Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I Am A.P. Lit, and A.P. Lit Is Mine: February 11, 2015

Focus: What and how do the characters in Beloved escape? What do they fail to escape?

1. Warming up with Ms. Kershaw and some helpful information about the A.P. Literature test

2. Getting into a Socratic mindset with a little musical chairs

3. Enjoying a Socratic seminar on Beloved, Part 2

1. Please come in tomorrow with an electronic copy of the poem you'd like to focus on for your project or paper; if you have it narrowed to two or three, I can help you at the very beginning of class. If you prefer working from a hard copy, please print it before class.

2. For Friday, please read the first chapter of Beloved, Part 3; for your reading ticket, please type half a page to a page (double-spaced) in response to one or more of the following questions:

a. What is devolving/disintegrating in Part 3?
b. What is revisited/revised/revolving/returned to in Part 3?
c. What is unaccounted for/unexplained/untouched in Part 3?
d. What is evolving/progressing/changing for the better in Part 3?

Please bring at least two specific passages or page numbers into your response.


  1. What has to occur in someone’s thought to regard someone else as an animal?
    -Feeling of superiority over another person
    -Varies between people. It’s like putting a price on someone’s head or treating them like an object.
    -Mr. Garner and Schoolteacher treated their slaves differently.
    --Paul D still questions if Mr. Garner really treated them differently. He still owned slaves.
    -Slaves do not have a perception of themselves, only what the white man perceives them as.

    Why did the plan to escape Sweet Home fail? How did schoolteacher figure out the plan so quickly?
    -Nobody really knows. Schoolteacher sensed that the plan was happening or that he pushed them to the brink.

    How do Sixo and Paul D’s responses to being caught differ? What does each response say about the characters?
    -When Sixo laughs, it’s a way to preserve his dignity. His laugh is his last defiance. They have to kill him, so they lose the money that he is worth.
    -30-Mile-Woman is pregnant, so Sixo triumphs in this success (“Seven-o”)

    In the chapter from Beloved’s perspective, why change the tense to say “I am Beloved and she is mine” when Beloved refers to herself?
    -Beloved is referring to her physical body.
    -When she sees a woman that she thinks has her face, she decides she wants to be her.

    Who is the other person when Beloved starts to say “we”?
    -She’s talking to Sethe. It sounds like a dialogue.
    -This is the moment where Sethe realizes Beloved is her daughter.
    -She’s having a dialogue with Sethe in the past.
    -”She is mine” refers to Sethe. Beloved is obsessed with Sethe and believes she belongs to her.

    In chapter 3, why doesn’t Morrison use punctuation or capitalization?
    -Stream of consciousness writing: Morrison is showing that Beloved is not human, she is a ghost.

    Why does Beloved say “you rememory me”?
    -Beloved is saying that Sethe changed her memory of her.

    What is the significance of Denver’s love and waiting for her father?
    -With the return of Beloved, Denver’s fear of Sethe has returned. Her father is a glimpse of hope for her since she has no one.
    -She gets all her information about Halle from Baby Suggs. It’s a larger than life interpretation from a mother’s point of view.

  2. -Baby Suggs gives her hope that she has one normal parent. She has hope to be somewhat normal.
    -Her father was her last hope to have someone to love her and care about her. She’s offended that she wasn’t the one to be killed because Sethe doesn’t love her as much as she loves Beloved. There’s no one in her world that loves her except her father.
    -Since her dead baby sister came back, there’s a chance that her father could come back. It doesn’t feel as unlikely anymore.
    -Paul D fills the void, but she would rather have her real father.
    -She loves Beloved until Beloved comes, but then moves on to wishing for her father. She doesn’t know what she wants.

    Does Sethe love Denver?
    -Sethe doesn’t associate love with her children because of all that has happened to her. She keeps her love separated.
    -She is accused of her love being too thick. She was trying to kill all her children, so, in a weird, twisted way, she loves all of them.
    -She feels so guilty over killing Beloved that it outweighs all her other emotions. Her love for Denver is buried beneath her guilt.

    Does Sethe feel guilty about killing Beloved?
    -She wouldn’t have changed what she did, but she recognizes that it wasn’t a great thing to do. She avoids remembering it as much as possible.
    -She could also be proud of what she did. When she talks to Paul D, she’s proud that she was able to stop Schoolteacher.
    -Sethe doesn’t feel like she needs to apologize to Beloved because she knows Beloved forgives her. She thinks her actions were right.
    -You can still feel guilt even if you don’t want to change your actions. Her past is still haunting her, so there is no way she doesn’t feel remorse over it. She feels like she was caring for her children, but she knows it’s not right.
    -She’s so guilty that she cannot handle it. She justifies it to herself in her mind so that she can fathom what she did.
    -She tries to tell herself that it was the right thing. Sethe’s love for Beloved is so thick that she’s blind to the fact that she killed her daughter.
    -Some historical people say Beloved represents the guilt we feel as a nation for slavery.