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A Comparison of Love in Beloved and Secrets and Lies

The Absence of Love in Beloved and Secrets and Lies

Love is arguably the most powerful emotion possessed by mankind; it is the impalpable bond that allows individuals to connect and understand one another. Pure love is directly related to divinity. Without love, happiness and prosperity become unreachable goals. An individual that possesses all the desired superficial objects in the world stands alone without the presence of love. For centuries love has been marveled by all that dare encounter it. Countless books and poems have been transcribed to explain the phenomenon of love, but love surpasses all intellectual explanations and discussions. Love is not a definition, but rather a thought, an idea. This idea, the idea of love, burns inside us all. Instinctually, every soul on Earth is addicted to love. An addiction, that unless satisfied will contribute to the downfall of an individual in a society. If one does not, or is not loved, one can not prosper among a society where love is an essential ingredient to joy and happiness. Love produces healthy relationships that in return produce healthy and secure environments for all its participants. Love allows the connection of two people; it is love that completes an individual.

In Toni Morrisons Beloved, and the motion picture Secrets and Lies, incomplete characters are illustrated and analyzed. The incompleteness of these characters is a result of the absence of love. In the text of Beloved and Secrets and Lies, Sethe and Cynthia are characters whose roles portray the rueful outcome of an individual that is incapable of possessing love in its purist form. Sethe or Cynthia can not correctly express love because neither of them were loved as children. Only …

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…duce her own brother. Cynthia is self-evidently terribly affected by the paucity of love in her life. Morris later explains his sister as a victim of someone “who didn’t receive any love.” (Secrets and Lies)

Love is the controlling factor in the lives of every individual, and as portrayed in the novel Beloved and the film Secrets and Lies love is not always pleasant. Characters from both texts find themselves incapable of expressing love, and therefore destroy several potential healthy relationships. Overall love can be considered divine just as easily as it can be considered evil. Sometimes the idea of love is lost somewhere, and those who can not manage to find an alternative source of emotion, must endure the pain and suffering of a loveless life.


Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Penguin Group, 1987.

“Secrets and Lies”

A Comparison of Freedom in Beloved and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Theme of Freedom in Beloved and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Freedom as defined in Websterís dictionary is liberation from the control of another person or arbitrary power, a being able to act or move without hindrance or restraint. My definition of freedom is altered from this due to the various experiences I have had. These experiences affect my perception of life and influence how I define freedom, just as another person would view freedom differently than me.

Freedom, as I perceive it to be, is the ability to live a life without any restrictions or limitations imposed on you by others. You must have complete control over every aspect in your life. Most people think of freedom only in the realm of the physical, but I believe that freedom is emotional as well. In order to be considered free, you must be separate from your past. You need to acknowledge your past and realize what has happened, but at the same time you need to move on. You cannot allow your life to be lived according to what has happened in your past, or a cycle will ensue.

This cycle comes from making choices while ìfreeî. During a life lived in freedom, inevitably a wrong decision will be made and you will be forced to deal with the repercussions. Some people become slaves to these choices, which results in an emotional bind. Therefore, from freedom comes entrapment and enslavement to the choices made while ìfreeî. People end up being extremely attached and emotionally affected by their past, such as the characters in Beloved and One Flew Over The Cuckooís Nest, that they will never live a ìnormalî life again.

The theme of freedom is evident in both Beloved and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Every character in both of these texts is affected by freedom in some way or another. In Toni Morrisonís Beloved, Schoolteacher acts as the catalyst who takes away his slaveís freedom, where as in One Flew Over The Cuckooís Nest, Nurse Ratchet plays this role by infringing upon all of her patientís freedom.

Sethe, in Beloved, suffers from both kinds of freedom. As a slave she has physical restraints placed on her as well as emotional ones. All slaves are confined to the land of their owners, which is an obvious violation of a personís freedom. Sethe was unable to leave the plantation and go where she desired.

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