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Transcript of Beloved
- Currently 82 years old
- Nobel Prize winner
- Novelist, Editor and Professor
- Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue and richly detailed black characters
- Written about 10 novels - Sethe: A runaway slave and the mother of four children, she is the protagonist of the story . Unwilling to let her children expereince physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual trauma she endured as a slave, she attempts to murder them in an act of motherly love and protection.
- Denver: Sethe's youngest child, stays with her mother throughout the entire novel
- Paul D: A friend from Sethe's past who becomes Sethe's lover: also a runaway slave
-Beloved: A reincarnation of Sethe's murdered child
-Baby Suggs : Mother in law to Sethe, dies during the first few chapters
-Schoolteacher: Takes charge of Sweet home after the death of the previous owner-Mr Garner
- Halle: Sethe's husband from Sweet home
-Howard and Buglar: Sethe's two eldest sons, they run away from home within the first chapter -Sethe and her daughter Denver, live at 124: a house haunted by the ghost of Sethe’s dead daughter “Beloved”
-Having escaped from slavery 18 years previous, Sethe enjoyed twenty-eight days of freedom before her slave master tracked her down.
- Rather than allow her children to be returned to slavery, she attempted to kill all of them, succeeding only in killing her 3rd child -Relationships
-Life Slavery Supernatural Favorite Part?
- Thought to be insane, Sethe is rejected by her slave master and left to live in 124 with her remaining children.
- Rejected by her community for her actions, Denver and Sethe live mostly in solitude until two visitors arrive: Paul D and Beloved.
- Gradually it becomes clearer that Beloved is the ghost of the dead baby come back to life.
- Sethe discovers Beloved's identity and believes she has been given a second chance.
-Trying to make amends for the past, she caters to Beloved, but the girl's needs are devouring.
-Settling into the house like a parasite, Beloved slowly strips Sethe of life.
- Desperate, Denver is forced to go to the community for help.
- A group of women go to 124 to exorcise Beloved's ghost
Contemplates is he is a real man: “They were only sweet home men at sweet home. One step off that ground and they were trespassers among the human race. Watch dogs without teeth; steer bulls without horns; gelded workhorses whose neigh and whinny could not be translated into a language responsible humans spoke.” (147-148)
“Mister, he looked so…free. Better than me. Stronger, tougher… Mister was allowed to be and stay what he was. But I wasn’t allowed to be and stay what I was. Even if you had cooked him you’d be cooking a rooster named Mister. But wasn’t no way I’d ever be Paul D again, living or dead. Schoolteacher changed me. I was something else and that something was less than a chicken in the sun on a tub” (86) Sethe:
- Her sons
- Baby Suggs
- Her mother
-Control Identity Baby Suggs:
- Losses all 8 of her children
"My first-born. All I can remember of her is how she loved the burned bottom of bread. Can you beat that? Eight children and that's all I remember." Ch. 1
-Loses her Grandchildren
-Will to live
-Loss of "Sweet Home Identity" with the arrival of the Schoolteacher: she is no longer treated kindly, or thought to be all human.
-She is raped, whipped, compared to an animal and stolen from.
-With the loss of Halle
-With the birth of her children:
"The best things she was, was her children. Whites might dirty her all right, but not her best thing, her beautiful, magical best thing - the part of her that was clean." (Ch.26)
- With the arrival of Beloved: She stops being a mother to Denver, stops being a lover to Paul D and stops working. Her entire identity and purpose centers around being a mother to Beloved.
"This is worse than when Paul D came to 124 and she cried helplessly into the stove. This is worse. Then it was for herself. Now she is crying because she has no self." (Chapter 12) Baby Suggs Sethe: Paul D : Beloved Beloved never actually gets the opportunity to develop an identity.
-Not seperate from Sethe:
"" I am not separate from her there is no place where I stop her face is my own and I want to be there in the place where her face is and to be looking at it too a hot thing." (ch.22)
- No one knew her, loved her, or remembered her when she left 124.
"Everybody knew what she was called, but nobody anywhere knew her name. Disremembered and unaccounted for, she cannot be lost because no one is looking for her, and even if they were, how can they call her if they don't know her name? Although she has claim, she is not claimed." (ch. 28) “When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees.After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her.Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling.Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees.Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose.It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart.She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure.She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...” -When she was a slave at Sweet Home:
“...fact was she knew more about them than she knew about herself, having never had the map to discover what she was like. Could she sing? (Was it nice to hear when she did?) Was she pretty? Was she a good friend? Could she have been a loving mother? A faithful wife?... (140)”
-Source of emotional and spiritual inspiration for the cities black residents: She held religious gatherings at a place called the Clearing, where she taught her followers to love their voices, bodies, and minds. God-like, Discribed as "holy"
-After Sethe commits infanticide, Baby Suggs stops preaching and retreats to a sickbed to die, saying
"Those white things have taken all I had or dreamed...and broke my heartstrings too. There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks." (ch.9) Denver:
-Loss of control
-Loss of love:
"The best thing, he knew, was to love just a little bit; everything, just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you'd have a little love left over for the next one.”
"So you protected yourself and loved small. Picked the tiniest stars out of the sky to own; lay down with head twisted in order to see the loved one over the rim of the trench before you slept. Stole shy glances at her between the trees at chain-up. Glass blades, salamanders, spiders, woodpeckers, beetles, a kingdom of ants. Anything bigger wouldn't do. A woman, a child, a brother - a big love like that would split you wide open in Alfred, Georgia. He knew exactly what she meant: to get to a place where you could love anything you chose - not to need permission for desire - well now, THAT was freedom" Paul D Memory Dehumanization Healing Freedom Love Race Family The colour Red Trees Disturbing? Writting style? Breanne Pollard