This is a book that will break your heart. The story of Sethe, and those she knows, gradually unravels. She was born into slavery and manages to escape, though of course, her experiences never leave her. It’s about an how someone might rather kill her children than see them taken back into slavery.
This book is about the worst in people. About racism and about how vile people can do vile things to other humans in the name of power, profit and thinking they are superior. It’s also about love and what on earth that can mean when you’re whole life makes you feel used and wretched.
Heartbreaking, difficult, raw, but with touches of hopefulness and joy. I’m glad I read this.
Last night I watched The Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. It is set in pre-civil war times in 1858, and covers themes of slavery in America. Beloved is set in the post civil war era (after 1865), but covers the same era as Django Unchained in the characters histories. It really helped bring Beloved to life to see a visualisation of the world of Beloved.
I have never studied American history and had no clear visual idea of what 1860s Kentucky would look like, for example. In Django you see the American west (I hadn’t even managed to put together this era in the same time frame as Beloved!), then they move to the South and the plantations. You see the slave collars described in Beloved and generally get an idea of what the landscape might have looked like.
Django has it’s problems, but is a good entertaining film. There are issues with the representation of most of the slaves though and I certainly didn’t watch it thinking it was telling me anything real about slave life.