Everything in a novel is there only because the author chooses it to be there: characters, plot devices, structure and pacing, tone, etc. all are ways in which the author says what he/she has to say. Morrison implements different characters and ideas to enhance the slavery of the time and its lasting affects. While the story is of heartbreak there are various representations of concepts. Which can be seen through realism and the characters of Mr. Bodwin and Baby Suggs.
Mr. Bodwin is a white abolitionist and has high hopes for blacks in the future. He spends the happiest years of his life struggling for emancipation of blacks. Mr. Bodwin represents a time in history where slavery starts to come into question. People (white) started to realize this travesty and begin to speak up and act towards the abolition of slavery. The abolitionists begin a process which will eventually end in the 60's where blacks will attain complete freedom. They begin a legacy of freedom fighters that will not stop till blacks receive the right they so deserved. Future leaders of known fame will be Malcolm X and Martin Luther King which will carry on this battle begun by the abolitionists.
Baby Suggs, is Halle's mother and Sethe's mother - in - law, and is an important character in the story in that she brings about many aspects of self-pride and versatility. Suggs lived through the "slavery" and came out of the ordeal with strength of her character alone. Slavery at the time broke down the slaves making them have low self- esteem and low worth. But Suggs brings about the part of resiliency that was needed to beat the "system." Her faith in God and self makes her the prominent legacy. As she rose above slavery so have other individual rose above persecution and hardship across the years. For instance, World Wars, Holocaust, and the depression to name a few.
Morrison throughout Beloved offers realism of the times and consequences that occurred with the slaves. Morrison paints a picture post -Civil War life that leaves many black people lost in America. Blacks after the civil War emerged all across the South with no place to go. The South was in ruins in every sense and the Black freed slaves were confused. They had been separated from their families, lost any property they may have had, they wandered in search of a better life. Just because Slavery was abolished didn't mean all was right in their lives of the former slaves. Slavery in the South left a lasting effect on the country and those inside it especially the Southerners and slaves. Even today it still has its effect, with peoples till trying to trace there heritage and the some southern economies still recovering completely.
Morrison makes effective use of the characters and elements of realism to make comments on slavery and interpret various legacies. Each make a reference to various parts of slavery thus offering a selection of perspectives. Although there are only three mentioned there are many more to be found in the story.