I posted this little tid-bit of written thinkING as a comment onto the last post that I made, but we all know that nobody reads the comments so here it is as a stand alone post (A.K.A. it’s not worth reading if you haven’t read the original):
I wonder if Toni Morrison is furthering the symbolism of Rose Dear’s death along with Violet’s ‘dissociation’ by showing the reader how the memory of slavery continues to haunt this country. Living in the south as a captive of racist practices despite slavery having ended about twenty years before she dies, it could be said that Rose Dear was being haunted by the memory of slavery, and since she has no hope of escape, she decided to create her own method of escape. Violet also performed a similar (well, kind of similar in some ways) act of harm upon herself in the process inflicting harm on others, which I see as similar because of the intensity and drama of both events, but different because the harm Violet inflicted on herself and others (meaning Joe and Alice, and maybe some other people I’m forgetting. The only exception is Dorcas — which is also something that is notable) has the ability to be healed. In a sense, the fate of Rose Dear and Dorcas is permanent; but the fate of Violet and Joe and Alice is not yet determined as they are given a second chance. It’s important to keep Dante in mind when considering that manner, too. Souls that are in Hell cannot heal because Hell is a permanent placement. But souls in Purgatory are there in order to ‘heal,’ in a sense, whether the process takes a few days or thousands of years, they will eventually enter into Paradise.