Category Archives: Week 11

Quoting Beloved


When a man named Paul D comes along, a series of events take place and changes the dynamics of the family at 124. Paul D escaping from the Georgia chain gang played a huge part in the novel. Paul D plays a significant role in the lives of Sethe and Denver. If he hadn’t escaped, some of the major events of the story wouldn’t have happened. There’s a lot of evidence that Paul D affected people’s lives through escaping, but I believe Paul D himself changed entirely after his escape and him being at 124.


”But this was not a normal woman in a normal house. As soon as he had stepped through the red light he knew that, compared to 124, the rest of the world was bald. After Alfred he had shut down a generous portion of his head, operating on the part that helped him walk, eat, sleep, sing. If he could do those things–with a little work and a little sex thrown in–he asked for no more, for more required him to dwell on Halle’s face and Sixo laughing. To recall trembling in a box built into the ground. Grateful for the daylight spent doing mule work in a quarry because he did not tremble when he had a hammer in his hands. The box had done what Sweet Home had not, what working like an ass and living like a dog had not: drove him crazy so he would not lose his mind.”



In other words, before coming to 124, he was living life very bland. He has no emotions caused by his days as a slave.


“But this was not a normal woman in a normal house. As soon as he had stepped through the red light he knew that, compared to 124, the rest of the world was bald.”


In Paul D’s mind, you could say his life before meeting Sethe wasn’t worth living. It was bland. This also shows how much of an impact Sethe had on Paul D’s life, with Sethe being described as no normal woman.

“After Alfred he had shut down a generous portion of his head, operating on the part that helped him walk, eat, sleep, sing. If he could do those things–with a little work and a little sex thrown in–he asked for no more, for more required him to dwell on Halle’s face and Sixo laughing.”

His time as a slave removed his human features and reason to have emotions. He was basically running on auto-pilot.



Even with Paul D living life with this “walk, eat, sleep, sing” mentality, he seems to have eradicated it when he reunited with Sethe. Now, with a new outlook on life, he could now better the lives of the people around him, which he did with Sethe and Denver.



Shoat: a young hog and especially one that has been weaned.

Used in “Beloved” on page 190 on the top of the page.

Did you steal that shoat? You stole that shoat.

Schoolteacher was asking Sixto whether he stole an animal. I did not think that was another word that could be used to describe a hog.



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.

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.

Quoting Beloved

INTRODUCE:  Stamp Paid made a difficult decision to tell Paul D about Sethe’s past.  When he finally did Paul D was shocked.  In an effort to further elaborate on the unfortunate events that day the narrator explained Stamp Paid thoughts on page 89 of my reading `by stating,

QUOTE:  “Stamp Paid looked at him….He was going to tell him that, because he thought it was important: why he and Baby Suggs both missed it.  And about the party too, because that explained why nobody ran on ahead, why nobody sent a fleet footed son to cut ‘cross a field soon as they saw the four horses in town hitched for watering while the riders asked questions.  Not Ella, not John, not anybody ran down to Bluestone Road, to say some new white folk with the look just rode in.  The righteous look every Negro learned to recognize along with his ma’am tit.  Like a flag hoisted, this righteousness telegraphed and announce the faggots the whip, the fist, the lie long before it went public.”

INTERPRET:   Stamp Paid felt compelled to explain to the shocked Paul D why nothing was done to prevent Sethe from reaching her breaking point that day.  He felt he had to let Paul D understand that he and Baby Suggs had a feeling something was wrong but did not pinpoint the problem until too late.   He wanted to offer an explanation about why no one in town sent a warning to Bluestone Road.  He wanted to tell him Baby Suggs and given a big party the day before and exhaustion could have contributed to the inattention the town gave the new arrivals.   After all, it was a time in slavery when strangers who rode into town stood out and everyone heard of their arrival quickly.   Strange white men who had a certain way of carrying themselves were viewed with more suspicion than usual.

ANALYZE:  In other words as shocked as Paul D was about Sethe snatching up her children and taking them to the wood shed where she succeeded in killing one and attempted to kill the others, Stamp Paid felt deep down, just by the look on Paul D’s face that he was also shocked that no one warned Sethe and the other occupants at Bluestone Road that these men were coming.   The author elaborated that not Ella or John made an effort to send a warning because we have come to know Ella and John as being absolutely against slavery and did everything they could to protect Negroes.  They made it their duty to know what was going on so they could help in any way they could. On that particular day they failed Sethe’s family, the same family they so valiantly helped to escape slavery.  Stamp Paid felt he was obligated to offer an explanation as to why Ella, John and the rest of the town did not warn the family.  He wanted to make him understand that although the men had the look that indicated they were slave catchers asking questions to track down escaped slaves in order to recapture and probably beat, torture and quote passages from for the bible to support the need of Negroes to remain in slavery, no one came with a warning, no one helped Sethe that day to hide herself and her children before it was too late.

Apply:  The quotation mentioned above is important to what is considered a pivotal moment in the novel.  This is the moment where the arrival of the slave catchers led to the death of the crawling already baby who later made her supernatural presence known at Bluestone Road.  After being driven out by Paul D it reincarnated as Beloved the character that drives the main plot of the story.

Beloved Quote

Introduce: In the novel Beloved written by Toni Morrison, the character Sethe develops as a person after realizing the girl she found after the carnival is a reincarnation of daughter who she had killed to save from slavery because she thought that was the best decision. So many years later, Sethe learns that her daughter has return.

Quote: 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. I would have known right off, but Paul D distracted me. 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. Seems to me he wanted you out from the beginning, but I wouldn’t let him. What you think? And look how he ran when he found out about me and you in the shed.

Interpetation: In other words, Sethe took a long time to figure out that the girl they found after the carnival was her daughter who she killed. Sethe should have realize who her started was ever since the day she has given birth to her. She should have at least had a thought of what she should look like as Beloved got older. Sethe should have realized who Beloved was from the little things she had done, when she was younger when she said she dribbled clear spit on her face. However she was distracted by Paul D convincing her that Beloved was her daughter. If it wasn’t for him,she would of been 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. She felt that Paul D knew who she was and probably didn’t wanted Sethe to know, so she came become closer and catch feelings for Beloved. But after he realized that Sethe killed Beloved purposely, he wanted to be out and not be part of the family again.

Analyze: 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 who 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 is coming out into reality. Beloved reincarnated is driving Sethe to face reality. Sethe should have realize who Beloved was from the very beginning, ever since the day she was born. The author shows a memory where Sethe has given birth to Beloved and reminiscing the things she has done when she was younger. As if Sethe is giving another chance to live again and be the mother she would have been.

Apply: If Beloved would of never came back into Sethe’s live, Sethe would not be able to have the second chance of playing a mother role to Beloved. With Beloved returning, Sethe is force 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 where Beloved, however she knew she had kids that she need to be there for too. Now with Beloved reappearance, this is like a new life and new beginning to Sethe to make for everything she had missed or lost.



1. performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial:

perfunctory courtesy.
2. lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic:

“Together they waged a perfunctory battle against the outrageous behavior of that place; against turned-over slop jars, smacks on the behind, and gusts of sour air.” (page 1)




Fleet-footed is an adjective

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary fleet-footed means:  Able to run fast.

This phrase is used on page 89 of my reading when Stamp Paid was explaining to Paul D the events that led up to Sethe attacking her children and killing one of them in the wood shed.  Stamp Paid stated, “… because that explained why nobody ran ahead; why nobody sent a fleet-footed son to cut ‘cross a field as soon as they saw the four horses in town….”

Stamp paid was trying to make Paul D understand that although usually a family might send one of their son that ran very fast to take a short cut through nearby fields to warn Sethe, that day no warning was sent this way.

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Beloved quote project 2

Introduce: Denver

In the story Beloved Denver comes off as a shelter person very antisocial, sad, depressed and soft spoken. Throughout the story you watch how Denver character change for the better.


Sethe took two swift steps to the stove, but before she could yank Denver’s collar, the girl leaned forward and began to 9cry.

“What is the matter with you? I never knew you to behave this way.”

“Leave her be,” said Paul D. “I’m a stranger to her.”

“That’s just it. She got no cause to act up with a stranger. Oh baby, what is it? Did something happen?”

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.”

“Can’t what? What can’t you?”

“I can’t live here. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I can’t live here. Nobody speaks to us. Nobody comes by.

Boys don’t like me. Girls don’t either.”

“Honey, honey.”

“What’s she talking ’bout nobody speaks to you?” asked Paul D.

“It’s the house. People don’t–”

“It’s not! It’s not the house. It’s us! And it’s you!”


“Leave off, Sethe. It’s hard for a young girl living in a haunted house. That can’t be easy.”


Interpret: Denver was very sad to the point where she broke down in tears in front of a stranger she doesn’t know. This shows that she is overwhelmed with the way she was forced to live. Sethe lifestyle affects Denver a lot. She felt isolated or held hostage because she’s the only child her mother had left. She wasn’t able to have a regular life as other people her age would.

Analyze: The Author started of the paragraph with: Sethe took two swift steps to the stove, but before she could yank Denver’s collar…..

Denver had a build up of emotion which was let out by her mother action when they were cooking. She expressed how she felt right there and then.

Apply: In the story Beloved, Denver comes off very jealous and shy in the beginning. She dealt with jealously when it comes to Paul D and Sethe. She also dealt with jealously when it came to Beloved and Sethe. Denver played an important role through the book she knew who beloved was before Sethe. When Sethe got sick she looked for work gained a job and cooked for her mother. She was a changed person by the end of the book from the shy girl who won’t say much and was shelter in the house. She learned her way around she became more confident and independent.



 1. a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
2. a sledge or sled.
3. any vehicle, as a truck, used to haul goods, especially one used to carry heavy loads.

“He had already seen his brother wave goodbye from the back of a dray, fried chicken in his pocket, tears in his eyes. ” (pg 258)