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While Paul D sits under Brother to find comfort, Sixo enters the woods at night to dance, escape slave life and to keep his culture: “Sixo went among the trees at night.For dancing, he said, to keep his bloodlines open, he said” (25).Trees offer comfort and protection for the characters in the novel.
Denver feels troubled and lonely now that the ghost of her baby sister has been kicked out from the house and her mother pays all of her attention to Paul D, who has moved in.
Toni Morrison doesn’t make any exceptions to this idea.
Denver’s closet is a sanctuary where she can contemplate and rest in peace.
The seven foot high trees and the “fifty inches of murmuring leaves” (35) provide reassuring shelter for Denver, who is protected from “the hurt of the world” (35).
Many black characters, and some white and Native American characters, refer to trees as offering calm, healing and escape, thus conveying Morrison’s message that trees bring peace.
Besides using the novel’s characters to convey her message, Morrison herself displays and shows the good and calmness that trees represent in the tree imagery in her narration.
Even Beloved, the strange human apparition of the Crawling Already Baby, seemingly finds comfort with trees when she appears in the real world: “She barely gained the dry bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree” (50).
Morrison’s characters refer to trees for comfort, escape and safety, thus conveying Morrison’s message.
A tree which he named “Brother” and a tree that listened and comforted and was always there. After a long day working in the fields, Paul D would rest, often times under the towering but comforting presence of Brother with Halle, the Pauls and Sixo: “He, Sixo and both of the Pauls sat under Brother pouring water from a gourd over their heads… Not only do trees represent comfort, they also represent a place of security, a place for escape from slave life.
But most importantly, Brother represents the comforting escape from slavery which Paul D didn’t and doesn’t have: “His choice he called Brother, and sat under it, alone sometimes. When Sixo visits the Thirty-Mile Woman, he escapes into the secure woods before her master could catch him: “But Sixo had already melted into the woods before the lash could unfurl itself on his indigo behind” (25).