Out of all the different themes explored by Morrison in Beloved, motherhood shows the most omnipresence. Morrison shows how the slavery wickedly twists the experience of motherhood. Motherhood doesn't mean just love and care for your children, it has other meanings as well.
It is impossible to describe what a child means to its mother. Motherhood is something that's natural it comes without saying. Motherhood isn't taught it just flows. Sethe lived a life of distorted motherhood, devoid of womanhood, because of the foundation of slavery. People must ask themselves, "How can Sethe love her children so much when she try's to kill them and succeeds with Beloved-? I can see this as a love so great that for Sethe, death was better than a life in hell that her children would await back at sweet home. She said: "Not you, not none of mine, and when I tell you mine, I also mean I'm yours. I wouldn't draw a breath without my children- (193). Sethe clearly loves her children. But we can't blame Sethe for her homicidal act. I blame slavery. Slavery, the reason Sethe is who she is. Sethe declares, "I had milk- (15). Representing motherhood, Sethe's account reveals her awareness of motherhood on some point. Furthermore, Sethe recognized that motherhood and independence are interlaced; she says: "Milk was all I ever had- (151). However, Sethe also says "they took my milk!- (16). Then the villains whipped her while she was pregnant. Slavery and its villains rapped Sethe depriving her from her womenhood/motherhood/independence. .
when slavery was first exploited Africa was destroyed by having its people removed and forced into slavery. This is presented in this quote by Beloved,"" In the beginning I could see her I could not help her because the noisy clouds were in the way -(201). The her that's being referred to represents Africa (a motherhood). The "noisy clouds- can represent gun shots and smoke from the slave traders.