Exam tomorrow: Please budget extra travel time

Dear class,

I look forward to seeing you at the final tomorrow.  As the weather conditions today are quite bad, I wanted to urge you to consider factoring in extra travel time to get to class tomorrow.  While the snow is scheduled to stop late tonight, there may still be delays.  In addition, because many of you already have issues being in class on time, I would recommend budgeting an extra half hour of travel on average, to make the most of the 75 minutes.

Thank you!

Good luck studying,

Professor Kwong

Follow up to previous announcement: list of texts on the final exam

Hi class,

Hope you are finding new insights as you complete Paper 1 and prepare for the exam. For ease of reference, I wanted to clarify the texts that will be excerpted on the exam:

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (excerpt)

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

M.R. James, “The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”

H.P. Lovecraft, “At The Mountains of Madness”

Toni Morrison, Beloved

Since Dracula was assigned for Essay 1, it will not be on the exam.

Please consult the previous announcement, and your handout, for further details about the final.

We’ll wrap up US and have an end-of-term discussion tomorrow. See you then!

Professor Kwong

Announcements for Thursday, Dec. 12

  1. Sci Fi Symposium: December 12. 500 word extra credit assignment. Attend any one of the panels, take notes, and write a reflection on how/whether the panel revealed similarities/parallels between science fiction and Gothic literature.

2. Semester Review Bonus Quiz next time: matching characters with descriptions, concepts with descriptions. This quiz will be 10 bonus points.

3. We will begin watching US next class. Come ready to think about how plot elements, character types, or images in the film recall/parallel similar moments in different texts we have read.

4. For homework, please continue working on your Final Essay. The sentence templates I handed out in class can be found here. You’ll upload the final essay and the extra  credit assignment(s) to electronic Dropboxes (no hard copies needed!).  However, please take care to format these documents as if you were turning in a hard copy! They should look professional.


-15% of final grade

-Short ID and analysis of 4 texts you did not write about in either essay (you will have a choice)

-You’ll be presented with excerpts from the texts. Pick 4 and identify: text, author, context. Then include a brief paragraph of analysis (ID’ing literary elements and Gothic tropes, important cultural/historical themes)

-1 double-sided page of notes allowed.

180 – last

The ending was shocking as who knew Beloved would actually leave the place. Not only that but also how Denver stood up for herself and made a choice where she had to leave her comfort zone and go look for a job to provide food for her mother and herself. If Beloved had not been in the picture none of this would’ve been possible. I feel like Tony Morrison deliberately wanted to show us that the presence of Beloved caused harm but more than that it helped Denver to make herself more independent. The society also came into one, helping Sethe, they were upset about not helping her that time when the schoolteacher had come to take her and her children as a slave. They regretted the idea that they kept quiet at that time, more of they felt in some way it would have never come to a point where Sethe had to kill her child if they had warned her or alerted her in the past.

Return of Beloved bought the community together and giving Denver a strength in becoming independent. It was also not so shocking when Beloved disappeared because it felt right, she was like a person sent by God to help Sethe and the others to come into place. It was like a mission, and once it was over she left. It was forgotten that Beloved returned from the other side but did leave an impact on Sethe. However, it is normal because she was still a mother and that is normal for a mother to feel down when a child is lost.

Beloved 256-324

“Everybody knew what she was called, but nobody anywhere knew her name.  Forgotten 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. In the place where long grass opens, the girl who waited to be loved and cry shame erupts into her separate parts, to make it easy for the chewing laughter to swallow her all away.” (323, Morrison)

Beloved is clearly somewhere unfamiliar where no one cares to remember who or what she is. She is a long lost memory in the hearts and minds of those who tried to show her love; that especially of Sethe who tried to prove to her that she loved her and explained why she had to kill her from the hands of the slave masters.

Beloved was never satisfied at any point. The passage shows that Beloved is in a mental state of depression. Somewhere lost and deprived of love. This can also refer to “The Yellow WallPaper” wherein she needed love and attention and her husband thought she was sick. she was suffering, felt abandoned and alone. Perhaps suffering from postpartum depression. The similarities that Beloved showed which was loneliness, isolated and depressed and longed for love. Beloved seemed like a bad dream that noone wanted to remember. She tried to separate Sethe from everyone to have for herself.  She was selfish. Now Beloved is a lost soul in the minds of who once was known.

The narrator describes the passage as sad as that of a ghost story, wherein Beloved who once was alive in human flesh, blood pumping true her veins is no more in the minds of her people. She is an illusion, a past memory, a fantasy. Clearly an outcome of aberration.

Brian-Beloved 256-324

“Some brought what they could and what they believed would work. Stuffed in apron pockets, strung around their necks, lying in the space between their breasts. Others brought Christian faith—as shield and sword. Most brought a little of both. They had no idea what they would do once they got there. They just started out, walked down Bluestone Road and came together at the agreed-upon time. The heat kept a few
women who promised to go at home. Others who believed the story didn’t want any part of the confrontation and wouldn’t have come no matter what the weather. And there were those like Lady Jones who didn’t believe the story and hated the ignorance of those who did. So thirty women made up that company and walked slowly, slowly toward 124”.

From this, I would assume that a group of people are heading to 124 for either a party or prayer, since the group is 30 people. However, the quotation mentioned some of the group members bring Christian faith as a shield and sword. I realize that they aren’t going to a party or prayer now, since they brought something as a symbol of protection. The group is most likely heading towards something evil or dangerous; a ghost or spirit perhaps. The group is also composed of 3 types of people. The believers, non-believers, and everyone else. This moment is very familiar, similar to that of Shrek, when the group of men approach his home with pitchforks and torches. In this case, a group of men are approaching the house of 124 with items of Christian faith. Both seem to want to ward off what they believe to be “evil”.

Beloved 256-324, Ayshe

“Decided to stop relying on kindness to leave something on the stump. She would hire herself out somewhere, and  she was afraid to leave Sethe and Beloved along all day not knowing what calamity either one of them would create, she came to realize that her presence in that house had no influence on what either woman did. She help them alive and they ignore her.” (296, Morrison)


After seeing Beloved “rising back from the dead”, Beloved is continuously, figuratively and literally sucking the life out of Sethe. Sethe was let go from her work because she kept coming in late from playing and entertaining Beloved everyday. Sethe’s remaining youth and beauty, money, and food and water was sucked out and devoured by Beloved. Due to Sethe’s release from work, she was put in a situation where she could no longer support Denver and Beloved. No longer wanting to rely on the charity of other’s for their support and witnessing her mother exhaustion increasing over time from providing Beloved’s needs, Denver ventures out to find some work in exchange for food for her family. Denver was extremely worried about leaving Beloved and Sethe alone together, worried that one may kill the other. After some time, Denver realized that the two women were so caught up with destroying and providing for the other, her presence did not influence the seesaw between them. The two women had eyes on each other for some time, that they completely forgot about Denver’s existence. Denver’s courage to find a job to support her family, especially her mother during an extremely difficult time, is what makes her admirable.




Announcement for Tuesday, Dec 10

Dear class,

Just a reminder that we are finishing Beloved tomorrow. Per the schedule, there’s a quiz assigned – please be present at the beginning of class.

As mentioned last week, there’s a Sci Fi symposium this Thursday. You can find the details here.  Anyone who goes and writes a 500 word reflection explaining how the content of a panel discussion might shed light on the similarities between sci fi and Gothic literature is eligible for extra credit.

Please bring the texts you are working with for this final paper, as well as the latest version of your draft, to tomorrow’s class. Thank you!


Professor Kwong

Beloved 256 – 324 Page 295

“Sethe no longer combed her hair or splashed her face with water. She sat in the chair licking her lips like a chastised child while Beloved ate up her life, took it, swelled up with it, grew taller on it…. Sethe was trying to make up for the handsaw; Beloved was making her pay for it. Yet she knew Sethe’s greatest fear was the same one Denver had in the beginning- that Beloved might leave”.

In these lines we see how Sethe belittled herself and as the result, her self importance diminished to absolutely nothing. In previous lines, it was said to love yourself, your hands, neck etc… As the novel proceeded and Beloved was introduced, Sethe’s obsession has shifted to the figure that of her dead daughter. As Sethe depreciated, Beloved grew and matured due to Sethe’s non-existence. This painted a portrait in my mind of Beloved tall and youthful, shining brighter than anyone. While, Sethe is old and worn out and is looking up to her daughter Beloved that is reborn into something greater. Beloved was portrayed as sucking the life out of Sethe the longer she was around. Sethe felt the need to explain the reason why she killed her daughter over and over again, not to prove to Beloved but to prove to herself. That is a guilt that she never really overcame as she escaped to her freedom. As we saw, she was angry at Baby Suggs for trying to live her life as she prepared a feast. The theory behind why she was mad was because she never really labeled herself as “freed”. In these chapters, we saw Sethe holding onto Beloved tighter than ever and she has let go of Denver because 3 is an odd number and one would always be left out. Sethe has let go of her self worth, her future; as she was fired from her job. She needed to prove that she was never letting go of Beloved ever again.

Beloved 180-256

“Not at Sweet home, my niggers is men every one of em. Bought em thataway, raised em that way. Men every one”

Paul D remembers when Mr Garner would say this about his slaves. Mr Garner treated the slaves at Sweet Home with respect and trust. He even allowed them to work for extra money and use a gun. Most importantly he taught them how to read all things that a regular or free “man” were given. Other slave owners did not grant their slaves such privileges and so Mr Garner regarded himself as a God sent.  This all went away after Mr Garner dies and so the author reminds us that even though Mr Garner treated his slaves differently they were still slaves, tied to the white man’s good will. Regardless of man or woman they were lacking free will and determination.