Many of the characters from the novel Beloved suffered extreme abuse. Sethe, an independent mother, was no exception to the abuse. Sethe survived through many different accounts of mistreatment. The school teacher’s nephews made Sethe suffer the cruelest oppression. They held her down against her will, while she was pregnant, and brutally stole the milk that her body was producing for her child. This is the worst pain for Sethe because, besides the obvious obtrusions, she feared she would not be able to provide for her baby after it was born.
A mother’s worst fear is being unable to provide for her children and this is the fear they instilled in her. This was not the end of the violence toward Sethe from these[insert a word that means a group of abusers here]. When the school teacher founds out that Sethe tells of the mistreatment she suffered because of his nephews he orders them to whip her. Sethe is brutally beaten by this group of young men. The result of the merciless beaten is a form of large scars that shape a tree on Sethe’s back.
The tree may be a symbol of a family tree, and in Sethe’s case an incomplete family tree. Sethe’s family tree is incomplete because she killed her daughter, Beloved. The ghost of Sethe’s murdered daughter, Beloved, haunts the house where Sethe and the rest of her family live. The ghost torments them enough to drives away Sethe’s two sons, Howard and Buglar. Sethe undergoes torment from almost every possible angle but she refuses to run away any more.