analysis

This passage focuses on Denver and her emotional state of mind as she sits in her “emerald closet” within the trees. The symbolic nature of trees displayed all throughout the novel serves primarily as a source of consolation and life. As Denver sits within her “green walls” she feels safe and comforted by the isolation. The author personifies Denver’s imagination by deeming it human qualities and a human-like aura that can “produce its own hunger and food.” This emphasizes Denver’s reliance on her own self. The simile “salvation is as easy as a wish” also adds to this sense of loneliness and self-reliance. Denver finds “salvation” or hope in her safe place hidden away in the trees. By comparing the salvation to a “wish” it suggests that Denver’s happiness potentially stems from false-hope or somewhat wishful, unrealistic thinking.Morrison throws the reader into this world of nostalgia that envelopes the lives of multiples characters from many different backgrounds. House 124 is defined by its lack of color and its overabundance of strong emotions. Denver resides in her own imaginative world within the “emerald closet” that is safe and hidden within the trees, isolated from society. Denver regards the house “as a person rather than a structure” (pg.35) as if it were living and had a mind of its own. Sethe, haunted by her dead daughter’s ghost, desperately tries to keep the past forgotten. The house contains a history that is so prevalent and overwhelming that as soon as Paul D entered the house he sensed a strange aura within and throughout enveloped with secrets upon secrets. Paul D realizes that his songs that he used to sing “were too loud, had too much power for the little house chores he was engaged in” (pg.48). In other words, Paul D comes to the realization that this household is not normal and that it needs him for different reasons than any other before.Darkness and light is a recurring theme that revolves around the entire novel and displays the reactions of the characters. This passage discusses the light from the orange among all the darkness surrounding the quilt. Color symbolizes freedom. When the color is finally exposed to the characters they no longer see the world as “black and white” and two different races. The color orange is generally associated with warmth and happiness, but ironically the happiness Beloved brought to the house ultimately created conflict and tension among the characters. Beloved desperately makes an effort and pursues “the fades scraps of orange” just as she attempts to extract Sethe’s memories of the past. Sethe becomes paralyzed in her past when Beloved is with her. Beloved’s obscure and perplexing identity is essential for the reader to fully understand the novel. Chapter 5 reveals that Beloved is a manifestation of Sethe’s deceased daughter. Beloved resembles the daughter in numerous ways that become apparent to the reader throughout the chapter 5 and 6. For instance, Beloved’s name comes from the name printed on the infant’s tombstone. When Beloved arrives, Sethe has a sudden desire to release her bladder which ultimately resembles her water breaking. “…more like flooding the boat when Denver was born” (pg.61). The hidden meaning behind the sensation that overcomes Sethe is clarified for the reader when Beloved is depicted as “soaking wet”  when first int introduced. Water symbolizes new life and rebirth; this corresponds directly to Beloved being wet upon her arrival. Beloved’s extraordinary qualities and impossible knowledge do not go unnoticed by the characters especially Paul D. Paul D claimed that he saw Beloved “pick up a chair single-handed” (pg.67). Paul D’s observation of Beloved’s secret strength suggests that Beloved has qualities that make her seem supernatural and not entirely human.Beloved embodies the spirit of the Sethe’s dead daughter and evidently Denver’s younger sister. Denver take the role of an older sister and dedicates herself to looking after her. The beginning of chapter 6 immediately opens with the personification of rain water as it “held onto pine needles for dear life.” Water is a symbol for new life and rebirth. This quote illustrates the distressed lifestyle of a slave clinging onto life with a tone of desperation that underlies the entire novel. This passage also makes use of asyndeton with the absence of conjunctions used in the series of words “licked, tasted, eaten.” The powerful and sensual diction of these three words ultimately display the paralysing and overwhelming effect that Beloved’s “dark” eyes –and presence– have on Sethe and the rest of the household. Beloved’s eyes are personified in this passage to be almost like a moral entity or spirit. This once again brings the reader back to the comparison of Beloved to Sethe’s infant deceased daughter that is now haunting the house.In this chapter, Beloved is used to show the connection between infant and mother. Beloved’s arrival ultimately interrupts the progress that is made between the character’s relationships during the carnival in chapter 4. Throughout chapter 5 and 6, the reader begins to see the tension and force that surrounded these relationships reappear and the beginnings of their ultimate collapses. Denver contrasts the devoted and honest relationship of Beloved and Sethe through her frequent questions and lack of knowledge. Additionally, Denver begins to secretly doubt and question Beloved –most likely stemmed from her subconscious jealousy surrounding Beloved and Sethe’s relationship. “Not being in it, she hated it and wanted beloved to hate it too, although there is no chance of that at all…Denver noticed how greedy she was to hear Sethe talk…how did she know?” (pg.74-75) Denver’s desperation for Beloved’s affection and attention is evident in this quote, but this admiration shifts to a hesitance and uncertainty. Ultimately, this suggests that Denver will have to compete with her relationship with both Sethe and Beloved later in the novel.