Precious Style Analysis
The institution of slavery was the murder of equality, and the birth of dehumanization. In Beloved by Toni Morrison, the use of rhetorical gadgets communicates this point indefinitely. On pages 175 to 176, Morrison focuses in on the most antagonistic character of the book: Teacher. In representing his viewpoint, Morrison is able to achieve her purpose within the unique, and about society as a whole. The effective phrasing of diction and images enables Morrison to offer the reader a holistic view on the frame of mind behind the ultimate fans of slavery.
As the owner of Sweethome, Teacher saw himself as the exceptional. He offered nobody regard, yet required to be treated like a God. His vehemently racist opinions and behavior towards slaves are plainly expressed through Morrison’s specific word choice. The transition in point of view can initially be noted from the repeated use of “nigger” (175) which connotes a clear bitterness towards African Americans. This leaps right into Schoolteacher’s view on African Americans and slaves, and functions as a sign of his character.
Also, he makes use of the word “claim” (175) in his observations, which recommends that he is taking back something that belonged to him in the very first place. This shows how he sees the slaves as items that he owns, and not humans that are worthy of to live their own lives. In exploiting such vocabulary, Morrison is revealing the personality of Schoolteacher and advancing his role as the villain in the book. Her larger purpose, however, is to generalize the frame of mind that all servant and plantation owners had back in the times where slavery was rampant, and the dehumanization that developed as a result from it.
The perspective of a slave owner is not just attained through the negative terms and possessive indications that Teacher makes, but through his allusions also. He states that Sethe had gone “wild” (176 ), which relates her to an animal that is untamed or hazardous to be around. He also discusses that she had a good quantity of “breeding” (176) years left. The very connotation of breeding is relatable to the mass production of offspring from animals for helpful functions, not for the sake of living.
Morrison pays attention to these words to enhance her point that slavery was so destructive towards people that they were no longer deemed such. Slaves were viewed as tools and animals that could be bred to end up being better for their owners. Morrison utilized not only diction to depict the oppression behind slavery, but images also. The imagery that Morrison employs permits her to much better paint the image that is slavery, and place on display the gruesome outcomes that occur from it. “Two were lying open-eyed in the sawdust; a 3rd pumped blood down the gown …” (176 ).
This phrase from the passage imparts an image in the mind that is absolutely nothing except disturbing. By elaborating upon such a grisly description on the state of Sethe’s kids, Morrison shows how slavery ruins humanity and innocence as well. Sethe was driven to the edge of actually psychosis due to the worry from the possibility of her and her children going back to slavery. Her previous experiences were so harsh, so dehumanizing that she would rather kill her children than have them endure what she needed to.
Morrison’s usage of images in this sense offers an insight to the intensity of the injustice servants had dealt with, and the degree to which they would try to avoid it. The treatment gotten by the slaves was abysmal to the point where suicide and murder looked like a sanctuary to them. This helps Morrison’s larger function that refers to how slavery damaged every element of human life, and weakened the lifestyle that we possess now. The intricacies of Morrison’s attention to word option and images add to the ultimate function within her novel.
By utilizing Schoolteacher as the representation of white male, Morrison is able to precisely and significantly represent the mindset of the slave owners and proponents of slavery. The dehumanization of slaves, and horrors they were required to cope with are key focuses in the passage on pages 175 to 176, yet just a small piece to the underlying statement Morrison strives to produce in her novel. Through the reliable exploitation of rhetorical devices, Morrison easily recreates the tragedy that is slavery.