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Published: 10-09-2019

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Role of Sixo in Beloved

Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved includes several secondary characters, of which a single of the most significant is the character of Sixo. Even though the novel is based in post-Reconstruction America, a lot of the content is in the kind of memories of ex-slaves. It is in these memories that the character of Sixo is revealed. Both Sethe and Paul D had been amongst six slaves that lived at Sweet Property, the remaining four of which are lengthy because gone yet reside on in their memory. Morrison seems to have intended Sixo’s name and roots to be ambiguous to portray a sense of “everyman” in him. Along with this representation, there are several Christ-like parallels that can be drawn from Sixo’s character. Although only a minor character, Sixo is representative of a bigger slave ideology that is apparent in Morrison’s depiction of him.

The name Sixo is really important for a number of reasons, the most prominent becoming found in the dedication in the front of the novel. It reads, “Sixty Million and a lot more.” By naming a character Sixo, Morrison is paying homage to the quantity of slaves that were in America which is what the dedication refers to. This is particularly considerable simply because Sixo encompasses the ideology and has the ambiguity that makes him a very good representation of these individuals as a complete. The quantity six is also representative of the number of slaves there are at Sweet Residence. He is the sixth and of the males he is the only one with no a last name. For instance, in the starting of the book they are introduced as “Paul D Garner, Paul F Garner, Paul A Garner, Halle Suggs and Sixo, the wild man.” (11) Each having a number for a name and not getting a final name offers an impression of anonymity. This lends to the argument that Sixo is representative of the slave population as a whole. He doesn’t take the owner’s name as the Pauls do and has no household to take the name of as Halle does. This emphasizes his rootlessness and, in a sense, his individuality. In addition, calling him “the wild man” brings to thoughts frequently held perceptions of indigenous peoples which is a lot more applicable to Sixo representing any enslaved particular person.

In several instances Sixo is described in a way that gives his character a sense of ambiguity. For example, twice his skin color is described as “indigo.” (22, 26) The color indigo is a deep, reddish blue color which is not normally linked with skin colour. This image brings to thoughts not only the dark color of African Americans but also Native Americans who also fell prey to white injustices. Native American imagery is utilized yet another time in relation to Sixo when he comes across “a deserted stone structure that Redman employed way back when they thought the land was theirs.” (25) This juxtaposition of a slave in an abandoned Indian ruin suggests a robust connection between the two and is a powerful image. Though not implying that he has a Native American background, there is yet another aspect of Sixo that makes his roots suspect. A number of instances there is mention of Sixo speaking yet another language that is foreign to the other slaves. This of course could be an African language but it is by no means created clear. It is this ambiguity that makes Sixo’s character one particular that could match any of the cultures that have been oppressed and enslaved.

Sixo represents the ideology of freedom. Of all the slaves, “he was the only one particular who crept at night.” (107) This sets him apart from the others because he knows what is beyond Sweet House. He has a better sense of what freedom is and he wants it. He is never happy getting a slave. For example, when their master Mr. Garner dies, Sixo is “the only a single of them not sorry to see him go.” (231) Even though the other slaves feel fortunate to have a decent owner like Mr. Garner, Sixo knows that it is not right to be owned at all. His information gives him a particular quantity of freedom and also draws attention to the ignorance of the other slaves. When the Paul D wonder why Mrs. Garner sent for the schoolteacher to come to Sweet House, Sixo plainly says, “She need to have an additional white on the place.” (231) This is apparent to Sixo though not to the other people. The want to escape is also clear to him —“It was Sixo who brought it up.” (206) The other people haven’t even regarded as this possibility. He organizes everything and in this way tries to save his men and women.

The notion of Sixo as savior calls to our attention the Christ-like imagery in regard to Sixo’s death. On the night of the escape when every thing begins to go wrong, “Only Sixo shows up, his wrists bleeding, his tongue licking his lips like a flame.” The bloody wrists bring to thoughts the crucifiction of Jesus Christ simply because of the nails he had by means of his wrists. It also portrays Sixo as a martyr. This may, like his name, be an homage to all men and women who died in slavery. Upon getting caught, the Christ-like imagery continues as he is strung up to a tree and tortured although still alive. He is not in pain simply because he is ultimately free of charge. The concept of freedom upon death transcends the pain and “By the light of the hominy fire Sixo straightens…He laughs. A rippling sound like Sethe’s sons make when they tumble in hay or splash in rainwater.” (238) The image of the young children is a single of accurate freedom due to the fact of their innocence. Sixo’s laugh is one particular of the most persistant pictures in the novel because it is engrained in Paul D’s memory. Therefore it is repeated all through the novel only to be explained at the finish. This makes it an even far more effective image because some thing related with joy is brought about by the most horrific circumstances.
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