Water Margo Coppes

Birth and Rebirth

to die is to drown/ but to live is to bread tears/ rebirth is the both

"A fully dressed woman walked out of the water" (Morrison 60).

Water represents both birth and rebirth in the novel: Sethe gives birth to Denver in a river, baptising them both; Beloved is reborn from the water, and drinks the life-giving water. Likewise, Sethe is reborn into a free woman when she crosses river from slavery.

"And the strong hands went to work a fourth time, none too soon, for river water, seeping through any hole it chose was spreading over Sethe's hips...and the wet sticky women clambered ashore to see what, indeed, God had in mind" (Morrison 99).

Cleansing and Change

tears purge the soul and/rid us of ungodly sins/baptize us again

"Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose" (Morrison 103).

Baby Suggs and the women crying in the Clearing is them cleansing themselves of sin and introducing hope in their lives.

"I'm a phoenix in the water/A fish that's learned to fly/And I've always been a daughter/But feathers are meant for the sky/And so I'm wishing, wishing further,/For the excitement to arrive/It's just I'd rather be causing the chaos/Than laying at the sharp end of this knife/With every small disaster/I'll let the waters still/Take me away to some place real" -Gabrielle Aplin "Home"

Developing countries- clean water is the start of the change for themselves. The education, sanitation, food production, and hygiene now possible with the water allows these people to change their lives drastically in the way that Sethe did when she left slavery and was "reborn".


water gives us life/but also takes it away/ life's cruel irony

Hell is represented as the middle passage by Beloved. The rain falling around the boat represents the other slaves falling to their deaths. It is the ironic nature of fate that such a life-giving thing as water can also represent death. In this way, the book shows the full circle ending of life.

"I am standing in the rain falling /the others are taken.../I am falling like the rain is /I watch him eat inside I am crouching to keep from falling with the rain /I am going to be in pieces... /there is no one to want me/ to say my name" (Morrison 251).


Created with images by Couleur - "wave sea water" • DrBartje - "Water" • AnastasjaJa - "Bridge" • bella67 - "drip drop of water wave" • mrpbps - "Storm Front 4" • Jo Naylor - "storm clouds" • Zoltan Erdokovy - "P1020407" • rightee - "Skulls"

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