Toni Morrison

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Beloved can help.

The Ohio River

As the border that demarcates the free territory of Ohio from the nearby southern slave states, the Ohio River is of great significance. For slaves such as Sethe, the river represents the promise of… (read full symbol analysis)

Sethe’s Scar

Sethe’s scar on her back is an emblem and reminder of the physical cruelty of slavery. But the scar eerily resembles a beautiful tree. This can be seen as symbolizing the deceitfully pleasant and beautiful… (read full symbol analysis)

Paul D’s Tobacco Tin

Paul D says that instead of a heart, he has a tobacco tin in his chest, where he keeps all of his painful memories and emotions. This image symbolizes his need to repress memories and… (read full symbol analysis)