Beloved~Essay2 Artwork

Sethe's back

Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved is about a life of a former slave, Sethe. She was raised as a slave at a plantation called “Sweet Home.” Their lives were peaceful when Mr.Garner was in charge, because of his generosity and mercy (by slave owner standards), but their lives changed when he died. Then a man called “schoolteacher” took over. Schoolteacher was cruel. When schoolteacher was in charge, Sethe was abused by him and his nephews, which makes her understand that she cant let her children be slaves. She decided to send her children away to Ohio, and then she ran away. But when schoolteacher found Sethe, she had to make a tough decision in order to protect her children. She wanted to kill all her children but only succeeded with the newborn baby with a tombstoned named “Beloved.”
The quotation “I took one journey and i got paid for the ticket” refers to Sethe killed one of her baby girl. Throughout the story, Sethe’s painful memories kept coming back. Then a random women named “Beloved” showed up in their lives. Sethe later came to believe that she was her dead baby girl who came back to her. In this art work, I tried to show that Sethe’s painful memories became the scars on her back; it “grows there still,” and had became a pattern of a “tree,” never to disappear.

Are You Mr. Right?

Are You Mr. Right?

Crystal Lin

Has love ever existed? What is love? I’ve wonder. I, Lois was once a beautiful and sexy girl in the village, and was admired by men, but I picked him, Tom Bucker. Tom was a young and handsome newspaper worker in the village. One day, someone came to ring my door bell, I looked out the window and I saw a young man standing outside, and his face looked fresh to me.

Tom came to me and offered me to be his newspaper topic. He told me he heard about my music talents and he wanted to write a paper on me. Tom was skinny and his clothes didn’t make him look dull but instead more sexy. I fell for him at once but I told myself to keep it inside my heart. We started our interview, sitting by the riverside. Does that count as “Dating?” Ever since then, he came to interview me almost every day, and that was how we got to know each other.

After three months, he proposed to me. It was a rainy day, and neither of us brought an umbrella. He covered me with his jacket while we walked to the tree, and we sat under the tree while waited for the rain to stop. His action really touched my heart because he was so sweet and considerate.

After the rain stopped, we went back to the riverside and then he suddenly bended down and proposed to me.

“I love talking to you and being with you. I enjoyed spending time with you and I do not want this to be just a moment but instead I want it forever. Lois, would you like to be my wife?” He asked.

I was shocked at this action, he was always so humorous, yet quiet. He had surprised me this time, and I love it because I love him very much. Yes, I have to admit we both fell in love during these three months.

“Oh my lord, I feel the same for you. Yes I will be your wife, if you promise me this. As you know I love my music, and I would like to keep it as my career in the future. Therefore, I do not have time to cook – be your kitchen lady.” I said.

“Oh sure dear, I will be your kitchen man. Don’t worry, nothing is going to change. I’m still going to write my newspaper, and you do what you like. I will love you even though you do not cook for me,” he said.

After a month, we got married. It was supposed to be a happy marriage, but it wasn’t. We were fine in the beginning because everything went as we planned. He went to work in the morning and came home at night and cooked while I stayed home and practiced my music. But everything changed after a year of our happy marriage. He started to complain that I didn’t do the job a wife should do, mainly cooking. He told me that he was so jealous at his friend, because his wife cooked and handled house chores perfectly that his friend didn’t have to worry after came back from work. One night, he said to me.

“This is not the life I want, I thought I’m okay with that but as result I ain’t,” he said.

He had forgot what he promised me when he proposed to me that day.

Now, I understood what kind of man he was. He was sweet before he had me, but after he had me everything changed, forget about the love and the promise because all was a lie.

Ever since that night, we didn’t talk to each other nor sleep together. That relationship didn’t last the month, we got divorced and I got my freedom back and lived with my best friend, Malda.

I see Malda as my past, because she is pretty and sexy and she has her own interests. She was good at art and I was good at music. Malda was young and sexy just like I was in the past. One day, Malda told me that she met a writer and he treated her like a sweetheart. And yes, that was how Tom used to treat me, too. I was worried that she would “repeat my mistakes.”

As her best friend I did not want to see her that happen.

“You are beginning to love Ford Mathews—do you know it?” I asked.

“Yes.” She said.

“Does he love you?” I asked.

“It is early yet, he is a man, he is about thirty I believe, he has seem more of life and probably loved before-it may be nothing more than friendliness with him” She answered.

“Do you think it would be a good marriage?” I asked. We had often talked of love and marriage and I told her my past too.

“Why yes—if he loves me. He has told me quite a bit about his family, good western farming people, real Americans. He is strong and well—you can read clean living in his eyes and mouth. “Ford’s eyes were as clear as a girl’s, the whites of them were clear. Most men’s eyes…

“STOP!” I yelled.

Malda stared at me and I took a deep breath.

“He’s just like my ex-husband Tom Bucker. I know how much you love him. I know what he’s going to offer you when he proposes to you. Just remember one thing “Don’t be foolish, child, this is serious. What they care for most, after all, is domesticity. Of course they’ll fall in love with anything; but what they want to marry is a homemaker. Now we are living here in an idyllic sort of way, quite conducive to falling in love, with no temptation to marriage. If I were you—if I really loved this man and wished to marry him, I would make a home of this place.” I said.

And yet I couldn’t give up my career for Tom, was that because I didnt love him that much like I think I did?

Malda looked serious at me.

“Yes, I’m serious Lois. I know he’s my Mr. Right and I will do anything to please him, because I love him and I’m sure he will do the same too,” she said.

Malda surprised me after our last conversation. She started to cook and although it wasn’t good,  Ford started to come by very often, (of course with me there). He came almost every day and had dinner with us. One night, I decided to talk to Ford about Malda and him. After dinner, I talked to Ford alone while Malda was washing.

“Ford, I know you love Malda, but do you love her enough to change the domesticity society?” I asked.

He looked at me with humorous face “Yes, I do not think that’s the problem, because of where and how I grown up,” he said.

“I hope you will keep your promise forever, because as you know she loves arts and you have to admit she’s good at it too. I want her to have the best.” I said in a serious tone.

One year later, Malda married Ford Mathews and I was happy for her. Malda was willing to change herself to give up her interest and be Ford’s kitchen lady. And yet, Ford was willing to switch the kitchen work with her once a while so she can do her art. And me, sitting by the window and watching the rain thinking about what would happen if I willing to learn to cook for Tom. Would we have had a marriage if I wasn’t that stubborn? I’m starting to wonder if I should give myself another chance and seek for my Mr. Right again?





In the short stories The Cottagette and Are You Mr. Right? focus on whether women should be live as in domesticity society, where women must do the kitchen and house chores while men work outside, and how love overcome that. The both stories are in first person character narrator but as in different character’s point of view. In the original story The Cottagette by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is telling from the main character; Malda’s point of view. She is type of girl will give up her interests for her love one. And in the retell story Are You Mr. Right?, is telling from Lois’s point of view based on her failed marriage experience, and to show how she qualify to be a marriage adviser. Lois is type of girl that will not change for anyone, even for her love one.

In the story The Cottagette, the narrator is focus on Malda’s point of view on her feeling and how she fall in love on Ford Mathews. And yet she didn’t know what man expect from woman, until Lois told her, and after she knows, she’s willing to change herself.

Malda and Lois both have their own interests. Malda is good in art, and Lois is good in music. Malda met a writer Ford Mathews, and she fall in love on him that she’s willing to do anything to please him. And Lois work as Malda’s marriage adviser.

“Then Lois unfolded her plan. She had been married,–unhappily married, in her youth; that was all over and done with years ago; she had told me about it long since; and she said she did not regret the pain and loss because it had given her experience.” (27). Lois was married at her youth, but had an unhappy marriage. But she never feel regret because she learned her lesson. Because of Lois past, she understands what man is looking for and that make her qualify to become Malda’s adviser.

Lois told Malda that all men care are their stomachs, they insisted to find a kitchen lady no matter what even though they love you so much. From the story Are You Mr. Right?, “He started to complain that I didn’t do the job a wife should do, mainly cooking. He told me that he was so jealous at his friend, because his wife cooked and handled house chores perfectly that his friend didn’t have to worry after came back from work. One night, he said to me…This is not the life I want, I thought I’m okay with that but as result I ain’t,” he said. Everything went okay until one night Tom came home and complained that Lois didn’t do the job as a wife should do – cooking. He told Lois that he was jealous at his friend because he has a good wife and she’s willing to cook for him. Tom told Lois if she not going to do what a wife should do, then he couldn’t accept it anymore –soon they ended up divorced.

Lois also mention that in the story The Cottagette,“A person might be happy in a balloon, I suppose,” she replied, “but it wouldn’t be a home. He comes here and sits talking with us, and it’s quiety and feminine and attractive –and then we hear that big gong at the Calceolaria, and off we go stopping through the wet woods–and the spell is broken. Now you can cook.” (31). Lois is saying that food is the most important thing to a man, they can leave what they were doing and went for the food. Lois also pointing out that in order for this to be a happy marriage, Malda needs to prepare to cook for him. “This is serious. What they care for most after all is domesticity. Of course they’ll fall in love with anything; but what they want to marry is a homemaker. Now we are living here in an idyllic sort of way, quite conducive to falling in love, but no temptation to marriage. If I were you—if I really loved this man and wished to marry him, I would make a home of this place.” (24). Lois is saying that this is serious since they live in domesticity world. Of course man will fall in love on anything, but the most important thing they want is to marry a woman who can cook. Lois said if she is in Malda’s position, she will build a kitchen inside the cottagetee and learn to cook if she really love Ford.

And yet, Malda has no problem with the domesticity world because she know how to cook.“I could cook. I could cook excellently. My esteemed Mama had rigorously taught me every branch of what is now called “domestic science;” and I had no objection to the work, except that it prevented my doing anything else. And one’s hands are not so nice when one cooks and wash dishes,–I need nice hands for my needlework. But if it was a question of pleasing Ford Mathews.” (24). Malda is saying that she can cook because her mother taught her the skill in the past. But she has her work to do, it was hard to work on one hand and wash dishes on another hand. But she is willing to give up her work if cooking for Ford will make him happy. She feels cooking will not be a problem for her but then she will not be able to work on art. Although, she doesn’t like to cook.

From the story Are You Mr. Right?, Lois asked Tom to promise her something before she willing to marry him “Oh my lord, I feel the same for you. Yes I will be your wife, if you promise me this. As you know I love my music, and I would like to keep it as my career in the future. Therefore, I do not have time to cook – be your kitchen lady.” I said. Lois told Tom a heads of time that she will not cook for him because she’s busy with her music work and she wants to find a job in that field in the future. And at that time Tom said, “Oh sure dear, I will be your kitchen man. Don’t worry, nothing is going to change. I’m still going to write my newspaper, and you do what you like. I will love you even though you do not cook for me,” he said. Tom told Lois that she can concentrate on her work, and he will work and cook. He also said that he will still love Lois even though she doesn’t want to cook for him. But later on, Tom felt regret and they started to have arguments and they divorced at the end.

On the other hand from the story The Cottagette, Ford Mathews doesn’t want Malda to cook for him because he wants her to focus more on her art work. He doesn’t want her to give up her interest just for him. “Yes, I know all about it,” he went on, “Lois told me. I’ve seen a good deal of Lois—since you’ve taken to cooking. And since I would talk about you, naturally I learned a lot. She told me how you were brought up, and how strong your domestic instincts were—but bless your artist soul dear girl, you have some others!” Then he smiled rather queerly and murmured, “surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” (55). Ford is saying that Lois had told him about Malda and her talent as well, he thinks she should continue doing what she like and don’t give up anything for him, he is proud of Malda’s talent. At here, Ford shows consideration on Malda and he willing to accept her as whom she is and doesn’t want her to change her beauty. He love her as who she is.

In conclusion, shifting from another character’s point of view really made the reader to understand better in another way. In the original story “The Cottagette” we get to understand that Malda was young, pretty and open-mind that she willing to change herself and give up her interest for her love one if she has to. She’s the type of girl that will do anything to please her love one. We get to access to Malda’s mind, however we didn’t get to know how Lois being quality as a marriage adviser. We know Lois was married before from the story The Cottagette, but Malda didn’t mention much about that in detail. And in the retell story, I expanded Lois’ past and shows how she understands man better than Malda based on her background and past, which mades her quality as a marriage adviser. Lois has opposite personality than Malda. Lois was young, pretty but stubborn, she will not change herself no matter what and perhaps that was why she doesn’t have a happy marriage. But after she saw Malda and Ford’s marriage, she starts to think differently.


Is Beloved a ghost?

In the story Beloved there were many obstracles showed Beloved was a ghost. First, in the beginning its obvious that there was a ghost inside the house and that was Beloved’s spirit. But after Paul D showed up and shout at the cockroach, the house became silent because at the same time Paul D shout away the ghost as well.

Then later in the story, Beloved showed up as a physical person. They met her at the carnival and she was thirsty, so they took her home and feed her. Paul D against their decision, and dislike Beloved because he know she was pretending infront of Sethe and Denver as disability person when she has to hold something in order to stand up straight. Paul D told Sethe, he and Denver saw Beloved was not weak, but when Sethe asked Denver she denied. Ever since that, Paul D was very careful with Beloved. Denver know Beloved was not a human too but she refused to accept that because she want to keep Beloved as company to play with her, and thats why she denied anything that against Beloved. Also, Beloved knew everything that happen on them, such as the crystal earring Sethe had and the song Sethe only sang to her children. There were many times, Sethe believed Beloved was her dead baby girl and now she came back for her.

BHS Experience

There is one good thing about Brooklyn Historical Society Museum (BHS), and that is the Library on the 2nd Floor. I been to many museum but never seem a library inside the museum. The library on the 2nd FL is huge and it’s a great place for doing group projects, and class discussion and do research because all the resources in the BHS is primary and we get to see how the articles/documents looks at that time compare to today. For example, the runaway slaves ads is very small and there’s no picture of an actual slave on it, it just shows an icon of a man carrying a bag and a description of the slave. However, in today’s newspaper the ads will be post as “Missing Person” and a picture of an actual person instead of an icon, so it’s easy for people to recognize that missing person if they seen it somewhere.

It really surprised me that slavery existed in NY/Queens after I saw the runaway slaves ads at BHS because I thought slavery only existed in other states but not NY. After visiting BHS I learned that slavery can be everywhere and there’s a long history about it and I can find it in BHS if I’m interest in doing this research.

Group 5 (Damaris, Crystal, Curt, and Yoshiko)- BHS Runaway Slave Ads

On our recent trip to the Brooklyn Historical Society, we saw two clippings of wanted runaway slave advertisements, with the end goal being that we had to compare the two advertisements to the events in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. They were both roughly 2.5 x 3 in size. The clippings themselves had been faded with time, but still legible overall. Our group specifically looked at two newspaper clippings in which rewards were posted in search of runaway slaves.

According to the chapter “Profile of a Runaway”, the type of slave most likely to attempt escape were male field-hands in their late teens/early twenties, and these two runaway’s fit the standard description. These newspaper ads, most likely written and funded by the slave owners, had the language and the tone of an open ad for any lost object, the reward being twenty/twenty five dollars. They consisted of short paragraphs that described the workers’ location, looks and their skills. The clothes they wore while making their escape played a particularly important role, especially if the slave did not bring a change of clothing. In these advertisements, they were described as wearing homespun vests, suits, trousers, and hats. The location was also a standout feature, as it confirms the existence of slavery close to home (in this case, Queens County/Great Neck, Long Island).

The skills and appearance of the runaway slaves played a significant role to the ad; these things determined the “worth” of the slave concerning the reward price. This mirrors the information the “Runaway Slave Profile” text, which speaks to how, the lighter complexion, the “better” a slave may have been treated and may have been “worth”. One of the ads describes a slave’s complexion as “yellow”, and according to the statements made in the “Runaway Slave Profile,” it is no coincidence that the ad featured this description.

In applying this to Beloved, Sethe and Paul D were both runaway’s when they escaped Sweet Home and headed north for Ohio. To this end, they had to walk across a path that ran through a mountainous forest and river. Beforehand, Sethe had been raped and beaten. She was pregnant throughout her escape, and went into labor before she’d reached her destination. Paul D, on the other hand, ran to avoid being sold of to another plantation. As such, their circumstances were far more severe than the slaves in the wanted ad—at least, from what we know.


enquiringly: adverb – in an inquiring manner

From the story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. “Mr. and Mrs. Samsa sat upright there in their marriage bed and had to make an effort to get over the shock caused by the cleaner before they could grasp what she was saying. But then, each from his own side, they hurried out of bed. Mr. Samsa threw the blanket over his shoulders, Mrs. Samsa just came out in her nightdress; and that is how they went into Gregor’s room. On the way they opened the door to the living room where Grete had been sleeping since the three gentlemen had moved in; she was fully dressed as if she had never been asleep, and the paleness of her face seemed to confirm this. “Dead?”, asked Mrs. Samsa, looking at the charwoman enquiringly, even though she could have checked for herself and could have known it even without checking.” (Section III -counting backward paragraph 8).

Now I understand that Mrs.Samsa is asking Grete in a suspecting tone if Gregor is dead, although she can see he is.

BHS Observation

This is my first time visiting Brooklyn Historical Society. Before i visit BHS, I thought its like a museum with exhibitation and Im very surprised that they have library inside. Beside that, the glorious architecture design really catch my eye because what i know about museum should be old and nothing special with full of historical items inside the building. After we enter the museum, the staffs came to welcome us and they are so friendly then they lead us to the 2nd FL where the library is. This library is different than the public library although it looks the same, the books and other historical materials were protected and on shelf, its very neat and organized.
I was assigned to a group and work together on the materials provided. There was a map sponsor by SHELL in 1939 labeled “Booklyn and Queens,” and im very curious so i took some time to discover it, however, i failed because the text are so small, its so difficult to read nor understand. Prior to that, i was reading a story “Only Dead Know Brooklyn” and i totally agree the main character’s conclusion that it is impossible to know Brooklyn even for those born and grown up there. Yet, the big guy in the story think he can go through Brooklyn with the map on his hand, before I saw this map i will think the same way. The big guy mention a place called “Bensenhoist” but i still dont know where is it, he also mention “Red Hook.” I learn Red Hook from the picture that its a rough neighborhood and not safe, and nothing special about that place which i dont know why big guy went there. I have one conclusion for this big guy, he is either smart or has no sense of safety.


absurd; adjective –  1) ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous; 2) having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : meaningless

From the story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. “Then there was a ring at the door of the apartment. “That’s someone from the office,” he told himself, and he almost froze, while his small limbs only danced around all the faster. For one moment everything remained still. “They aren’t opening,” Gregor said to himself, caught up in some absurd hope. But of course then, as usual, the servant girl with her firm tread went to the door and opened it.” (Section I – paragraph 15)

Now I understand that Gregor wish the servant not going to open the door for this guest, but he knows this is a radicious hope because it’s not going to happen, and as the result the servent did open the door.

Unhappy Marriage-Fiction of Authority

Majority unhappy marriage appear in women because of an unfair society in the past, but even in today’s society there’s still unhappy marriage exist. However, women in today’s society appear to have more dignity than in the past, at least they have right to say “NO!” and made their own decision because of the word “Respect.”

In the story “Female Ingenuity” from Fictions of Authority by Susan Sniader Lanser, she argued that  the wife need to show the letter to the husband before she allow to send it out to her best friend. Because of that she forces to write in 2 versions, one is positive to show her husband and one is negative and that’s the actual letter and the letter she want to tell her friend. In the 1st letter, she said “I tell you my dear husband is one of the most amiable of men, I have been married seven weeks, and have never found the least reason to repent the day that joined us, my husband is in person and manners far from resembling ugly, crass, old, disgreeable, and jealous monsters, who think by confining to secure; a wife, it is his maxim to treat as a bosom-friend and confidatn, and not as a play thing or menial slave, the woman chosen to be his companion. Neither party he says ought to obey implicitly;–but each yield to the other by turns–” (page 9 middle paragraph). The sentence “far from resembling ugly, crass, old, disgreeable, and jealous monsters” the wife is actually saying her husband is instead of not and the meaning is hiding undearneath it.

 However, in 2nd version of the letter which is the actual one. The wife wrote “I tell you my dear I have been married seven weeks, and repent the day that joined us, my husband is ugly, crass, old, disagreeable, and jealous[;]a wife, it is his maxim to treat as a play thing or menial slave, the woman he says ought to obey implicitly;–” (page 10 1st paragraph). The wife is telling her true feeling on her husband and her marriage.

If you compared the 2 versions, you will find that on the 1st letter the wife meant to write in truth but the words that she choose totally change the whole meaning. But at the end, which letter did she sent out?


coquettish: adj – a woman who endeavors without sincere affection to gain the attention and admiration of men [ coquette: noun ]

From “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores. And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson.” (Section I – paragraph 2)

Now I understand that Miss Emily’s house is very individual, unique which marked by majestic dignity.


Peculiarity – noun; 1) the quality or state of being peculiar – adjective – different from the usual or normal

From the story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne “It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that, with lonely footsteps, he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.” (paragraph 8)

Now I understand that he know it’s going to be a lonely trip but something special is waiting ahead of him after he pass through this road.