1. Warming up with our old friend, Foster:
"If we only understand Beloved on the surface level, Sethe's act of killing her daughter becomes so repugnant that sympathy for her is nearly impossible. If we lived next to her, for instance, one of us would have to move. But her action carries symbolic significance; we understand it not only as the literal action of a single, momentarily deranged woman but as an action that speaks for the experience of a face at a certain horrific moment in history, as a gesture explained by whip scars on her back that take the form of a tree, as the product of the sort of terrible choice that only characters in our great mythic stories--a Jocasta, a Dido, a Medea--are driven to make. Sethe isn't a mere woman next door but a mythic creature, one of the great tragic heroines." (Foster 91)
Take a look at the shifts in point of view in Chapters 16, 17 and 18.
- How would you describe the point of view(s) in each chapter?
- Why do you think Morrison structures it this way?
- Other ways of thinking about the above question: Why not just tell the story from Sethe's point of view? How is the story being filtered?
- How does the point of view affect the way you perceive Sethe? Does your perception shift throughout these chapters? Do you agree with Foster that Sethe comes across as a great tragic heroine?
2. Engaging in a lively Socratic seminar on Beloved, Chapters 13-18
3. Wrapping up: Did you know this actually happened?
1. Calling all critical review books! Time to finish up those bad boys so that you have time to write your essay, which is due February 9 (that's two weeks from now).
2. For Monday, read the first half of Chapter 1 in Part 2. For your reading ticket, you can choose from the following:
a. A found poem using words and phrases from the chapter; please include a short paragraph explaining what larger ideas you were exploring through creating this poem.
b. A character analysis; draw in specific passages from the chapter to support your thoughts.
c. A short metacognitive on an important paragraph or page from the reading.