Friday, January 16, 2015

A.P. Lit Is Wondering Who/What Beloved Is: January 16, 2015

Focus: How we do enter the world of Beloved?

1. Warming up by enjoying a few rounds of musical chairs with your Beloved reading tickets

2. Discussing the first two chapters of Beloved via Socratic seminar

3. Wrapping up: Share with the class...
  • Something smart
  • Something random you noticed
  • Something confusing

1. Read the next two chapters of Beloved by Tuesday.  For your reading ticket, please close read a character (for extra fun, try reading 124--the house--as a character).  Pick the character that intrigues you the most so far, find a few good passages for that character, and interpret/question/investigate them to draw some conclusions about that character.

2. Complete your poetry response by Monday.  HARD COPIES, please.

3. Snuggle up with your critical review book.


  1. Why doesn’t Sethe leave the house? What’s keeping her there?
    She doesn’t want to - it’s the first real thing she’s ever owned, scared to runaway bc it might bring more bad than good, guilt, there was nothing more powerful than the way she loved her daughter, she doesn’t want to run from anything anymore.
    What is with the “spite of 124”?
    A toddler throwing a temper-tantrum, no logic - pure emotion, spiteful vs. sadness - what gives? why is it both even though they are very different emotions?
    The baby would be Denver’s older sister (clarification)
    Just acts out in a negative emotion, not caring whether sad or spiteful.
    How came Baby Suggs can’t remember the good things of her children?
    She didn’t want to get attached to them, dehumanize, her body wasn’t her own so her own children couldn’t be her own either
    Were the scars on her back like the whipping ones we say yesterday? (yes) Why would they be compared to a tree?
    Tied to a tree while whipped, roots of sorrow and sadness, turned into something beautiful
    What is the significance of color?
    Compared to dreariness of the setting, memories bring color - reality brings grey, the way the past is described makes it seem she is more unhappy now than she was as a slave, why would she do that? - maybe for some it was better as a slave, in a weird limbo where they don’t know what to do with themselves. Reminiscing to a time when they felt more whole compared to the weight that they hold now. Memories start to seem better as time goes on - the illusion of time. Life is too unpredictable now, no more structure or order in life.
    If someone’s born a slave and then freed, can they restart?
    The scars are a constant reminder and show it will always stay with you. Sethe is a slave to the house, she makes it out to be better than it is, attached to it.

  2. Connect 124 to Monster’s Inc, or a blackhole (blackhole and Sethe’s dark eyes) - maybe something that the author will reveal later in the book.
    Address connected to Sethe’s kids and birth order -
    1: Howard
    2: Buglar
    (3): Beloved
    4: Denver
    Do we know how Beloved died?
    Around the house, throat-cut, Sethe was present there - be patient in waiting to find out how she died, takes a while to reveal the memories.
    Beloved and be-loved
    In the era rape was present, why did Sethe not get raped? And why was it brought up? What does that say about the Sweet Home men?
    The slaves were “men”, actual humans, made them more brotherly to Sethe, shows that they hold a lot of respect for Sethe. Doesn’t it show the dehumanization of the slaves too? They were still slaves, still deprived of basic human relationships (family and sexual etc.)
    WHat do you think about the Garner’s and the other white people at Sweet Home? How are white people portrayed so far?
    Not malicious, but still dehumanizing. What about school-teacher? Disturbing passage, and confusing. “Took her milk” - nursing beloved, they take her milk as if she was a cow, a form of rape. Schoolteacher - a white man who lives at Sweet Home, works for Mr Garner, not really a school-teacher.
    Why Sethe sent Beloved to be separated? - running away from the plantation, sent the children first.
    Gravestone - only “Beloved”. You’d think she wouldn’t be so connected to a baby. Almost as if she is not Beloved - the beloved are the people gathering to mourn not the actual baby. “Opens her knees as wide as the gravestone”? - birth?, gravestone maker made the gravestone only because she slept with him, she didn’t have enough money.
    Why do you think Morrison would include such a disturbing way to get Beloved on the gravestone?
    She feels guilt, like she owes her daughter at least this. Most of the disturbing scenes are sexual - why sex over violence? Sex is sacred, it dehumanizes her by having it violent. We are more exposed to the violence, this shows us the other side of slavery that has to do with sex. More of a punishment for the women, men were beaten, women were raped. The “untold side of slavery”
    Beautiful lines:
    -last few lines of the second chapter
    -passage talking about the presence of Paul D in a room, making people feel safe - nice to have a comforting male figure.
    -Making the biscuits, easy and simple beauty.
    Pg 28 passage, really lovely writing
    Talk about Denver more
    “You said she died soft…”
    Do we know what happened to Hallie
    Why the baby is angry, frustrated
    Mr Garner means by not wanting other men around his women
    Why Denver wanted to leave when Paul D was there
    Sethe is stuck in the past, why?
    Sethe’s relationships
    The scar and how it has grown over the years
    Talk more about Paul D
    Page 25/30: “Although her eyes were closed….” How is Paul D helping Sethe heal?