When the four horsemen, including school teacher from Sweet Home, came to 124, Sethe was terrified that she and her children was going to be brought back to the plantation. Sethe had to make the most difficult decision to kill her children, but only was successful in killing her baby, Beloved (Morrison, 174-180). Most people would say that Sethe made the wrong decision, but if we examine Sethe's character or personality and the conditions of living on a slave plantation, there will be better evidence to conclude that Sethe's decision is justified. One could argue that Sethe was being selfish because she did not want to be enslaved again, but throughout the novel Sethe always puts others first, and as a mother, she did not want her children to be raised into slavery or die as a slave. Another reason she could be said to be selfish is Sethe was able to go on and live her life, but Beloved was not even given the chance. However, although Sethe was able to live and remain free from slavery, her life was not easy and happiness was rare. For example, at the carnival is where Sethe felt happiness in a long time (Morrison, 52-59). This will be further explained later. Then, one could argue that Denver was also a baby and she was able to grow and overcome adversities, but like Sethe's life, Denver's was not a walk in the park either and the loss of her sister tormented both her and her mother's lives. If Sethe did not kill Beloved, she would never have gone to jail and would have been brought back to Sweet Home, where Beloved and Denver would have been raised and probably would have had a worst life. It is very hard to understand Sethe's motive behind committing infanticide, but she did what she did because it was instinctual as a mother and she was trying to protect her young. Therefore, Sethe deciding to kill Beloved was the better decision for her and her children. .
A mother killing her own child may be the worst crime anyone could commit, so it was surprising when Sethe admitted to killing Beloved.