Category Archives: Project #2

Project 2 Beloved Part 1 by Keith Smith

Beloved Part 1 Project 2 by Keith Smith


In this story by Toni Morrison, I was hoping that Halle was going to be a bigger impact. But instead he mentally breaks and has no worth after that. I am going to show you how wonderful he was, and the impact of him on every one’s life According to the author’s words, and I quote from Denver’s thoughts   ”She said she was always a little scared of my daddy. He was too good, she said. From the beginning, she said, he was too good for the world.”(pg. 245). She goes on with ”My daddy was an angel man. He could look at you and tell you where you hurt and could fix it too.”(pg. 246). So like Paul D. in this story, they both seemed like kind and wonderful men. That either one could contribute to Sethe and her life. They actually almost made it together, because Halle and the others planned for the escape. This is where the book talks about the discovery of the train to freedom with “Halle was pointing over the stable.” “Sixo say Freedom is that way.”(pg. 233).  And this is where Sethe loses Halle. “But I got you out baby. And the boys too. When the signal for the train come, you all was the only ones ready. I couldn’t find Halle or nobody.”(pg. 233). Of course Sethe would go back to Sweet Home, only to find Paul D. and learn Sixo was dead. Halle could not be found. Having sent her kids ahead and alone, she is put through the psychological wringer from the taking of her milk. This is where the book talks about Halle being there. And then goes crazy. After being whipped for telling Miss Garner, she finds no reason to stay and look for Halle. Sethe claims at this point “I did it. I got us all out. Without Halle too.”(pg. 190). I also believe that she was in no shape to do this alone but she did. I think this is where she decides “I couldn’t let all that go back to where it was, and I couldn’t let her nor any of em live under schoolteacher.”(pg. 192).

But you have to admit  that having Halle with her would have made her stronger. And not only that this was the same guy that worked to free his mother. And Baby Suggs remembered her freedom on page 166 “These hands belong to me. These are my hands. Next she felt a knocking in her chest and discovered something else new: her own heartbeat.” What a wonderful feeling that must have been, for her. And one of the things I liked about Halle is he stayed true to his words and continued to work off his remaining debt, even after Baby was free. The only thing about this story was how would Baby Suggs react to not seeing her son. I was able to pull out her true feelings when in the garden she ponders “What was left to hurt her now? News of Halle’s death? No she had been prepared for that better than she had for his life.”(pg. 163). So you can see the impact that one man had on everyone’s life. I feel that this really hurt Baby Suggs the most because on page 27 she says “A man aint nothing but a man.” “But a son? Well now that’s somebody.” And what did that mean: “Sethe had the amazing luck of six whole years of marriage to that “somebody” son who had fathered every one of her children. A blessing she was reckless enough to take for granted, as though Sweet Home was really one.”(pg. 28). A rarity that this story produced is when Sethe thought back “Halle was more like a brother than a husband. His care suggested a family relationship rather than a man’s laying claim.”(pg. 30-31). Also the ramifications of Sethe escaping from there is the final stop as she thinks “The one set of plans that she made—getting away from Sweet Home—went awry so completely she never dared life by making more.”(pg. 46).Lastly when Paul D. puts things together. Even he supported Halle by telling Seethe “What Halle ever do to you? Halle stood by you. He never left you.” (pg. 80). Sethe replies “Then he did worse he left his children.” “You don’t know that.” As Paul D. continues on “He was there.”(pg. 81). So unfortunately this is how the author wrote it, but putting well placed memories and excerpts about the man Halle was. Baby Suggs implied that Halle was dead “In Eighteen Fifty-Five. The day my baby was born” (pg. 11). Thank god his friend Paul D. decided to look after Sethe once he realized the truth.  Halle would have been Proud.


Project 2 Part 2

Poem With Picture

If you can’t read it here’s what I wrote.

Motherly Love

Running away and hiding in a shed.

I throw one and it hits it head.

There is now a pool of red.

A baby lays on its back like when it’s on its bed.

Not looking them in the eye.

Because I don’t want to cry.

Holding in the pain.

While picking another by the ankle like a crane.

I love them so much that I must take their life.

I can’t let them be born into a world of slavery and strife.

I decided to write a poem about the scene where Sethe is in the shed trying to kill her children. I choose this picture to go along with my poem because this picture is based off a true story of Margret Garner. She was also a slave who killed her child when faced with recapture under the Fugitive Slave Act. This picture is exactly like what happened in Beloved when Sethe was trying to kill her kids. So I thought I should use this picture because it goes with the scene I choose.

Project 2 Part 1

In the book “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sethe the main character, a former slave, has been living with her daughter Denver in a house at 124 Bluestone Road. As you read the book you will soon find it hard to comprehend due to flashbacks, but these flashbacks talks about the events that conspire while Sethe had four children. She made a decision that no mother should have ever go through. She showed lots of courage and love towards her children. I feel that the scene where Sethe tries to kill her kids has the most impact to the story because it shows how a mother loves their children so much the she would go the extreme and suffer, just for their sake. Due to trying to kill her kids it lead to many events that occurred in the book

In this scene where Sethe ran away from “Sweet Home”, she hid in a shed behind a house. She was later found by the four horsemen with help. When she was found, she was trying to kill her children. When Paul D learn what Sethe tried to do from Stamp Paid, he went to her for an explanation. In the story it was written in third person as Sethe’s thoughts, “And if she thought anything, it was No. No. Nono. Nonono. Simple. She just flew. Collected every bit of life she had made, all the parts of her that were precious and fine and beautiful, and carried, pushed, dragged them through the veil, out, away, over there where no one could hurt them. Over there. Outside this place, where they would be safe.”(Morrison 192).In other words Sethe wanted to secure her children’s safety by sending them to the afterlife rather than being taken back to Sweet Home. Sethe said her decision was “simple”, that she would rather send her kids “over there” [afterlife] then to have school teacher take them back to Sweet Home. Sethe identifies her children as ” the parts of hers that were precious and fine and beautiful”, if Sethe let school teacher take them it’s like allowing him to destroy all the “lives” [children] she had given birth too. If Sethe never killed her 9 month old daughter, she would have been taken back to Sweet Home along with her brother and sisters. They would have then grown up as slaves and probably go through the same things that Sethe went through.

Another scene I would like to discuss would be when Sethe’s milk was stolen from her. When Sethe was talking to Paul D, she said “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 me 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!” (Morrison 19-20)

This event shows how angry Sethe was when the boys took her milk. She was furious with them because the milk was for her baby, that without her milk she would not know what will happen to her baby. Sethe was really furious because she repeated “they took my milk”, and the last time she said it there was a exclamation point, so it shows that she was yelling. This event would not have occurred if Sethe killed her child. She would not have gotten her milk stolen by the boys, and she would not have gotten whipped from the schoolteacher. Also Halle wouldn’t have been watching, so then he wouldn’t be traumatized and gone crazy.

The last scene that I want to bring up is in the beginning of the book where the narrator starts off the book by saying “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Buglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old—as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Buglar); as soon as two tiny hand prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the doorsill.” (Morrison 1).This scene talks about how Sweet Home was being haunted by her baby. Where it says Sethe and her daughter were its only victims, which means everyone left and there the only ones that stayed. Buglar ran away right after the mirror shattered right in front of him and Henry left when hand prints appeared in the cake. The both left because they were tired of being haunted by their sister. If Sethe never killed 9 month old daughter, she wouldn’t have been haunting 124 Sweet Home. If she wasn’t haunting the house then Buglar and Henry wouldn’t have ran away. Even Baby Suggs would probably still be alive.

Although other events might change the outcome of the book, Sethe killing her child had the most impact towards the book. If she haven’t gone and killed her child the whole book would have been totally different. Sethe would probably be living together with everyone at Sweet Home and no one would have suffered.

Beloved Visual

I chose to create a video depicting a similar scene Paul D could have experienced when he escaped the chain gang during the rainstorm. I used a video editor to overlap both the sound of thunder and the chains, while using several images representing slave labor. The first two images show slaves working with the sound of the chains playing in the background. When the chain sounds stop, the final image shows a group of slaves running away.


Project #2 Cover Letter

The part of this project that I think i did an accessional job on was the actual essay for part 1 because despite the fact that I was dreading to begin this project because I was not sure if I had enough to wright and was not familiar with the five step method in weighting either, but when I began to wright I just could stop. It was an easier assignment than I actually anticipated. I believe I had more than enough to say about the scene that I chose and I think that I executed the five step method fairly well despite the fact that I have never seen this method before.

The part that i found most challenging was picking the passage  and scene because there was so many important scene in Beloved that was very crucial to the story line of this novel. Also this was a very hard read to wrap around and get into the story. the wording that the author chose to use for Beloved was very confusing and this book was very graphic and traumatizing with some of the scenes.

I learned how to analyze a scene in greater depth and just stop to imagine how the rest of the storyline would have played out if just one scene was taken out of the story.

If I could have changes one thing about this project I would be the entire book all together. I did not enjoy this book. I the book was a little more interesting and easier to understand I would have enjoyed this assignment even more.

Beloved Portrate


I chose to use this image because of the carefully selected words that symbolize the struggle and hardship that african american people had to overcome in the past.The character of Beloved embodies a generation of slavery and is a symbol of the ghost of the more general historical past of slavery just as she haunts the lives of her mother, Denver, and anyone else who comes in contact with Sethe’s family on 124.These stories that are contained within the complex characters of Beloved in the novel by Toni Morrison, many of which are mere fragments that cannot be truly pieced together until the end of the novel, relate a vivid and relentless portrait of some of the worst horrors of slavery.



Project #2 Cover Letter

As I finished the first part of project #2, to be honest, I couldn’t find anything I was proud of.  Just by looking at my part 1 and the struggle to complete part 2, I could see, unfortunately, I didn’t put a ton of work into it. With my computer engineering class projects/labs and two math course test/finals, throughout the semester, I felt like I had to focus on those classes first, leaving this Introduction to Fiction class as my last priority. I thought I would be able to complete this project to my liking and enjoy doing it, as I did with project #1, but the stress from my other classes and my time management kind of made any chance of it happening for project #2 difficult.

Project 2: Beloved

In the work of Plato: Republic we find a troubling question which relates to the morality of how one actions are perceived.  In the work of Plato we find Socrates playing the devil’s advocate while he tries to explain this concept and meaning to his peers. This question revolved around justice: is it best to do a just act but seem unjust, where one sacrifices his or her own best interest for the best interest of another. This is expressed in the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison where an event, which can arguably be said to be the most significant moment in the entire novel. This event alone single handedly shifted the plot in a direction that was unpredictable and filled with suspense. This moment was when our protagonist, Sethe, faced the most difficult choice of her where she either lets her children endure a life of rape, beatings, torture or worst, or simply prevent her very first creations of life from ever having to face this devastating reality. As we proceed we will analyze the effect of this event not taking place and how other events which are deeply related may have been manipulated with this new reality. 


Sethe was portrayed as a strong woman that proved her cleverness and wit many folds over. First we will look at the major and main event that took place which we will focus on. This event is centralized around Sethe when she slaughtered her own child. The novel Beloved states, 

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 planks. (85) 

This represents the most significant moment where Sethe’s made the most difficult choice where either she lets her children suffer or save them from the inevitable misery. Little did she know that this one event, this one choice may have made her own life even more of a living hell than before. 


First we will look at the affect this event had on her children that survived the brutal attack. As the story progressed Sethe’s new home, 124, is plagued by an evil spirit which appeared as a child’s spirit. This spirit, speculated to be the child of Seth’s only successful murder, wreaked havoc and drove Sethe’s two boys away. “…Howard and buglar, had ran away by the time they were thirteen years old – as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered (that was the signal for Burglar); as soon as two tiny hand prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard).” (1) Hypothetically we can imagine that this event had not taken place Sethe may have had an entire family. Even though this may not protect them from the after effects of slavery but the support of two fully grown men over time may prevent a lot of the stress and suffering fending on your own with a vulnerable daughter may elicit. 

Not only driving away her son’s, Sethe’s act of murder later led to the distraction of the forest of love and affection her lover, Paul D, later planted in her life. A life that could of redefined her past troubles and compensated for all her heart aches. For example, 

Sweet, she thought. He must think I can’t bear to hear him say it. That after all I have told him and after telling me how many feet I have, ‘goodbye’ would break me up into pieces. Ain’t that sweet … “So long”, she murmured from the far side of the trees.

After hearing about the tragic act by Stamp Paid, Paul D quickly rejected Sethe. A life that could’ve been filled with a family set on production and growth quickly vanished into thin air. 


Next we will look at the entirety of Sethe’s life without the murder. With beloved alive it may have been possible to avoid the torture that was brought to Sethe from the afterlife. This relates to the reincarnated spirit of the baby ghost, Beloved, returning to wreak pure havoc on Sethe’s life. In Denver’s eyes she, 

…thought she understood the connection between her mother and Beloved: Sethe was trying to make up for the handsaw; Beloved was making her pay for it. But there would never be an end to that … Beloved, her fat new feet propped on the seat of a chair in front of the one she sat in, her unlined hands resting on her stomach, looked at her. Uncomprehending everything except that Sethe was the woman who took her face away, leaving her crouching in a dark place, forgetting to smile. (141)

Without the murder taken place, Beloved could have possibly made it to 124 with Sethe and her sister Denver. The reality of being a tortured soul by a tortured soul be then cease to exist. This then may have let to the starting point of a strong household where a mother and her children bands together to defend themselves and fight off a cruel world.


Over all with the analysis of each event I can conclude that killing Beloved may have been the worst choice Sethe could have made versus letting her live her life’s course in regards to Sethe’s happiness. This does not change the fact that many difficulties still may have been faced and the possibility that the journey to 124 may have failed with another life to sustain. We can also conclude that with the circumstances Sethe’s was presented with at the time of the murder may be viewed as a just act but only appeared to be unjust due to its graphic nature. With further analysis we can say that with Beloved alive Sethe may have lived a happier life, one  which consisted of a husband, Paul D, her daughter Denver alongside with Buglar and Howard and not to mention Sethe’s beloved Beloved; creating a picture perfect family anyone at the time would kill for.




Part 2


I decided to draw an eye depicting what in my opinion Sethe was seeing during the scene where she killed beloved.

In the novel they tell you she does not stare at the baby in her arms or the infant by her side (Denver and Beloved). So I decided to draw an angel to depict the freedom she thought she is giving her children. With a boy laying in blood on the far left of her pupil, an image that would be in her peripheral vision. Her pupil is constricted due to the emotions I imagine would be going through her mind for having to kill her children (fear, anxiety, etc) I also drew prominent red veins and bags under her eyes to overall make her eyes looks tired to showcase her fatigue.


Often times looking back at life you come to realize even the smallest things helped you get to where you are at this moment. The story of a character in a novel works the same way. When discussing a pivotal point in Sethe’s life that made it the way it is, it is hard to discern when that moment actually was. One could argue if she never married Hale she wouldn’t have lost her kids or killed beloved. Another might even go as far to say if she was never born all of this would have never happened. 

Personally, I feel like the most important scene in beloved was the moment when the schoolteacher and his nephews came and saw beloved with her neck slit, the boys laying in blood, and Denver being thrown at the wall. “Inside, two boys bled in the sawdust and dirt at the feet of a n**** 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…the old n**** boy, still mewing, ran through the door behind them and snatched the baby from the arc of its mother’s swing” (175).

Infanticide plays a key role in this novel. It was something that was commonly done amongst slave woman to prevent their kids from enduring the same fate they did. Sethe felt the need to kill her children as she saw no other way to save them. In her eyes there was no hope left for freedom and saw this as the only way. She even says, “… couldn’t let her nor any of ‘em live under schoolteacher.” (200) Regardless of her justifications she was condemned by her neighborhood and the law. She became an outcast and no one spoke to anyone in 214. 

Although she feels justified in her action she still feels guilty. Hence the need of hers to justify to beloved her reasoning behind murdering her. Beloved herself is a character the reader isn’t entirely sure about; she could be anyone. In Sethe’s case, beloved could be seen as the personification of this guilt and her need for atonement. As Sethe is constantly shown justifying her committing infanticide to beloved. 

Going back to how Sethe was condemned by everyone for her crime, she set off a chain reaction; her boys left her, baby Suggs died and Denver suffered isolation and was picked on by everyone for it. Denver was/is the only child of Sethe’s who remained with her and even she wasn’t happy. Her mothers crime made her just as much of an outcast as it did her mother. Due to her peers making fun of her she began questioning Sethe about her past.  Even Paul D, who came back into her life much later, left her after learning about the crime she committed. 

Sethe’s whole life after killing beloved was shaped around that moment. Everything that happened to her henceforth was a reaction to that said moment. Had she not taken the initiative and killed beloved her life would be completely different. Maybe not a happy one but one without the constant guilt of having your own child’s blood on your hand.

Sethe wins, so to speak, and prevents her kids from being taken to good home.

“Right off it was clear, to schoolteacher especially, that there was nothing there to claim. The three (now four—because she’d had the one coming when she cut) pickaninnies they had hoped were alive and well enough to take back to Kentucky, take back and raise properly to do the work Sweet Home desperately needed, were not. Two were lying open-eyed in sawdust; a third pumped blood down the dress of the main one—the woman schoolteacher bragged about, the one he said made fine ink, damn good soup, pressed his collars the way he liked besides having at least ten breeding years left. But now she’d gone wild, due to the mishandling of the nephew who’d overbeat her and made her cut and run.”

She ‘saved’ her kids from the cruel fate of slavery. Which raises the question whether or not it was worth it. In the end of the novel, Beloved’s presence is gone, she helped Sethe confront her past and gave her the possibility of  having a happy future with Paul D.  It’s not easy losing a child but Sethe still has one left to whom she succeed in protecting from being a slave. Maybe not justifiable, but the act is understandable.

Many may argue how Sethe, prior to actually doing the act, thinks about killing her children where she gives her reasoning behind why killing them is the best decision, is what would be an important scene. Had she not had those thoughts then beloved would not have entered her life as a paranormal being. But alas, thoughts are fickle and subject to change so I decided the actual scene where the schoolteacher comes is the one that resulted in the story of beloved. Had she not killed her child she wouldn’t have demons in her past to overcome and conquer.

The most important thing in the novel is beloved’s emergence. Which probably would not have happened if the actual killing scene didn’t happen. Everything else would change the course of the story but even if those events occurred and the killing didn’t beloved would not have taken form the way she did.