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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

The Home

If your idea of home is, say, a cozy three-bedroom with a yard, a spouse, and 2.5 kids, let's just say 124 Bluestone Road won't be your kind of home. Why? Because "home" in Beloved is a haunted con...

Men and Masculinity

Being a man is anything but simple in Beloved. Our leading men have some complicated relationships with women and with themselves. In order to prove their masculinity, men want to own things. So no...

Love

If you're looking for a sweet romance in Beloved, good luck. Sure, there's a major relationship in the book that seems to end happily, but for the most part, love is just really messy. And by messy...

Slavery

Toni Morrison doesn't hold back when talking about slavery. In Beloved, we get all sides. For starters, there's the outright brutality and abuse of the system. That's the part we can all agree on....

Family

Slavery and families just don't go hand-in-hand. See, slaveowners weren't in the business of helping slave parents and kids stay together unless it somehow benefited the slaveowners, too. Beloved i...

Memory and the Past

The past conjures up all sorts of little nasties in Beloved. Oh, and it also conjures up actual dead people. Why? Well, in part because no one can leave the past and all its traumas behind. You mig...

The Supernatural

Beloved can be spooky, sure. But the spookiness carries more than just shock value. The supernatural elements of the novel—ghosts! risen babies! spells!—usually have to do with the past making...

Community

With all the crazy, dysfunctional family drama going on in Beloved, it's no wonder communities play such a big role. These people need another support group. Sure, there's still all the pettiness t...
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