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I think you have made a good point here. Sethe does not really describe hardship in slavery, but alot of her hardships afterwards. Some of the more prominent ones include the teenagers that steal her breast milk and losing her small child, and ever her whipping that made the cokecherry tree on her back.
I think that for Sethe, life as a slave may have actually been more comforting than the life she has now. I feel as though the beginning of her hardships started when she married Halle, and learned from Paul D that Halle had witnessed the teenagers assault her, but did nothing to stop them. She feels helpless, and alone, and has no choice but to love the ones around her.

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