“The Beauty and the Pain”: Image of the Tree in Beloved

Ying XU

Abstract



This thesis explores the complicated images of the trees in Beloved. The archetypal image of the tree as tree of life reflect the pastoral “beauty” in the south by its regenerative power which assists the black slaves to gain physical flight from the slavery and the former slaves from the psychological grip of the slavery past. The “strange fruit” of the southern trees and the tree-like scar in Sethe’s back reveals the “pain” in the slavery south. Beloved’s seemingly perverse image as the residue of the slavery past aggravates this “pain”, but her foils to a revived tree stump representing the tree of history and to the metamorphosing tree-god Dionysus help the former slaves rebuild the bond with their past, thus retrieve the lost “beauty” in the south. In this sense, the continuity between the two seemingly contradicting concepts—“beauty” and “pain” is established.
Key words: beauty, pain, life; history, continuity
Résumé: Le présent article explore les images compliquées de l’arbre dans Beloved. L’image archétypique de l’arbre, comme l’arbre de vie, reflète la « beauté » pastorale du Sud par sa force régénératrice de l’arbre qui aide les noirs à acquérir la liberté et à se débarrasser du joug mental imprimé sur leur coeur par l’esclavagisme. Le « fruit insolite » sur l’arbre du Sud et la cicatrice en forme d’arbre sur le dos de Sethe révèlent la « douleur » du Sud sous l’esclavagisme. Et Beloved, qui représente l’ombre laissé par l’histoire esclavagiste dans la vie des noirs, aggrave cette douleur. Mais l’image de la souche de résurrection et l’image du dieu de l’arbre permettent aux noirs de rétablir le lien avec le passé pour retrouver la « beauté » oubliée dans le Sud. En ce sens, la continuité entre la beauté et la douleur, deux notions apparemment contradictoires, semble être établie.
Mots-Clés: beauté, douleur, vie, histoire, continuité

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.css.1923669720080402.008

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Reminder

How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.



We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; css@cscanada.net; css@cscanada.org

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture

Address: 730, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada

Telephone: 1-514-558 6138

Http://www.cscanada.net Http://www.cscanada.org

E-mail:css@cscanada.net, css@cscanada.org