Morrison's Beloved

Morrison's Beloved

Morrison's Beloved

Morrison's Beloved


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CliffsNotes on Beloved sheds light on Toni Morrison's skill in penetrating the unconstrained, unapologetic inner motivations of numerous characters who shouldered the horrific burden of slavery's hidden sins. Less a suspense novel than a treatise on acceptance and endurance, this novel has struck an appreciative chord with those who value the painful process of creating a guilt-ridden, near-crazed survivor.

With help from this study guide, you'll not only survive – you'll thrive in your understanding of Morrison's memorable work. You'll also find valuable information about the author and her influences. Other features that help you study include

  • Character analyses of major players
  • A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
  • Critical essays
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  • A ResourceCenter full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites

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In 1873, Sethe, a former slave, resides with Denver, her reclusive 18year-old daughter, in a haunted two-story house at 124 Bluestone Road outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. the house once sheltered a close family, including Grandma Baby Suggs; Sethe’s two sons, Buglar and Howard; and her infant daughter, Beloved. All are gone now except Sethe and Denver.

Almost nine years after Baby Suggs’s death, Sethe and Denver’s isolation is ruptured by the unforeseen arrival of Paul D, a survivor of Sweet Home, the Kentucky slave farm where Sethe, her husband Halle, and their children were also enslaved. in conversation, Sethe and Paul D reveal memories of their former lives of subjugation. Owned for years by the benign Garners, a childless couple, the slaves eventually fell under the cruel tyranny of an unnamed schoolteacher, who destroyed the farm’s harmony and forced the slaves to desperate measures of rebellion and flight.

Sethe divulges to Paul D the catastrophic events that caused her to run away from Sweet Home. Pregnant with her fourth child and fearing for her family’s future under the schoolteacher’s reign, Sethe surrendered her sons and daughter to a woman in a wagon, waiting in the corn. Before she could escape herself, however, two white boys—the schoolteacher’s nephews—sucked out her breast milk and lashed her with rawhide whips. Although she was in terrible pain from the whipping, Sethe ran away from Sweet Home that night. a white girl found Sethe, tended to her injuries, and helped her give birth to her second daughter.

Sethe reveals that later, her oldest girl died from having her throat cut. Paul D, empathetic because of his own experience with slavery, massages the thick scars on Sethe’s back as his other hand strokes her breast. the ghost of Sethe’s dead daughter, which haunts her house, reacts angrily to Sethe and Paul D’s closeness and causes the whole house to shake. Paul D authoritatively banishes the ghost and takes Sethe to . . .

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