The conclusion is prefaced by the consensus of the community to forgive Sethe’s crime, to “turn infanticide and the cry of savagery around and build a further case for abolishing slavery”.
As Sethe prepares to finally part with the ghost of slavery that has haunted her for so many years, Beloved is revealed as wearing “vines of hair twisted all over her head”.
Morrison offers no other explanation for Sethe’s haunting except to establish that the horrors of slavery were so severe that they would influence a mother to kill her child in the attempt to protect her from its atrocities.
is a myth in so much as it uses the supernatural to emphasize the unquestionable truth of slavery’s destructive heritage.
Although the ghost that haunts the house at 124 is not acknowledged by the name Beloved until she manifests herself in the form of a young woman, she is early on and although unseen immediately recognized as Sethe’s dead baby daughter because of the misery she creates. For they understood the source of the outrage as well as they knew the source of light”.
“Who could have thought that a little old baby could harbor so much rage? The use of Beloved as the symbol of bondage incarnate has implications for several of the novel’s characters however for none as much as for Sethe.
And the thumbs that pressed her nape were the same”.
The definitive example of the novel’s mythological interpretation of Beloved as a supernatural symbol of slavery’s destructive heritage is revealed in the final chapter.
The imagery is symbolic of the mythical Medusa who could turn anyone that looked upon her to stone.
She represents to Sethe the final chance to leave the bonds of slavery and meet the wholeness of community, a deliverance that she had denied by her chosen isolation for so many years but which had been within her grasp from the very beginning.