Hello my amazing students,
Hope your holiday break has gone well!! I know that some of you expressed fear that you would forget to post to the blog over break, so you're in luck - I am giving you some time on Monday to blog in class (Ms. R and Ms. O will guide you through this), so that you can respond to me about your holiday reading of Beloved and make some connections to real-life events that have happened over the break. I will be asking some questions as I think about my own reading through page 174 of the book, and I will write the questions below IN BOLD, so that you can have some prompts to think about - you do not have to respond to every question - but I am asking that your response be about 2 paragraphs, so please use evidence and details from your reading to support your ideas! You can also respond to others' comments in your comment, too!
This week I am identifying myself with the character of Denver in Beloved, who I feel has spent so much of her life waiting for her father to return (and what's up with Halle? Do we think that he has passed away? Did he desert his family? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this character that we've heard about but haven't met)... my wait is for my child to make his or her appearance, and it hasn't happened yet, but I will post a photo next week, for sure! :) Re-reading Denver's birth story made me feel very fortunate to be in the situation I'm in, though, as I have access to health care and modern facilities in which to birth my child. In comparison, Sethe delivered Denver in a row boat and only had the assistance of Amy, they were alone in the woods on the Ohio River, and she had just escaped the brutality of a horrible slave owner, and nearly died in childbirth. I am very privileged.
Denver is a very interesting character to me -- the passion with which she has taken to care for Beloved shows evidence of her immense loneliness, but her feelings about Beloved don't waiver; even though she realizes that her sister really returned from the dead for her mother, she also cannot bear to think of a life without her sister. I wonder, will Denver ever find a way out of the loneliness that seems to consume her? When I read about her birth story, I was thinking about how Denver was born for a reason, against all odds, that she really is a survivor. I wonder what Denver's purpose in life is, and how she will continue to grow as a character. Which character in the novel do you feel the most connection toward, either for the way that they have dealt with a situation you read about, or because of their approach to life?
* * *Spoiler Alert* * *
I also wonder about Paul D's feelings about Beloved -- he has very strong feelings of hatred for her in the beginning, but we learned in our reading over break that she has cast a spell on him, and literally moved him out of Sethe's bed and to sleeping in the shed. I was shocked to learn that Paul D begins sleeping with Beloved... but it seems to me that she will do whatever she can to break him and Sethe up, so that Sethe's focus can return to her all of the time. Beloved seems to be growing in power as a progresses as a character -- first she nearly strangles Sethe in the field from far away, and then she is able to physically move Paul D around the house, slowly moving him away from Sethe. Why is Beloved so obsessed with Sethe? What do you think she wants from Sethe? And why is Denver keeping Beloved's secrets from Sethe (about her scar, about her true identity, about her relationship with Paul D)?
There is so much that we learned by the end of Part 1, and I am not going to spoil the major climax moment this week - we'll talk more about it in next week's blog response. If you'd like, in your comment, you can answer the questions above OR you can write 1 paragraph AND make a list of the 10 most important events you've read in the book so far.
Until next week, my lovelies,