(1)the outline or general shape of something

(2)a dark image outlined against a lighter background.

This vocabulary word was written in “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.

Chapter 7: The day had gone blue without its sun, but she could still make out the black silhouettes of trees in the meadow beyond.

Chapter 10: Just ahead, at the edge of the stream, Denver could see her silhouette, standing barefoot in the water, liking her black skirts up above her calves, the beautiful head lowered in rapt attention.

Chapter 13: When he saw Denver silhouetted in the lamplight at the window, he could not help thinking, “And whose ally you?”

In each of these statements, you are able to conclude that its a description to help us as readers to create an image of the outline or shape, maybe even a shadow that is taking place in the book.





The need for possession is a reoccurring theme in Beloved that gives readers an insight of the turmoil and pain experienced during the time of slavery. This theme is ironic because as a slave, the characters in the story possessed nothing, being the possession of someone else. There is a need to own something of their own even though they do not even hold possession of themselves. This can be seen in the pivotal passage in Beloved that occurred on pages 192-193 when Paul D finds out what exactly happened in 124 and what Sethe has done in the house. The story of Sethe actually begins with the killing of her own daughter in order to protect her from going back to the Sweet Home under the watch of the schoolteacher. Without this killing, there would not be a haunted house that confined both Sethe and Denver. The ultimate need for possession can be seen with Sethe’s infanticide in order to keep her children for herself.

Sethe justifies her murder by saying, “I stopped him, I took and put my babies where they’d be safe” (Morrison 2004: 193). In this pivotal quote, readers can see that Sethe went to ultimate measures to claim what is hers. She wasn’t willing to give away that claim to the schoolteacher. And now, Beloved will always be hers only, and no one else’s. Only in Sethe’s possession would her children be safe from the schoolteacher and his nephews. This was a pivotal part of the story because it’s what drives all the events that happens afterwards while also explaining the turmoil of slavery to be in possession of someone else and how this turmoil makes you want to hold on even more to that little bit that you do own.

This sort of possession and love was chastised by Paul D when he say, “your love is too thick” (Morrison 2004: 193). Toni Morrison also explains that, “suddenly he saw what Stamp Paid wanted him to see: more important than what Sethe had done was what she claimed” (Morrison 2004: 193). To claim something is dangerous in the slavery world because their claims are never forever and that is why Paul D calls it too thick. Throughout the story, we see the characters trying to claim something. They could never claim anything because they were slaves, they couldn’t even put a claim on themselves. Paul D, Denver, and Beloved wanted to claim Sethe’s love for themselves. They’ve never known what it feels to hold a claim on something and they each have this thirst to finally claim something.

Another claim that can be seen was Sethe’s continuous claim to her daughter after she has died. Sethe gave “ten minutes for seven letters” (Morrison 2004: 5). This stood out to me a lot because it is the first look at how much she loved her children. It never explicitly tells the reader what exactly this line means. But it is implied that she was willing to give the engraver ten minutes of sexual pleasure in exchange for the 7 letters of beloved to be engraved on her baby daughter’s tombstone. It brings to mind the lack of independence Africans had before and after the Civil War. Names are independent for each individual. When her daughter died, she is only referred to as beloved in the story and never by her actual birth name. I feel that beloved is a word of ownership. You have to be someone or something’s beloved. In this way, her daughter will always be hers and will always stay with her.

The possession Sethe claims of her daughter can also be seen when Paul D complains about Sethe babying Denver. When Sethe apologizes for Denver, Paul D says, “It means she has to take it if she acts up. You can’t protect her every minute. What’s going to happen when you die?” (Morrison 2004: 54). In response, Sethe says “Nothing! I’ll protect her while I’m live and I’ll protect her when I ain’t” (Morrison 2004: 54). In this quote, Sethe explains her claim to Denver and how even if Sethe can’t protect Denver physically in person, she will still be able to protect her. This passage foreshadows to Sethe’s claim to beloved and what measures she will take to protect her children. This is why she exclaims that she will protect her daughters no matter what, dead or alive.

No matter how much Sethe tried to claim what is hers, such as her children, she was still claimed by her past as a slave. Paul D says, “It occurred to him that what she wanted for her children was exactly what was missing in 124: safety” (Morrison 2004: 193). In a way, I feel that the author Toni Morrison is telling the readers that no matter how hard Sethe tried to run from the Sweet Home and cruelty of slavery, she will never be able to be a true free woman. She is still claimed and possessed by her past even though she is no longer a slave. This resonates with the readers when thinking about racism and prejudice in the world today. Even though slavery has ended and people are advocating for equality, there is a chance that it may never be achieved no matter how hard we try. Africans will always be possessed by the turmoil their ancestors must’ve felt in slavery, and probably their own turmoil of racism.

The theme of possession is a struggle that can be seen throughout the story between Sethe’s hold on her children and slavery’s hold on Sethe. Of course the beginning of this turmoil is the beginning of slavery, but when Sethe tries to kill all her children in order to put a claim on them, readers are able to understand the pain and thought process of people in the time of slavery. Infanticide can be seen as an exit to slavery, a sort of blessing or safety, for a mother. Sethe believes that death is the only escape for her children to the cruelty to slavery. This allows readers to see the negativities of slavery besides what the naked eye can see such as physical abuse. Slavery is seen as something that is worse than death, something that could affect their kin several generations down. We are still experiencing the aftermath of slavery whether it is racism or prejudices. This brings to mind the question: when will slavery’s possession on civilization ever end?

The Calm Charmer Proj.2

Paul D.

To the women is a charmer,

Even with a bit in his mouth; muzzled shut like a dog; he was still attracted by women.

Sethe…she loved some Paul D, don’t get me wrong but if you read between the lines…

Denver jealous. NOT TO MENTION BELOVE!

Beloved was RAW… right under Sethe nose. 

That poor chile was pregnant before you know it…

Paul D.

Still innocent brother of Sixo, Paul A, n Paul F; Sweet Home days have tainted his life forever.

F…the chain gang don’t need em, tramatized the man life-manhood.

Paul D.

Paul D can’t change, 124; Sethe; Denver; Belove.

Paul D.

Still lost he ran away to hide.

Stamp Paid lecture that man to senses; while buttering Sethe passed actions.

Paul D awaken, arrived at 124 Beloved was gone.

Paul D was man again.


project2 part 2


The first picture show the attachment that Denver and Sethe have had all along. I considered this picture very smothering attached by the hip and very fearful mothering. The Second picture was from the beginning of the book when Paul D came back into Sethe life. I consider this picture welcoming from an old friend.
As a part of my pivotal scene the book shows how shyness and unhappiness that was boiled up inside Denver. When Paul D wonder upon Sethe house and came in for something to eat. He then notice that something was wrong in the house he felt there was evil.
As he settle in and having a few short words with Denver answering brief. She broke down how unhappy she is, how she wants to move on, she felt trapped and how the house is haunted, how no one comes to visit. “But Denver was shaking now and sobbing so she could not speak”. The tears she had not Shed for nine years wetting her far too womanly breasts. I can’t no more I can’t no more”(17). This quotation shows how long she been feeling this way and it’s now coming out in painful tears.


Introduce: Whats in a name? A name is something that identifies you. It represents who you are.

Quote: A moment that represents name is when Baby Suggs asks Mr. Garner “Why upu call me Jenny” P167.

Apply: He explains it was on her bill of sale. Thats the name he thought was hers. Yet everyone that knows her knows her as Baby and if her husband tried to look for her she had to go by Suggs. Baby Suggs is the name that identifies her but according to Mr. Garner thats no name for a free slave. A name isnt something that anyone can just say is yours, a name is either sometihing you were born with or adapted to you throuhg your life. if Baby wouldve changed her name her family wouldve never made it to 124 thry dont know any Jenny’s. So what’s in a name, its something that separates you from any other being.


Spigot (Beloved/Part 2/Page 237)
Pronunciation: Spi-get

-A device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container.
-An outdoor faucet.

Context: After the shed, I stopped. Now, in the morning, when I light the fire I mean to look out the window to see what the sun is doing to the day. Does it hit the pump handle first of the spigot?



In the novel Beloved written by Toni Morrison, a character named Sethe killed her first daughter, Beloved, to keep her away from slavery. She wanted to sacrifice all her children’s lives including herself to go onto the other side where her daughter was to get away Sweet Home (slavery). She wanted to keep her children from away that particular life. When Sethe’s daughter died, it broke her and it took a toll on her as if she wasn’t living anymore; the only thing that kept her going was the remaining children that were still alive. One major scene that occurred in the story is when Beloved returned. There was a dramatic change that happen to Sethe, Denver and Paul D’s life. Without her reappearance many events would not have taken place.

In this scene, Sethe realizes the girl she found after the carnival is a reincarnation of her daughter. She is able to put all the clues and hints together she was given from Beloved that she has come back to her.

Flies beat me to you. I would have known right away who you was when the sun blotted out your face the way it did when I took you to the grape arbor. I would have known at once when my water broke. The minute I saw you sitting on the stump, it broke. And when I did see your face it had more than a hint of what you would look like after all these years. I would have known who you were right away because the cup after cup of water you drank proved and connected to the fact that you dribbled clear spit on my face the day I got to 124… Otherwise I would have seen my fingernail prints right there on your forehead for all the world to see. From when I held your head up, out in the shed. And later on, when you asked me about the earrings I used to dangle for you to play with, I would have recognized you right off, except for Paul D. (Ch. 20 P.115 PDF)

When Sethe found Beloved by the grape arbor in the hot sun all day, right away Sethe had to use the bathroom to urinate. This was a symbol that showed what took place in the past when she had given birth to Beloved. It was as though Beloved was born again. This was an emblem of new life where Sethe gets the opportunity to live the life she had missed with her daughter Beloved. She explains she should have realized who Beloved was ever since the day she had given birth to her. She should have had a thought of what she should look like as Beloved got older. When it came down to the little things Beloved had done, when she dribbled clear spit on her face that should’ve given her a hint. That was an example of what babies do. However she was distracted by Paul D convincing her that Beloved was not her daughter. If it wasn’t for him, she would have figured it out by putting the clues together. Especially when it came down to Beloved asking Sethe about the earring she had in the past, on what she used as a toy to play with (Ch. 6 P.34 PDF). She should have known because not everyone knew about these things.

When the author states “flies beat me to you’, the author uses imagery on how long it took Sethe to realize the girl they found, Beloved, was her daughter she had killed. This quote shows a symbol of death with Beloved and Sethe. When Sethe killed her daughter, due to slavery, there was a part of Sethe that had died too. With Beloved coming back into the picture, all the thoughts that Sethe push to the back of her head were coming to reality. Beloved reincarnated is driving Sethe to face reality. The author shows a memory where Sethe has given birth to Beloved and reminisces about the things she has done when she was younger as if Sethe is given another chance to live again and be the mother she would have been.

In another scene, Beloved notices how close Paul D is with Sethe. It seems she does not like this and Beloved tries to do everything in her power to break them up.

SHE MOVED HIM. Not the way he had beat off the baby’s ghost–all bang and shriek with windows smashed and icily iars rolled in a heap. But she moved him nonetheless, and Paul D didn’t know how to stop it because it looked like he was moving himself. Imperceptibly, downright reasonably, he was moving out of 124.

Paul D stop sleeping in the same bed as Sethe. Beloved shifted his sleeping area in many different place from the rocker by the stove, Baby Suggs bed, until he was out onto the shed. He kept on moving because the place he was before was uncomfortable. This resulted in him not being able to manage to stay in one particular spot. It was as though she had ghostly powers over him taking control of him, not allowing him to move himself. However, there was not any evidence to show that Beloved was causing this problem. Every move he made was made as if he was doing it on his own, making his own decisions but he knew that was not the case. He knew Beloved played a big role of whatever unfamiliar thing that was going on with him, he just didn’t have a way to prove it.

Even though the author does not reveal if Beloved is the one playing a part of these bad situations that is happening to Paul D, none of these things would most likely not have occurred if Beloved never came into town.

Beloved dropped her skirts as he spoke and looked at him with empty eyes. She took a step he could not hear and stood close behind him. “She don’t love me like I love her. I don’t love nobody but her.” “Then what you come in here for?” “I want you to touch me on the inside part.” “Go on back in that house and get to bed.” “You have to touch me. On the inside part. And you have to call me my name.” …”Call me my name.” “No.” “Please call it. I’ll go if you call it.” (CH.11 P.67-68 PDF)

Beloved asks Paul D for him to sleep with her asking him to touch her on the inside part. I feel that Beloved is requesting this from Paul D because it would allow Sethe to love her more, as much as she loves her by breaking Paul D and Sethe apart. If this happens and Sethe finds out, he would not be able to come back into 124. With all of this happening, it causes Paul D to feel like he is not a man.

“Well, ah, this is not the, a man can’t, see, but aw listen here, it ain’t that, it really ain’t, Ole Garner, what I mean is, it ain’t a weak- ness, the kind of weakness I can fight ’cause ’cause something is happening to me, that girl is doing it, I know you think I never liked her nohow, but she is doing it to me. Fixing me. Sethe, she’s fixed me and I can’t break it.”…”Sethe, you won’t like what I’m ’bout to say.”…”Well, say it, Paul D, whether I like it or not.” Since he could not say what he planned to, he said something he didn’t know was on his mind. “I want you pregnant, Sethe. Would you do that for me?” (CH.13 P.72-73 PDF)

In this quote, Paul D is reciting to himself what exactly he going to say to Sethe when she gets off of work at the restaurant. He wanted to have a clean slate with Sethe by telling the truth on what was going on. He wants her to know that Beloved is making him sleep with her and is removing his manly ways. He could not stand up for himself.  And sadly enough he was not able to man up enough to tell Sethe the truth about Beloved. Instead, he tells her he wants her pregnant.

Sethe became obsessed with Beloved wanted to give Beloved the world. She spends her last dime on her just to make up for old times. It was mandatory for her to please Beloved and if Beloved did not get her way, hell broke loose.

Anything she wanted she got, and when Sethe ran out of things to give her, Beloved invented desire. (Ch.26 P.135 PDF)

She would have never have been able to play the mother with her daughter Beloved. Although she had three other children to be a mother to, after infanticide her daughter, it was as though she had died and had nothing else to live for. By giving the chance to see and be with her daughter again. She was able to make up for the lost years. However, it ends up costing a lot on her part. She became obsessed with living by her daughter’s rule. She ends up losing her job and not being able to support her family anymore. Whatever Beloved asked or want it was given. This leads her second daughter Denver out to seek work by going back to her teacher asking for a job so she can be able to manage and provide for her family.

Somebody had to be saved, but unless Denver got work, there would be no one to save, no one to come home to, and no Denver either. It was a new thought, having a self to look out for and preserve. (Ch.26 P.142 PDF)

With Beloved’s return, it allowed Denver to grow and to mature into a young woman by taking on responsibility. She is doing everything that she could to help her mother and Beloved. Whenever food was given to them from a neighbor, she would share amongst them to eat. Denver knows something needed to be done in order for her mom to survive. Beloved was slowly killing her mother. According to this quote, if Denver never went out to help provide for her family, they would die. In that case, there would be no one to take care of.

If Beloved would have never came back into Sethe’s life, Sethe would not have had the second chance of playing a mother role to Beloved. With Beloved returning, Sethe is forced to remember her past. There’s a slight chance of her having less guilt because she is able to explain to her daughter what she had done, even though Beloved never questioned her about the situation once. When Beloved was gone, it was like she was dead, Sethe wanted to be with Beloved, however she knew she had kids that she needed to be there for too. Now with Beloved’s reappearance, this is like a new life and new beginning to Sethe to make up for everything she had missed or lost.

Project#2 – Draft ( Beloved)


Project#2 –Draft

In the novel Beloved written by Toni Morrison, Sethe was the main character of the novel a former slave who escaped from the Kentucky plantation, Sweet Home, with her children to Cincinnati, Ohio where the pivotal scene of the novel occurred when her slave owner came to recapture her and her children. Sethe attempted to kill all her children, but succeed in killing one her two year old daughter, in order to prevent them taken back to Kentucky and lived as slaves.  If she did not murder her child, the whole novel would lead to a different direction.   No one would take the life of one’s own child, if there were not enough reasons to make such a tough decision and terrible act. I think the scene that Sethe’s slaying of her daughter is vital because which reflect the whole novel of before and after her action and it was also embedded with the courage and the powerful love of a mother and the cruelties of the slavery.

Sethe was the kind of mother who loves her child and wanted to give the best of her which she felt was her milk. She was very upset and angry when her owner Mrs. Gardner’s brother in law, a schoolteacher; and his two nephews took her milk just before she tried to escape from Sweet Home. She explained Paul D who also was a slave worked together with Sethe in Sweet Home came and met her in Cincinnati that, “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” (19).  Instead of getting angry and mad for she was held down and felt the pain of the sexual assault that she received from her owner, she got angry for them for taken her milk which she thought her milk was her best and valuable things that she wanted to keep and give only to her children not others. Therefore, she repeatedly told Paul D that “And they took my milk …And they took my milk” (20).  Sethe was showing the deepest love of a mother to her child to give the best of her which  supported her action that she used her best ability to protect her children from taken back to Sweet Home and living as slaves that Sethe believe was hell.

Cruelty of the slavery did not stop for Sethe after her milk had been taken and she was beaten with the cowhide while she was pregnant with her second daughter. She told Paul D that “Schoolteacher made one open up my back and when it closed it made a tree. It grows there a still” (20). That is why she said that she had a tree on her back which actually what she meant was the scar of the wound that left after she was beaten by her owner.  She described the tree to Paul D as “A chokecherry tree. Trunk, branches, and even leaves. Tiny little chokecherry leaves. But that was eighteen years ago. Could have cherries too now for all I know” (18).  The scar on her back always reminded her of the painful experiences of being a slave and traumatized her of taken back her and her children to Sweet Home and stay as slaves again.

                One reason that Sethe killed her daughter is that she knew the painful experience of a slave and she had also enjoyed and experienced the life of freedom for twenty eight days in 124, therefore, she knew the experience of both  and  she knew which would be the best for her children.  Later she wanted to explained Beloved why she killed her (child) that

“That anybody white could take your whole self for anything that came to mind. Not just work, kill, or maim you, but dirty you. Dirty you so bad you couldn’t like yourself anymore. And though she and others lived through and got over it, she could never let it happen to her own. 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.” (295)

Sethe said that being a slave was not only simply about the terrible work that has to work, but can take whole self of you for whatever came up in the mind of the white. They can kill you, hurt you and dirt you. She meant” dirt “was literally rape you or invade your private part and you felt yourself as no longer clean, but she said she and other slaves lived through with it. Her children were her best things and she would not allow her children to become slaves and dirty them. That was her decision to take the clean life of her daughter to protect from dirtying which she believed was far worse than dying once.

All the painful experiences and the traumas that Sethe had in her past pushed her to make such a terrible decision and created such a cruel and vital scene of the whole novel to take the life of her own children.

Inside, two boys bled in the sawdust and dirt at the feet of a nigger woman holding a blood-soaked child to her chest with one hand and an infant by the heels in the other. She did not look at them; she simply swung the baby toward the wall planks, missed and tried to connect a second time, when out of nowhere… (175)

Sethe killed her one daughter and held her to the chest, wounded her two sons and held the baby (Denver) by the heel and swung to the wall of the woodshed.  I can imagine the hatred, courage and the love of a mother from this quote. Sethe’s  hatred of her slave owners who traumatized her in past  came to get her and her children and the courage that she showed the comer that she would kill all to prevent them from taken back to Sweet Home. She was holding one to her chest, one by heel and two lying by her feet, to protect them from taken back.

In conclusion, Sethe’s action of killing her child might not be acceptable and might be disgusting, but the love she had for her children is powerful. The later scene of the novel is occurred due to the fact of her dead daughter.  In other words, there would not be the baby ghost who haunted Sethe’s house, her two sons, Howard and Bugler would not run away. Sethe and her younger daughter Denver would not isolated in their own home and Paul D would not horrify and leave Sethe, and Sethe would not be so obsessed with Beloved who believed to be embodied spirit of Sethe’s dead daughter. That is why I think this scene is vital to the whole novel.

Work cited

Morrison, Toni.  Beloved.  New York:  Alfred  A. Knopf, 1998.  Print.


: a large number of harmful or annoying things
: a disease that causes death and that spreads quickly to a large number of people
“Denver had explained the girl in her house who plagued her mother as a cousin come to visit” (Morison 143)
The meaning in the context is the harmful situation the girl’s mother suffered from.

Quoting Beloved

INTRODUCE: Denver worries about her mother Sethe. She thinks that beloved would do harm to Sethe. However, Sethe and beloved had a healthy relationship. Sethe sees Beloved as her beloved little baby and Denver sees her as a ghost whose attention is to harm Sethe and her surroundings.
QUOTE: “Whatever her power and however she used it, Beloved was hers. Denver was alarmed by the harm she thought Beloved planned for Sethe, but felt helpless to thwart it, so unrestricted was her need to love another. The display she witnessed at the Clearing shamed her because the choice between Sethe and Beloved was without conflict.”
INTERPRET: It didn’t matter for Sethe whether Beloved is a ghost or her baby. In both cases there is no mention of clear conflict between them.
ANALYZE: Denver’s point of view was different and she thought beloved would harm her mother and felt the responsibility of protecting her mother. I believe that Denver was never convinced that beloved is Sethe’s baby. Overall, Beloved was a mysterious character in the novel.
Apply: This quotation takes a big chuck of understanding the relationship beloved had with Sethe and the rest of the characters. It is important to see the different point of views from different angles for a better understanding of the novel and its different scenes.