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However, Sethe seemingly chooses to remember the sight of sycamore trees over the sight of lynched boys, thus revealing her comfort in a tree’s presence: “Boys hanging from the most beautiful sycamores in the world.It shamed her- remembering the wonderful soughing trees rather than the boys.
Paul D reminisces of the plentiful trees at Sweet Home and describes the trees as inviting and trustworthy, like a close companion.
He finds his freedom by following a path of blooming trees leading to the North.
Almost every one of Morrison’s characters find refuge in trees and nature, especially the main characters such as Sethe and Paul D.
During Sethe’s time in slavery, she has witnessed many gruesome and horrible events that blacks endure such as whippings and lynchings.
In reality, the tree is unfelt by Sethe, whose back skin has been dead for years, and is only a collection of scars from the beatings she received as a slave.
Morrison uses this contrasting imagery to convey that slavery, an unnatural, man-made institution, violates both nature and slaves and perverts their natural functions.While Paul D sits under Brother to find comfort, Sixo enters the woods at night to dance, escape slave life and to keep his culture: “Sixo went among the trees at night.For dancing, he said, to keep his bloodlines open, he said” (25).Try as she might to make it otherwise, the sycamores beat out the children every time and she could not forgive her memory for that” (6).Although Sethe wishes she would’ve remembered the boys instead, she probably rationalized this thought because when she asks Paul D about news of Halle, she pictures the sycamores instead of the possibility that Halle has been lynched: “? You’d tell me if there was anything to tell, wouldn’t you?For several characters in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, trees are a source of comfort and protection.Denver’s “emerald closet” of boxwood bushes is a sanctuary of her own, a place which she can escape to and reflect in solitude.Many black characters, and some white and Native American characters, refer to trees as offering calm, healing and escape, thus conveying Morrison’s message that trees bring peace.Besides using the novel’s characters to convey her message, Morrison herself displays and shows the good and calmness that trees represent in the tree imagery in her narration.In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison uses trees to symbolize comfort, protection and peace.Morrison uses trees throughout Beloved to emphasize the serenity that the natural world offers.