Beloved Unexpected Beauty

"She came home running/back to the mothering blackness/deep in the smothering blackness/white tears icicle gold plains of her face/She came home running/She came down creeping/here to the black arms waiting/now to the warm heart waiting/rime of alien dreams befrosts her rich brown face/She came down creeping/She came home blameless/black yet as Hagar’s daughter/tall as was Sheba’s daughter/threats of northern winds die on the desert’s face/She came home blameless" -Maya Angelou
"Just the breeze cooling her face as she rushed towards the water"

Why does Morrison employ moments of unexpected beauty within the novel? What purpose do her stunning visuals and poetic moments serve?

"Each seemed to be helping the other two stay upright, yet every tumble doubled their delight. The live oak and soughing pine on the banks enclosed them and absorbed their laughter while they fought gravity for each other's hands. Their skirts flew like wings and their skin turned pewter in the cold and dying light" (Morrison 205).

"Beauty is power; a smile is its sword"

-John Ray

Beauty is a powerful weapon. it tells a story, INVOKES powerful emotions. But it also hides pain and Anguish. Sethe tells us that she would take small things, a flower, a scrap of cloth, for a little beauty. Could Morrison be doing the same? making a little bit of beauty as a distraction to all the suffering?


Angelou, Maya. "The Mothering Blackness." The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou. New York: Random House, 1994. N. pag. Print.

Kalis, Elena. Underwater Elena Kalis 49. Digital image. Elena Kalis Photo. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016. <>.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Random House, 1987. Print.


Created with images by clondike7 - "Water" • Cristiana Bardeanu - "Snow" • Art Poskanzer - "rough water" • Skitterphoto - "water drop dropping splashing" • Unsplash - "camomille flowers wildflowers" • PublicDomainPictures - "two view person" • pixel2013 - "trains train cemetery zughalde" • hansvandenberg30 - "eye"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.