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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.


Baby Suggs’ Freedom And Her Move to Cincinnati (part 1)

Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved covers many different scenes and spans many different places and time periods. This differentiation makes the novel diverse and eclectic and keeps the reader’s mind busy focusing on multiple scenarios. I believe a pivotal passage that would change the path of the whole novel if it had not happened is when Baby Suggs gets her freedom and moves to Cincinnati and (with help from the Bodwin siblings) begins work repairing shoes and taking in laundry in her very own house. Many events in the work follow Baby Suggs’ freedom, such as Garner’ death and the subsequent worsening of conditions at Sweet Home, and it is because Baby Suggs is free and has a house that Sethe can envision a place for her family to live together in freedom when she and the Sweet Home boys are thinking about escaping. Eliminating this passage would raise questions about the fate of many of the book’s characters, but most importantly we wonder, would Baby Suggs be free? If yes, would she move to Cincinnati? This scene and its effects are important in the novel, and many events following Baby Suggs’ freedom and her move to Cincinnati are relying on this particular scene.
The scene when Baby Suggs gets her freedom, drives to Cincinnati with Garner and buys a house is a brief and exciting one and can be noticed from the reading and has a lot of themes from the novel. Like many scenes from the novel this one was not clearly told, and many Beloved scenes require special attention to conclude what really happened and how it relates to the rest of the scenes. Making this kind of connection between passages necessitates a talent of creativity, originality and inventiveness.
Halle has worked so hard and has put extra effort by working the week-ends to buy his mother’s freedom. In return, Baby Suggs wishes he and the rest of her family can be free and all together- using Baby Suggs’ voice Morrison mentions that “At the back of Baby Suggs’ mind may have been the thought that if Halle made it, God do what He would, it would be a cause for celebration. If only this final son could do for himself what he had done for her and for the three children John and Ella delivered to her door one summer night.” (Morrison, 159) Baby Suggs is so grateful and thankful to her son Halle and wishes the best life for her son because of what he did for her. From this quote it is obvious that Baby Suggs’ gratefulness to her son Halle is because of the freedom he gave to her. At this point I thought about a related pivotal scene that is pretty similar and so close to Baby Suggs’ freedom. What if Halle didn’t work hard to make enough money for his mother’s freedom? What if he couldn’t afford for her freedom? Answering these questions implies a major path change of the novel and many scenes would have been eliminated if Halle hadn’t have worked on his mother’s freedom.
Baby suggs crosses to Cincinnati with Mr Garner. The author describes the scene when they have gotten to the river and says ‘This is a city of water,” said Mr. Garner. “Everything travels by water and what the rivers can’t carry the canals take. A queen of a city, Jenny. Everything you ever dreamed of, they make it right here. Iron stoves, buttons, ships, shirts, hairbrushes, paint, steam engines, books. A sewer system make your eyes bug out. Oh, this is a city, all right. If you have to live in a city–this is it.’ (Morrison, 168) Mr Garner mentions the water which represents life and freedom. He describes to Baby Suggs the importance of what she is about to experience. She experiences and tastes the freedom for the first time. Morrison also mentions “And when she stepped foot on free ground she could not believe that Halle knew what she didn’t; that Halle, who had never drawn one free breath, knew that there was nothing like it in this world. It scared her. Something’s the matter. What’s the matter? What’s the matter? she asked herself. She didn’t know what she looked like and was not curious. But suddenly she saw her hands and thought with a clarity as simple as it was dazzling, “These hands belong to me. These my hands.” Next she felt a knocking in her chest and discovered something else new: her own heartbeat. Had it been there all along? This pounding thing? She felt like a fool and began to laugh out loud.” (Morrison, 166) the author describes the Baby Suggs impression and her remembrance of her son Halle who was part to get her freedom. Baby Suggs at this point realizes that she is free and she owns her body, her hands and her emotions. She was happy and full of joy. She had thoughts about the rest of her family and wishes one day everyone would have a taste of freedom.
When Baby Suggs gets her freedom and moved to Cincinnati, she works as a cobbler and takes in laundry. Baby Suggs’ moving triggered many scenes and provoked an intention to others to escape and move to Cincinnati where she had her own house. Sethe and Halle eventually had two sons and a daughter. Garner, the husband slave owner, dies, and his brother, a schoolteacher, comes to run the plantation. Garner’s brother is extremely cruel. He brings two young white boys with him. One day when Sethe was walking outside the room where the schoolteacher teaches the young boys and they take measurements of her body- she discovers they are measuring her like she is an animal and is upset that they do not see her as a human. Sethe is pregnant with another daughter when she decides to run away from the plantation and escape for freedom with her husband, the three kids, and her husband’s three brothers. This scene is highly related to Baby Suggs moving to Cincinnati and this is how Sethe had the idea and the consideration to escape from Kentucky and head to Ohio to 124 house.
When Sethe has the chance she sends the kids in a wagon to Baby Suggs’ house first- and here the schoolteacher discovers the plan to escape. The adults are all horribly punished for trying to run away, but Sethe never gives up trying to escape with her kids. She succeeds- though the children arrived before Sethe and her new baby. When the kids arrive to Cincinnati Baby Suggs has a complex feeling which is a mixture of happiness and sadness, the author describes her feeling by saying that “When the children arrived and no Sethe, she was afraid and grateful.” (Morrison, 159) Baby Suggs was happy for the kids but so afraid to not have Sethe with her and the kids.
In the novel Sethe’s freedom follows Baby Suggs’ freedom. Suppose Baby Suggs’s never moved and never felt the unexpected job of being free. Perhaps Sethe would not be motivated to escape and not necessarily get her freedom and move to Cincinnati to join Baby Suggs. Even if she did, it there would be much more of a challenge in making a home in a free without Baby Suggs help and without offering her house as a home and refuge.
Finally, the scene of Baby Suggs freedom and her move to Cincinnati is a very important step in the novel and it is a crucial event in the story. If the scene had never happened, a major change would be imposed to the following scenes. The pattern of the events might have happened but the novel would serve a different meaning than the actual one. For example, if Sethe had settled her family in a city that was farther away from Kentucky than Cincinnati, the schoolteacher and slave catcher might not have been able to find them and Sethe might not have been driven to kill her own baby. Not being able to follow Baby Suggs’s freedom and her move to Cincinnati might not have prevented Sethe and her kids from gaining freedom. But I would suggest that it would’ve been done in a different manner and the course of events would be other than what was mentioned in the novel.

Project # 2 – Part 2 – Draft


Sethe's Hand

I have created a concrete poetry image with the scene that I have chosen for part one, which was Sethe killing her child. I chose the shape of a hand with the words wrapped around it. The text around the hand is the text from the scene. The hand represents Sethe’s hand. After the horsemen came to claim her and her children to take back to Sweet Home, she believed the only way to save them was to kill them all.  Sethe did not want her children to die as slaves, at the hands of another. She wanted them to die from her hands, while they were still free. In choosing this shape for the text, I believe it shows the significance of Sethe’s hands in the story, which was used to kill her child.

Project #2, Part 2 – week 12

concrete poetry hat

This image of a hat is a representation of what can be described as the trigger that set Sethe in motion and led her to gather her children and take them to the woodshed where she felt they would be safe.   In the woodshed the most pivotal moment in the novel occurred.  She managed to kill her first daughter on whose headstone the word, “Beloved,” the only word she could afford was inscribed.

It was by chance that Sethe was squatting in the garden and manage to see Schoolteacher’s hat hovering above the garden fence before he saw her.   She knew his presence there, at the house at 124 Bluestone could mean only one thing, a return to slavery for her and her children.  Sethe had experienced slavery and knew its harsh realities.  She knew what it was like to be beaten, treated and classified as an animal and not able to love anything or anyone for fear they could be separated and killed or sold at any time.   Noticing the hat before the wearer saw her gave her a head start that changed the course of her life and that of her family.   Her  mind and body worked at high speed, pushing, shoving and dragging her children into the woodshed.  Then she lost all rationality, “no, no, nonono,” she repeated as she made the decision that death was safer than slavery for her and her children.  That was the  worse decision of her life.  This is because after that unfortunate day, not only did she have to live with her conscience she also had to live in a house haunted by the baby, endured being shunned by the towns people and the loss of her two sons who ran away from her.   Her worst suffering came when Beloved the reincarnation of the dead baby returned for revenge.

The Woods

woods for english class

The woods and water where Sethe met Denver with the help from Amy Denver. Without that moment 124 would be haunted by someting much more powerful a loving mother that lost time with her family because of the era she was born in

Beloved Part 2


For Part 2 of the project i made a word cloud that represented the entire story. I did the entire story because the words that most come up would be a good representation of what the story would be about and who would it go around. The word cloud shows that Sethe is what the story is focused on and it will mostly go around what is happening in her life and all the choices that she makes. The word cloud also tells us which characters are also important and can find what kind of relationship they have with Sethe and the story they have with her. As readers get to read the book and know what meanings such as “baby” and “Beloved” mean they can see the importance they have 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.


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.