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Beloved Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 100 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Beloved.
This section contains 1,555 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

Race and Racism

"You got two feet, not four," Paul D tells Sethe when she reveals her secret to him, and the dehumanizing effect of slavery is a primary theme of Beloved. According to the schoolteacher, slaves are just another type of animal: not only does he list their "animal characteristics," he considers them "creatures" to be "handled," similar to dogs or cattle. In some ways, they are not even worth as much as animals: "Unlike a snake or a bear," he thinks while pursuing the runaways, "a dead nigger could not be skinned for profit and was not worth his own dead weight in coin." Because slaves are treated no better - and sometimes worse - than animals, it leads them to question what it is that makes one human. While Mr. Garner was alive, for instance, Paul D truly believed that he was a man. But after...

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This section contains 1,555 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Beloved Study Guide
Copyrights
Beloved from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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