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1921 – Plum’s death
After being a soldier during the first World War, Eva’s son, Plum, returns home. He is emotionally disturbed, extremely thin, and he is now a drug-addict. Eva decides to kill him.
Of all her children, Eva clearly loved Plum the best. This has not changed even though he is now addicted to drugs. She still refers to him as "my baby" even though he is an adult. Plum turns back into baby and Eva becomes the young mother again. They regresse. There is an inversion because she was violent when he was a sick-baby to save him and now she kill him with love. Eva’s decision to kill him is an expression of her loves for him. Indeed because she loves him she is unable to watch as he plummets into addiction, and so she kills him.
After rocking him to sleep one night (like the mother she is), she douses his bed with kerosene and lights it. She has difficulties to come down the stairs because she prepare herself mentally, it’s moving. She looks like an eagle. At first it comes from a good intention. She believes she has the right to decide what is best for him, and believes death is better than addiction. On one level, this a sacrifice: a mother putting her son, whom she loves, out of misery and drugs. On another level, it is an act of selfishness. Later she says to his daughter he would be un-born that’s why she killed him.
The death was not unexpected. Like the other deaths there is nothing clearly said about death, there are just insinuations "as the whoosh of flames engulfed him". And there are still the elements (water, fire and air) with a poetic description. In the behaviour of Eva and Plum, Morrison shows that love is more complicated than we usually think. Love drives people to actions both selfish and selfless, both beautiful and horrible. Morrison claims love is not subject to morality. Eva demonstrates such a deep love for Plum that when she kills him, we accept her crime as an act of desperation born out of love.
Eva, the mother figure of the book, killed Plum out of love because she though it was better for him. She had understood that he was a doomed and an addicted adult. In fact, love is so complex and intricate. Eva has always made sacrifice for bringing up her children, like her leg for example