees in Beloved, but what do they mean? At first we see that the trees at Sweet Home are a kind of solitude from slavery and then later Sethe makes a visual of boys hanging form trees, and what the reader could guess means the boys are lynched. We have happy imagery of trees and really gruesome ones. One more tree that we see is the one of Sethe's back, which is not a tree, but a bundle of scars made from a whip. Sethe's scar tree was something horrible but then made into something beautiful by comparing it to a chokecherry tree. So, again what do trees mean? Normally trees symbolize life, in the book they either mean freedom or oppression, but freedom mixed with strife/ oppression is the human life. I think that the trees motif in the book show all the different emotion that human and specifically, for the case of the book, former slaves have to live with.


Jaclyn Murphy said...

I definitely agree that trees symbolize emotions. The trees, for Paul D especially, evoke a sense of nostalgia. It is not solely good or solely bad, but instead is just natural. Like today, when we were talking about memory and running away from it - this is impossible. Trees remind Paul D of his past, and he will never be able to avoid trees. He should, instead, embrace his past and use to community to overcome his difficult past. It is sad to associate something so beautiful and natural, such as a tree, with something so sad and painful as a hanging. it is something Paul D must overcome, though, if he wishes to continue to enjoy trees.

Belin Manalle said...

There is a song I know by Twenty One Pilots called Trees and reading this post made me think about it in a different way. The song opens up with "I know where you stand, silent in the trees". I could see the song being about someone watching over them but not interjecting that much into this person's life. This brings up the common theme of ancestry in the past books that we have read. Listen to it and see what you think.