Beloved: Comming Of Age Essay About The "Comming Of Age" Element (Theme) In Toni Morrison's Beloved

600 words - 3 pages

Beloved is indeed a "coming-of-age" story. While it may be thought that the "coming-of-age" aspects of the story revolves around Sethe, the aspects of "coming-of-age" revolves around Sethe's daughter - Denver. By using the various events of the story that affect Sethe, Morrison is able to create a situation where Denver is forced into leaving her home and entering the world as a woman instead of a child.At the beginning of Beloved the character of Denver is portrayed as little more than a child. Denver's hunger for company, seen through her desire to play with the ghost of 124, allow the reader an early grasp at her situation - while Denver is eighteen years of age she still acts ...view middle of the document...

From what can be seen, Denver's personality does not change from her early childhood to her late teens; she remains a static character until she is forced to finally reach outside of the shell she has built up around herself.Where the story changes from a static one (concerning Denver) into a "coming-of-age" story is when Beloved and Sethe "face off" with each other. The gloom and sadness, along with the outright hate that can be felt in 124 after Sethe lost her job drew Denver to seek help outside of the confines of her home. The first separation between Denver and her childlike ways, allowing her to finally break free of them, occurs when Sethe devotes all her time to Beloved, and vice versa. Denver, unable to fall into her childlike ways, begins to see the world with less innocence than she did in the former part of the novel, a major part of "growing up," allowing her to see that Beloved may indeed destroy Sethe. Denver then fulfills her "coming-of-age" scenario. Where she could have not summoned the courage to step out into the world, something that a child cannot be expected to do, Denver chose to act like her age, and stepped forth into the world to receive help.At the end of the novel Denver is seen as a grown woman. When Paul D reenters 124 it is Denver that he sees in charge, instead of Sethe, and Denver speaks with the confidence that an adult would. The change that is shown in the character of Denver does indeed show that Beloved is a "coming-of-age" story.


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