Final exam information


On the final exam, as on the midterm exam, there will be two parts. In Part I, you will have a list of terms that we have learned this semester (review our list here, and get more background information from “Elements of Fiction.” There will also be a list of 10 passages from our readings since the midterm. You will have to choose five of the passages, and for each, you will identify the title and author of the passage, identify which term is an appropriate label for that passage, AND explain why in a sentence or two. There might be more than one term that applies to any given passage, for example, if a passage is an example of first-person narration and setting–either would be correct in that case. You will not get credit, though, if you do not provide an explanation of why it is the appropriate label, since I won’t know if you know the terms or are just guessing. In completing Part I, you will need to use five different terms–that is, each term you use cannot be used more than once, even if they can apply to more than one passage. Extra credit will be given for completing a sixth answer.

In Part II, you will write a well-developed essay(thesis-driven, organized, thoughtful, evidence-based, proofread), in which you compare two texts we have read since the midterm exam based on their approach to one of the following issues, topics, or themes. Use two examples from each story, using quotations from your quotation sheet as evidence, developed using the now-famous five-step method, to support for your thesis-driven essay. If you want to include a third story as well, you can, and that can include anything we read this semester, but make sure you have enough time to do so. Here are the five questions we agreed upon:

  1. Using two stories we read, compare what happens when characters face impossible choices.
  2. Using two stories we read, compare what happens when stories are not definitive but instead create uncertainty or ambiguity or a multiplicity of possibility when important information is the unknowable or un-confirmable.
  3. Using two stories we read, compare how characters’ personal history or family history have an impact on future generations.
  4. Using two stories we read, compare what happens when characters exhibit pride. Consider the positive and/or negative effects of pride.
  5. Using two stories we read, compare what happens when characters reverse roles, including familial, professional, or social roles.

Look back at our class notes as we brainstormed these topics for the ideas we discussed in class. On the exam, this will be a list of three, so be sure to prepare three of the five to guarantee one of your preferred options will be available to you on Monday! Look for the poll in the sidebar to give me a sense of which question you’re hoping to find on the exam on Monday.

Your essay should be approximately 500-600 words—if you’re writing 5 words per line, that’s 5-6 pages in the blue book, fewer pages if you get more words per line. There’s no need to count all of the words: check to see roughly how many words you write per line on a few lines, then multiply that by 20 (lines per page) and the number of pages you have. Most of you had no trouble meeting this requirement this for the midterm exam. When you include a quotation, even though it is already on your quotation sheet, I ask that you copy it into your essay. Rather than using whiteout or making a mess, when you need to make a correction, just cross out what you want to delete.

To get started, you should use the time before the exam to plan your three possible essays. Take time at the start of the exam to think about which question you will respond to, remember what  you want to write about it, and use the blue book to write down notes before you start writing the essay. There’s no need to skip every other line, but you might want to skip a line or two between paragraphs to give yourself space to add in any additional words or sentences when you re-read your essay.

Good luck!

Part 2


Beloved by Toni Morrison involves a runaway slave named Sethe who killed off her newborn baby, Beloved, to save her from living the life she lived.In an effort to keep Beloved’s memory alive, she takes in a random woman who claims she is Beloved. “Denver tended to her, watched her sound sleep, listened to her labored breathing and, out of love and a breakneck possessiveness that charged her, hid like a personal blemish Beloved’s incontinence” My scene was when Sethe believes that Beloved is really her daughter. Throughout the passage one paragraph that stood out to me was how attached Denver got to Beloved from the moment they found her. This was intriguing because Denver was not the type to be dependent on someone so much, she was very self absorbed. I chose to do a concrete image of this passage because the image of the skull represents death and Beloved is believed to come back from the dead, but isn’t believed to be dead. I believe that if Beloved never came then Denver and Sethe would not have been the same.


This sketch was created to depict the subtle transition of Beloved coming into the lives of the characters living at 124.  Beloved is drown without a face to express her mystic and her presence as the embodiment of Sethe’s deceased child.  Although she was yet to be introduced in the novel’s opening scene, Beloved is also used in this sketch as a reminder of ghost that haunted the house.  She is also ever present in this sketch, even though she’s off center, the focus is on her by drawing her slightly larger (close up) than the other characters.

Center, you can see Sethe and Paul D chatting on the stoop of the house as they were the beginning of the novel (reproduced based on the movie) while Beloved is to the right.

In the background you can see “124 Bluestone road”,  the house that Sethe lived in.  The curtains are slightly closed, adding to the mystic of the novel.

“That Ain’t Her Mouth.”

beloved (pdf)

I used this section of the passage I chose for Essay #2 to become a sort of visual poem. I thought that the language used by Toni Morrison in this section is so full of imagery and metaphors and I wanted to mirror that with an actual visual text. There are so many concrete and significant images in that section of the text I chose and I thought it would be important to highlight them. Some of the words are crossed out, underlined, or italicized for visual and dramatic effect. Each phrase gets bigger in font size by the line because it’s a poetic build up to this horrific realization that such a terrible thing had been done. With this visual text I hope that anyone viewing will realize the emotion in the narration, and can realize how powerful words can jump off a page to become art, news, or evoke feelings like sadness and shock. I also chose the colors to be similar to the cover art on my copy of the book Beloved. I liked that color scheme and I chose to work with it because I thought it would apply and be relevant to this visual project.

“Why me?”

          In the Story Beloved by Toni Morrison, we see different scenes which lead to the outcome and the climax of the story. My picture basically portrays the summary of my essay. Starting with the babies throat being slit by Sethe, which lead to the ghost hunting 124. The wedding dress portrays what Sethe wore when she was getting married to Halle. Also “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom”. Basically 124 is being hunted by the ghost of Beloved and 124 is very unstable. The river bank is said to be where Beloved resurrected from. Also the circus is where Beloved, Denver and Sethe went for quality time and it reminded Sethe of what being a family was like. Basically if Beloveds throat was never slit, the outcome of the whole story would’ve changed. And 124 wouldn’t have been hunted by Beloved’s ghost.

Beloved “an eye opener”




“And they took my milk.”

“They beat you and you was pregnant?”

 bought them thataway, raised em thataway. Men every one

Schoolteacher had chastised that nephew,—

But now she’d gone wild, due to nephew who’d overbeat her and made her cut and run.


I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animal ones on the right

Them boys found out I told on em. Schoolteacher made one open up my back, and when it closed it made a tree

“We was talking ’bout a tree, Sethe.”

After I left you, those boys came in there and took my milk.

what would his own horse do if you beat it beyond the point of education

I told Mrs.Garner on em. She had that lump and couldn’t speak but her eyes rolled out



They used cowhide on you?”

“And they took my milk!”



It grows there still.

As I read the novel I kept asking myself what was the motivation for Sethe’s acts. This question kept popping up until the moment when Sethe was assaulted by the Schoolteacher’s nephews. Looking at the turn of events, there was nothing more significant than the fact that if Mr. Garner was alive Schoolteacher would not have been involved in the lives of the slaves; to push things in a very traumatic way for the slaves.

As much as Beloved is a bitter experience for the slaves, it “opened our eyes” to the consequence of slavery. It showed what slavery did to innocent people and their community as a whole. Indeed Beloved is really an eye opener; as it opened up a lot of questions that have long been unanswered or in some cases never asked; as it affords the opportunity to think about some critical questions that have never been thought of for a very long time.

On curating Beloved the black and red color signify sorrow and death. In this context it signifies the amount of sorrow Sethe and Sweet Home slaves experienced in the hands of Schoolteacher. The picture on display shows the scars that were on Sethe’s back after she was beaten by Schoolteacher’s nephews. The tree Sethe calls it signifies the amount of pain that grow with the scars on her back. It shows how much it traumatize her day in day, which eventually led her to kill her baby.


Beloved Drawing

P.S. I’m not an artist.



The Moment Sethe met Amy Denver

This moment is a very significant moment in the story. It is up to this point when the story can turn in two different directions. In one scenario Sethe after being spotted by Amy Denver, Amy can run back into the town and talk to cops or anyone she sees and notify them of what she seen. Once doing that Sethe can try to run more but won’t be make it too far because of her injured and due to the lack of water and food really gave her no energy to  continue.  She might either die or eventually get caught and taken back to where she escaped from. In the second scenario Amy Denver actually helps out Sethe and care of her. In the story she actually does help Sethe. She cares for her in a barn she found and helps her delivery Sethe’s baby who is actually named after Sethe.

What Is True Love?

What Is True Love?

Anwar Uddin

 As a sister I can do so much, I tried and tried thus I failed to aid my sister during her sorrows. She was troubled with cardiovascular disease so I tried giving her hints and description of what might have happened, slowly trying to reveal the whole outcome of the tragedy but all attempts failed. My sister’s husband’s friend, Richard had learned about a railroad disaster when he was in the newspaper office and saw Louise’s husband, Brently, on the list of those killed. As I slowly told my sister about Brentley’s death, I can see all the emotions building up in Louise and her eyes gradually turning red and slowly the first drop of tears ran across her cheeks and down her neck. I felt pain and grief run through my body as I told her about the incident it was a painful ache that’s unexplainable. As I tried leaning forward to grab her, Louise ran down the living room and up the stairs not stopping at once as she skipped through two stairs at a time. I followed behind her as she slammed the door in front of me all I can hear at this point is an ache that ran down my ears from the wooden door that Louise had slammed shut. So many things ran across my mind I thought I was going to lose my sister also, as I heard the windows crack open on the other side of this dense wooden door. There was a little opening under the wooden door and I felt a slight puff of air hit my toes. So I knew for sure Louise had opened the window. As I put my ears against the door to listen to what Louise was doing behind door, I heard a little whisper saying “free body and soul free!” then I yelled out “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heavens sake open the door.” I kept banging on the door and I felt flood flow into my arms as I started banging harder and harder slowly my hands started turning red.”Go away. I am not making myself ill.” My sister answered. I felt helpless, here my sister was going through a tough time and all I could do is watch and listen. After waiting and waiting I didn’t know what to do anymore and unexpectedly the wooden door slowly opened and I was ecstatic to see my sister all right. For some reason I saw triumph in Louise’s eyes I was bewildered it was as If she was free again. I wish I knew what was running through my sister’s mind. But I was delighted to see my sister okay and that’s all that mattered. I held my sister as she clasped her arms around my waist and I slowly held her as we walked down the wooden stairs there was silence and I heard my sister breathing hard and the stairs making crackling noises. At the bottom of the stairs Richard was awaiting our presence. As we finally approached the bottom of the stairs where Richard was standing, someone was trying to open the front door. I heard keys trying to twist and turn trying to open the door and finally the front door had cracked open. It was Brentley Mallard carrying his grip-sack and umbrella, I couldn’t believe it I felt a huge burden lift of my back and all I thought to myself was “how?” I was truly pleased to see Brentley safe. I burst out with laugher and cry. Richard had tried unsuccessfully to block Louise from seeing him. My sister Louise had passed away from heart disease, I was speechless nothing can overcome what I have been through all the sorrow and pain.



In the original story, “The Story of an hour” by Kate Chopin the author narrates the story using third person limited narration. We are guided towards the mind of Louise Mallard and we come to learn about Louise’s outlook and emotions about her husband Brently Mallards death when a railroad disaster takes place. Louise’s Mallard’s sister Josephine is trying very hard to cope with the situation and she’s slowly trying to explain to Louise’s about the incident that occurred with Brently. Therefore in my narration of “The story of an Hour” I used first person limited narration to take a tour around Josephine’s intuition about her perception and thoughts of the incident which took place with Brently and how she might have actually felt trying to explain to her sister that her husband wont be coming back home.

In my telling of “The Story of an Hour” I used first person narration to describe Josephine’s thoughts and feelings when she had found out about the railroad disaster that had took place and how it might have felt to actually tell someone that your loved one wont be returning back home. I described the story through Josephine’s perspective and how Josephine may have felt. Therefore started my story of with Josephine’s feelings and how she feels helpless and unworthy, “As a sister I can do so much, I tried and tried thus I failed to aid my sister during her sorrows.”This portrays Josephine can only do so much to help her sister through her struggles. Also Josephine’s sister Louise Mallard was troubled with heart disease therefore she didn’t want to go straight to the topic of Brently Mallards passing away instead she used broken sentences and hints to portray Brently’s death. Josephine acknowledged the despair that was building up when she was explaining to Louise about her husband’s death as she states, “I can see all the emotions building up in Louise and her eyes gradually turning red and slowly the first drop of tears ran across her cheeks and down her neck.” Josephine tried to soothe her by giving her a hug but Louise went up to her room alone. She followed Louise back to her room but Louise wouldn’t open the door. Many thoughts were running across Josephine’s head as a sister she wanted the best for Louise as we can see she states, “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heavens sake open the door.” Louise had cracked open the windows and Josephine knew something was up, she screamed “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heavens sake open the door.” But Louise wouldn’t budge therefore she answered “Go away. I am not making myself ill.” Josephine didn’t want her sister to feel ill therefore she kept banging on the door eventually Louise had opened the door and she came out. Josephine explains that Louise looked very delighted and happy when she walked out of the room, “For some reason I saw triumph in Louise’s eyes I was bewildered it was as If she was free again.” But to Josephine all that mattered at that point was that her sister was okay. As they grabbed each other and started walking down the stairs Richard was at the bottom of the stairs waiting for them when they reached the bottom of the stairs someone was trying to open the front door and eventually Brently Mallard walked into the house. Josephine couldn’t believe it, Brently was alive she was full of joy. Later on we come to a conclusion that Louise had passed away from heart disease.

In the original story of “The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin, she uses Third person limited narration. In the story there is a short description of Josephine’s reaction when she first hears the incident that occurred with Brently Mallard. Louise Mallard is heart troubled so she is cautiously informed about her husbands passing away. The description tells us that Josephine use’s broken sentences to describe the incident that occurred, as explained in the story “it was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing.” Louise’s husband’s friend Richard, had learned about a railroad disaster that befall when he was in the newspaper office and saw Louise’s husband, Brently, on the listing of those wounded and killed. After Josephine had slowly explained to Louise about Brently’s death Louise slowly started weeping and she runs upstairs to her to room alone. Louise sits down in her room and she looks out an open window. She sees trees, she smells the aroma of approaching rain, and hears someone yelling out what he’s trying to sell. She hears somebody singing as well as the sounds of sparrows, and there are fluffy white clouds in the sky as its stated in the story “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.” She feels young with lines around her eyes we come to this conclusion because the author explain “she was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” Still weeping, she looks into the distance. She feels anxious and tries to hold back the building emotions inside her, but she can’t. She starts continuously repeating the word “Free” to herself over and over again. Her heart begins to beat quickly, and she feels awfully warm. Louise knows she’ll sob again when she see’s her husband corpse. Louise describes Brently’s hand as tender, and that he constantly looked at her tenderly. But when she starts thinking about the years to come, which belong only to her now, and spreads her arms out ecstatically with eagerness, the author explains “she knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.” Louise will be free on her own without anyone to tell her what to do. She feels as if all men and women oppress one another even if they do it out of affection. Louise often felt love for Brently but she tells herself that none of that matters anymore. She feels happy with her new freedom. Josephine comes to her door and starts knocking, pleading Louise to come out, and telling her that she’ll get sick if she doesn’t. Louise tells Josephine she’ll be fine and for her to go away. Louise thinks about all the days and years to come and how she’ll live a long and healthy life with no stress. Louise eventually opens the door and both sisters start walking down the stairs where Richards is waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs. The front door suddenly opens and Brently Mallard comes in. He wasn’t in the train disaster or even attentive that one had happened. Josephine screams out of delight, and Richards tries to block Louise from seeing him. When the doctors appear they state that Louise died of a heart attack brought on by joy.

In conclusion, the author Kate Chopin describes all the feelings and emotions of how Louise felt when she thought her husband passed away. Kate Chopin used third person limited narration to describe Louise and her thoughts about the whole situation. Louise felt a huge burden lift of her back as she thought her husband passed away. In the story I described I used third person narration with a different character I used Josephine as the character and her described her thoughts and feelings about the whole situation from her point of view.

Brainstorming for the final exam


For the final exam, we are going to draft several questions for a comparative essay. In class on Wednesday, we will narrow this list to 5 possible topics. I will then offer you the choice of one of three of the topics on the final exam, which you will take on Monday, 5/20.

We discussed several interesting connections between Louise Erdrich’s “The Shawl” and Toni Morrison’s Beloved in class today, and between Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” in our class last week. Please reply here with some suggested topics. Please include a short rationale to help the class understand the topic. We might blend related topics together as we did for the midterm exam.

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.

Thesis Statement

There are many obstacles that take place in “Beloved” which would’ve completely changed the plot of the story if it hadn’t taken place. “Beloved” which was written by Toni Morrison has many key points which portray these events. I believe the story of “Beloved” would have never taken place the way it did if Beloved’s throat was never slit, more importantly there wouldn’t be any ghost. In “Beloved” we acknowledge many changes with the ghost’s behavior as it gets more aggressive throughout the story. Therefore in my understanding it is important to discuss what would have occurred if the ghosts never existed throughout the story and all the many changes with the ghost’s behavior.

Instructions for contributing to our anthology

To finalize our work on the anthology we started making in March, please share your great work via our site. To do so, please write a post, following these instructions:

  • Include the title of your story as the title of your post
  • To include your writing and preserve your word-processing formatting, please click on the button that looks like a clipboard with a W on it. Use ctrl-V (or command-V on a Mac) to paste your work there
  • Your post should include the title of your story, then your name (OpenLab display name or your real name—it’s your decision), then the story, then three blank lines, then your essay
  • Please run spell-check in your word-processing program before adding your materials
  • Choose the category Anthology, and then also the category that corresponds to the title of the story you’re writing about (without that second category, I won’t be able to organize your work according to the story you’re working with!)
  • Add any tags you find appropriate—you can create your own, or use ones already created on our site
  • Don’t be alarmed if I need to make some minor changes to your work if I’ve forgotten something—I might ask you to make the change or I might just make it myself
  • Don’t be alarmed when you see the full-text stories being added to our site—it’s the only way for me to get that text into our anthology
  • If you’re interested to know more about how we’re making this anthology, look at information about Anthologize, a free, open-source, WordPress-based platform for publishing, at

I’m excited to be able to produce this anthology to share our work in a new way, and to give you each the opportunity to share your work with your friends and families.

essay 2 passage

“Paul D made a few acquaintances; spoke to them about what work he might
find. Sethe returned the smiles she got. Denver was swaying with delight. And
on the way home, although leading them now, the shadows of three people still
held hands.
A FULLY DRESSED woman walked out of the water. She barely gained the dry
bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree. All
day and all night she sat there, her head resting on the trunk in a position
abandoned enough to crack the brim in her straw hat. Everything hurt but her
lungs most of all.
Sopping wet and breathing shallow she spent those hours trying to
negotiate the weight of her eyelids. The day breeze blew her dress dry; the
night wind wrinkled it. Nobody saw her emerge or came accidentally by. If they
had, chances are they would have hesitated before approaching her. Not because
she was wet, or dozing or had what sounded like asthma, but because amid all
that she was smiling……
“You from around here?” Sethe asked her.
She shook her head no and reached down to take off her shoes.
She pulled her dress up to the knees and rolled down her stockings.
When the hosiery was tucked into the shoes, Sethe saw that her feet were
like her hands, soft and new. She must have hitched a wagon ride, thought
Sethe. Probably one of those West Virginia girls looking for something to beat
a life of tobacco and sorghum. Sethe bent to pick up the shoes.
“What might your name be?” asked Paul D.
“Beloved,” she said, and her voice was so low and rough each one looked
at the other two. They heard the voice first–later the name.
“Beloved. You use a last name, Beloved?” Paul D asked her.
“Last?” She seemed puzzled. Then “No,” and she spelled it for them,
slowly as though the letters were being formed as she spoke them.
Sethe dropped the shoes; Denver sat down and Paul D smiled.
He recognized the careful enunciation of letters by those, like himself,
who could not read but had memorized the letters of their name. He was about to
ask who her people were but thought better of it. A young coloredwoman drifting
was drifting from ruin. He had been in Rochester four years ago and seen five
women arriving with fourteen female children. All their men–brothers, uncles,
fathers, husbands, sons–had been picked off one by one by one. They had a
single piece of paper directing them to a preacher on DeVore Street.
The War had been over four or five years then, but nobody white or black
seemed to know it. Odd clusters and strays of Negroes wandered the back roads
and cowpaths from Schenectady to Jackson.
Dazed but insistent, they searched each other out for word of a cousin,
an aunt, a friend who once said, “Call on me. Anytime you get near Chicago,
just call on me.” Some of them were running from family that could not support
them, some to family; some were running from dead crops, dead kin, life
threats, and took-over land. Boys younger than Buglar and Howard;
configurations and blends of families of women and children, while elsewhere,
solitary, hunted and hunting for, were men, men, men. Forbidden public
transportation, chased by debt and filthy “talking sheets,” they followed
secondary routes, scanned the horizon for signs and counted heavily on each
other. Silent, except for social courtesies, when they met one another they
neither described nor asked about the sorrow that drove them from one place to
another. The whites didn’t bear speaking on. Everybody knew.
So he did not press the young woman with the broken hat about where from
or how come.” (Morrison pg 28) (online version)

i think a significant part in the story where is starts picking up to climax is where they first meet beloved and a few sentences before denver was actually starting to get used to pual d’s presence, but all of that changes when beloved shows up

Passage for Essay 2

“Good for you. More it hurt more better it is. Can’t nothing heal without
pain, you know. What you wiggling for?”
Sethe raised up on her elbows. Lying on her back so long had raised a
ruckus between her shoulder blades. The fire in her feet and the fire on her
back made her sweat.
“My back hurt me,” she said.
“Your back? Gal, you a mess. Turn over here and let me see.”
In an effort so great it made her sick to her stomach, Sethe turned onto
her right side. Amy unfastened the back of her dress and said, “Come here,
Jesus,” when she saw. Sethe guessed it must be bad because after that call to
Jesus Amy didn’t speak for a while. In the silence of an Amy struck dumb for a
change, Sethe felt the fingers of those good hands lightly touch her back. She
could hear her breathing but still the whitegirl said nothing. Sethe could not
move. She couldn’t lie on her stomach or her back, and to keep on her side
meant pressure on her screaming feet. Amy spoke at last in her dreamwalker’s
“It’s a tree, Lu. A chokecherry tree. See, here’s the trunk–it’s red and
split wide open, full of sap, and this here’s the parting for the branches. You
got a mighty lot of branches. Leaves, too, look like, and dern if these ain’t
blossoms. Tiny little cherry blossoms, just as white. Your back got a whole

essay 2

Now she rolled the dough out with a wooden pin. “Anybody could smell me
long before he saw me. And when he saw me he’d see the drops of it on the front
of my dress. Nothing I could do about that. All I knew was I had to get my milk
to my baby girl. Nobody was going to nurse her like me. Nobody was going to get
it to her fast enough, or take it away when she had enough and didn’t know it.
Nobody knew that she couldn’t pass her air if you held her up on your shoulder,
only if she was lying on my knees. Nobody knew that but me and nobody had her
milk but me. I told that to the women in the wagon. Told them to put sugar
water in cloth to suck from so when I got there in a few days she wouldn’t have
forgot me. The milk would be there and I would be there with it.”
“Men don’t know nothing much,” said Paul D, tucking his pouch back into
his vest pocket, “but they do know a suckling can’t be away from its mother for
“Then they know what it’s like to send your children off when your
breasts are full.”
“We was talking ’bout a tree, Sethe.”
“After I left you, those boys came in there and took my milk.
That’s what they came in there for. Held me down and took it. I told Mrs.
Garner on em. She had that lump and couldn’t speak but her eyes rolled out
tears. Them boys found out I told on em. Schoolteacher made one open up my
back, and when it closed it made a tree. It grows there still.”
“They used cowhide on you?”
“And they took my milk.”
“They beat you and you was pregnant?”
“And they took my milk!”