Friday, January 9, 2015

Heart of the Story (Blog Post #2)

Hey guys,
I'm breaking the cardinal rule of motherhood, which is to sleep when the baby sleeps, because it's Friday morning and I'm asking you to blog by today, but I hadn't updated yet.  Sorry about that!  As you may or may not know, I did finally have the baby this past week, so I've been a little busy with her!  We are both home and happy, healthy as can be, thank you so much for your emails and comments wishing us well.  As a reminder, you can always email me if you have a question about something in the book or a question about class, grades, etc.  Also, I noticed that very few people commented on the blog last week - please be sure to stay focused during in-class time, as it is a chunk of your grade, and the semester is almost over!

Onto Beloved!  We finally learn, at the end of Part 1, that Sethe is responsible for killing her daughter, and attempting to kill all of her children; this came as a huge shock to me when I first read this book!  Sethe seems to be such a loving mother, who has her share of a very troubled past, but I never would have guessed that she had killed her own child.  Suddenly, lots of Morrison's foreshadowing started to return to my mind when I read this part... I started thinking about references to Beloved's scar, to the ghost baby being in the house at the beginning, to why people might not talk to Sethe and Denver in town, to why Denver stopped going to school, to Beloved disappearing in the shed while Denver was getting cider.  The shame of knowing that your mother was a murderer may have been too much to take!  Why do you think that Sethe acted so violently against her children?  What does schoolteacher's arrival at 124 have to do with Sethe's actions?  I'd love to see a conversation form about this in the comments, and hopefully in class!

Also, Stamp Paid goes out of his way to make sure that Paul D knows about Sethe's history, but Paul D doesn't believe him, insisting that the woman in the newspaper clipping wasn't Sethe.  He seems to be in denial at first, perhaps because he too can't believe that Sethe would commit such a horrible act. When he and Sethe finally talk about it and she tells him her reasoning, he makes the decision to leave her.  This was a decision that made me upset -- everyone else had left Sethe, and it seemed like she and Paul D were headed toward a happy ending, but the past can sometimes greatly impact the present, and perhaps her keeping this a secret from him was enough to send him away.  Why do you think that Paul D left Sethe after learning the truth?  Do you think it was the right decision for him to make?  Why or why not? (Use evidence from your reading to support your claim).

There's so much more to talk about and I'm sure you are having great discussions in class about the film and the book!  I'd love to hear more about your discussions in your blog response!  As I'm starting to think about Regents, I'm also starting to think about you guys using literary elements in your writing about novels.  I was thinking about conflict and plot structure, and particularly if the conflict of Sethe's murder of her child is also the climax, or turning point, in the book.  As a reader, it was a pivotal moment for me, when something major changed and I had to re-think the entire book. My last question to you is this: do you think that the scene of the baby's murder is the climax of the book?   If so, why?  If not, what do you think is the climax, or action-packed moment of truth?

Thank you guys so much for reading and responding!  I miss you all, but it's cool to see your responses here and I will be in better touch as my family starts to develop our little routine. :)  Oh, and I suppose you may want to see a photo of my daughter?  Here you go.  Now, write back to my questions and thoughtfully discuss the book!!



xo
Ms. Lauren


34 comments:

alice said...

I miss you too Ms. Lauren and the baby is so adorable. Anyways back to the book congratulation to the baby. Hope to see her in person.
About the question about why Sethe will kill her won baby, is because when schoolteacher had shown up he was going to take the kids away and Sethe didn't want that. I'm sure Sethe was a good mother and didn't mean to kill her babies, she just did what she thought was a good idea for them but apparently wasn't such a good idea as she thought it was. she was preventing her kids from going through what she went through with school teacher and at sweet home. In my opinion I think she did what every mother would have done maybe not to kill the babies but to her that was protective.
-alice

Anonymous said...

I basically think that Paul D didn't leave Sethe for only that reason is just that he couldn't stand living in the house with Beloved as of what had happen.(Beloved made him sleep with her).Also I don't think it was the nicest thing for Paul D to do but I think that it a reasonable thing to do. As he needed space to think his head through with himself and about the whole situation.
-alice

Anonymous said...

Janée said ...
I feel when it comes to Sethe we always have to keep in mind that slavery has impacted her tremendously. Although Sweet Home with Mr.Garner wasn't the worst thing in the world, the story completed changed when Schoolteacher arrived. He mistreated the slaves and so did his nephew/sons. The imagery Toni Morrison provides about Sweet Home when Sethe was gonna run away (one of the Pauls hanging from the tree but she couldn't tell) and they taking her milk is heart breaking. Sethe went through hell and back to get away from Schoolteacher, Sweet Home and slavery itself. When she seen Schoolteacher she felt her kids were safer being dead than being slaves. I think Sethe felt she didn't want them to experience the horrors of slavery and the schoolteacher in which she explains to Paul D. Slavery is a fate worst than death, and her children were better off dead than enslaved which is why Sethe reacted so violently when spotting Schoolteacher towards her children, because she knew what Schoolteacher was capable of ... the pain and suffering he can cause for her children the same way he caused it for her. When speaking of why Paul D walked out on Sethe its pretty obvious. Paul D although he has seen pain up close he is not a violent man, very gentle. He shows this as soon as he arrives in which he asked if Baby Snuggs went peacefully. Him finding out the truth shows how savagely Sethe really is and it changes his perspective on her along with going against everything he believes in such as "loving too much" as a past slave which Toni Morrison saids through his thoughts after he realizes how much love Sethe has for Denver. He specifically saids "its dangerous" and this proves his theory on Slaves and love. I feel it wasn't the right the decision considering the fact that they were actually happy ... something real and wonderful was developing in 124 despite the obstacles if he really had a connection with Sethe how he described and so called also knew the impact slavery had on a person then he should've stood. In this novel I feel Sethe's murder of her child is the climax considering the novel was surrounded by why did Sethe go to jail and how did the baby die? and why is she haunting 124? and now that she is back, why? When this was revealed I feel It answered all these questions and gave a "gasp" kind of reaction along with the rising action in my opinion being that something is haunting the house.

alice said...

whats the new babies name?
-Alice

Anonymous said...

Devin says....

When i found out that sethe is responsable for kiling Beloved i was so shocked that i almost caught a heart attack i had alot of questions at first then i realize that it was for a reason that she killed her

Unknown said...

Hi Ms;
Aww Congratulations the baby is cute and adorable! I wonder whats her name? how your family?


Back to Beloved, Sethe wanted to kill her babies since she was living free for a few days as she said something about the 28 days of being free. Sethe dint want her children to go trough what she has gone and she wanted to have them with them otherwise in a better place but with them thats why she wanted to kill them all then kill herself with them. This is connected to the schoolteacher since he is the new owner he wants to sell Sethe kids and benefit from them. But after learning about this Paul D left because he loves Sethe and is not sure if his stay would do good and dosent unnderstand Sethe toward her childrens. But I dint think it was right for him to leave because Sethe needed someone support and like at the end Paul D camed and she was speaking to him she was expressing herself and agreed to get his help to get better.
I do think Beloved disappearance is the climax because she represent the past, the memory, without her the entire story would be different.

Anonymous said...

My favorite character is Paul D because he does love sethe its just beloved's curse that made him do that act of adultery "he" committed. The scene of baby suggs being killed is the climax of the story because after that scene everything and i repeat EVERYTHING goes downhill. RF O.n.t.G.k. ghn S.A.D

Derrick RICHARD said...

I think that Sethe acted so violently against her children because when she heard the horse and the carriages coming towards her house, she knew that they was the slave owners and the schoolteacher was going to take her children. So Sehte killed her children in order for the schoolteacher not to take her and to sell her children as slaves to work.

Linda. O said...

Sethe acted so violently against her baby because she didn’t want anyone to treat her the way they treated her and also because she taught the four horsemen came to her home to sell her babies to people she didn’t know and also didn’t want her children to continue being a slave.

Anonymous said...

AWWWWWWW THE BABY IS SO CUTE !


On to beloved .. Why do you think that Sethe acted so violently against her children? I think she acted voilently because she really loved her kids and didnt want schoolteacher taking them away. I think she felt like if she couldnt have a her kids then nobody can, and therefore she killed them.


What does schoolteacher's arrival at 124 have to do with Sethe's actions? I believe that school teacher's arrival at 124 impacted sethe actions because seeing him probably brought back bad flashbacks that she was already trying to get rid of. Seeing him changed everything, making her realized what she really had done.


Why do you think that Paul D left Sethe after learning the truth? I beleive that Paul Left after finding he truth because he was hurt, the fact that anybody can kill their child is truly disappointing.The fact that she lied to him about what really happened is upsetting as well.


Do you think it was the right decision for him to make? YES, he should of been by her side, supporting her and trying to understand. On the other hand i could see why he left.


Debbie Hardnett <3

Anonymous said...

i think that when Sethe thought she killed Beloved she thought she lost her and she didnt she realized Beloved came back to her when she =heard beloved humming her song and she sethe saw Beloved neck cut she knew it was her ~barbara reyes

kevin the lord said...

Sethe was a very powerful woman who had the strength to kill her own children because she believed that slavery was worse than death. There are many people who wouldn't kill her children because they believed it was morally wrong. Sethe believed that sending her children to slavery was wrong. Sethe was a good mother and didn't mean to kill her babies, she just did what she thought was a good idea for them but apparently wasn't such a good idea as she thought it was. Slavery is a fate worst than death. Paul D walked out on Sethe its pretty obvious. Paul D although he has seen pain up close he is not a violent man, very gentle.

Anonymous said...

Farielly v. said ....

Sethe tried to kill her kids because she didn't want them to go through slavery and have the life that she had. she said she rather them to be living in heaven in peace than to be on earth having hell. The school teachers arrival had Sethe screaming and telling Buglar and Howard to run to the shed while taking beloved and Denver and running to the shed so she can try and kill them and make sure that they wont get taken from her.

I think he wanted to leave after beloved and him had sex because he didn't want to keep on living there with beloved being there. I think that he would've drove himself insane with beloved still being there and after Sethe found out who she was, she would've told Paul D and he would've ran away just like Sethes sons. So I think it was right for him to leave, Sethe has a really big heart but Paul D wasnt going to be able to handle the fact that Beloved is sethes baby that she killed in the shed and shes back in human form

elaine.b said...

Why do you think that Sethe acted so violently against her children? What does schoolteacher's arrival at 124 have to do with Sethe's actions
Seth was terrified of schoolteacher. Seth obviously went through alot during her stay at sweet home.Seth had unremarkable love for her kids, i guess she always feared that something would happen to them and she knew it was her job to protect them. That's why she reacted so quickly.When he came to 124 she knew he was going to take them to place she would never go again better yet let her kids go

Jesus Jimenez said...

JESUS SAYS - ayoooooo miss, hey i think your baby is adorable she is sooo cute and im happy for you, im glad you brought a new baby into this world !

Question 1. I think that sethe acted so violently towards her kids because she didnt want her kids to go with the white masters so she thought that it would rather be better off to kill them than to be owned by white people. she thought they would rather be off dead. That school teacher effected sethe actions because she thought that he was going to harm her children.

Question 2. I think he left because the truth hurts and he couldnt believe that sethe killed beloved and also for the fact that he had sex with beloved and paul D couldnt find away to tell her.

Question 3. I think it is because a lot of things happened because of the murder of beloved like paul D leaving and her getting sick and finally beloved disappear.

Jesus Jimenez said...

JESUS SAYS - ayoooooo miss, hey i think your baby is adorable she is sooo cute and im happy for you, im glad you brought a new baby into this world !

Question 1. I think that sethe acted so violently towards her kids because she didnt want her kids to go with the white masters so she thought that it would rather be better off to kill them than to be owned by white people. she thought they would rather be off dead. That school teacher effected sethe actions because she thought that he was going to harm her children.

Question 2. I think he left because the truth hurts and he couldnt believe that sethe killed beloved and also for the fact that he had sex with beloved and paul D couldnt find away to tell her.

Question 3. I think it is because a lot of things happened because of the murder of beloved like paul D leaving and her getting sick and finally beloved disappear.

Derrick RICHARD said...

Paul D left Sethe after learning the truth because made it would be to much chaos and drama in the house of 124 and it would be too much for Sethe, Denver and Beloved also because between Paul D and Beloved, he couldn't stand living with Beloved because he thinks that Beloved is a strange and crazy person in the house of 124. It was probably the wrong decision because Paul D, as much as he didn't want to have an affair with Beloved he should have took care of Beloved because after that affair Beloved was pregnant and was turning into a crazy insane person.

Derrick RICHARD said...

The scene of the baby's murder is the climax of the book because when Sethe had that flashback of when the two white men coming over to her house trying to take her children, she was basically saving her life and the only way that Sethe had to do was to kill her babies because she couldn't escape with her children because she was going to be punish if she did that. What I think was another action packed of truth is when Beloved slept with Paul D because it brought us to where Paul D left when Sethe heard that Beloved and Paul D was sleeping together and it is also where Beloved was Pregnant.

Unknown said...

Why will sethe kill her babys ? Sethe killed her babys because she did not want them to grow up in slavery. She wanted a better life for her kids and did not want them to experience or go through what she went through.
- via dama <3

Anonymous said...

I think Sethe acted violently against her children because she didn't want the school teacher of Sweet Home to take away her children. Sethe did what she did so the school teacher wouldn't take her kids back to the plantation and put them through slavery.
Paul D left Sethe after finding out the truth because he wanted to have a child with her, thinking that the baby would be free. Of course he wouldnt want to have a baby with her knowing that eventually if the school teacher would ever come back to 124, Sethe might kill their child out of fear. I think he was right and wrong. Wrong because she cant help why she did what she did in the past, and right because no one would want to have a child would someone who might kill the life they brought into the world.
I do think that the scene of the baby's murder was the climax of the book. That basically explains the reason why Sethe is the way that she is and why Denver's life is the way that it is. It explains why nobody comes to visit and everyone keeps their distance. The baby of the past is the key that unlocks the door to the future in a way.
- Onajah

Weldy G said...

In Beloved, sethe when schoolteacher comes she panics. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that schoolteacher had come to take sethe's children. Sethe that had such horrible past on slavery did not want her experiences to happen to her children. Slavery had a really bad impact on Sethe's life that overtook her to commit murder to one of her child, and attempt to the Buglar, Howard, and Denver. The arrival of the schoolteacher to 124 meant that they would be sold to slavery. I think that Paul D was justified of leaving Sethe after learning the truth. As said in the very first chapter, Paul D had always fantasied of Sethe when they were in Sweet Home. And also explained through the book, Paul D loved her, and now finding out she was a murdered no matter the reason was wrong for him to support her in. He also believed there could have been another way out for her to save her children instead of murder. I think Sethe going mental because she wanted to satisfy Beloved's wishes was the turning point. Because of that Denver becomes an adult

Unknown said...

Sethe acted violently towards the schoolteacher because she didn't wanted her babies to go through what she been through in the past like getting whipped and sorts of torture but i disagree with this action because the school teachers wasn't probably going to torture them they was probably was just going to sell then off like its better then killing them.

Christopher E said...

Why do you think that Sethe acted so violently against her children?

In my opinion Sethe acted so violently against their children because she knew what would happen to them, by she knew that Beloved is going to get abused more than the boys Buglar and Howard because she is a girl. Another reason is she don't want to see her children suffer like she did when they when she saw her mother get hung and she don't the school teacher to take her children away from her cause that's her love one but she lost her mind and took the life of Beloved trying to safe her but end up killing her.

-Christopher E.

William B said...

What I think caused Sethe to act the way that she act toward her children was that she rather felt that her children will be better of dead than growing up in slavery. Schoolteacher's arrival at 124 effected Sethe's actions because she was running away from this man and he comes back and she probably thought that he would come back for her kids instead of her and I guess she wanted to save her children from growing up in slavery.

Justin C. said...
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Justin C. said...
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Justin C. said...
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Justin C. said...

I think that the reason why Sethe played by Oprah Winfrey killed her child was because she didn't want the Schoolteacher to take her children and experience the same pain and cruelty as she did when she was a slave. Which is why when the schoolteacher came she ran to the shed and attempted to kill her children so they wouldn't have to deal with the same hardships

Christopher E. said...

Why do you think that Paul D left Sethe after learning the truth? Do you think it was the right decision for him to make? Why or why not?


Paul D left Sethe because she did the wrong decision to try to kill all her children, in he set of mind is better been a slaved than being killed at a young age like Beloved. .I think the choice that Paul D did was wrong because if he really love Sethe he would stay with her. I think Sethe just want to find shelter and to use her like a sex toy.

Justin C. said...

Paul D. left Sethe because he didn't understand why Sethe killed one of her children, and maybe thought bad of her and ended up leaving knowing that if he were to start a family with her they may end up dying.

Christopher E. said...

Do you think that the scene of the baby's murder is the climax of the book? If so, why? If not, what do you think is the climax, or action-packed moment of truth?

I think that the scene of the baby's murder is the climax of the book because we find out a dark side of Sethe and make Paul D decide to leave the house cause in my opinion he taught he was living with a person that need help or have mental problems. Another reason is that Paul D was saving to make their own family but that change his mind until the end of the book when Beloved is gone and Sethe look hopeless.

Sarank Diakite said...

Sethe have suffer when she was a slave so she did not want to see her children suffer the same thing she went thorough by them becoming a slave. schoolteacher showed up at the house with one of his nephews, the sheriff, and a slave catcher. In the woodshed, they found Sethe’s sons, Howard and Buglar, lying in the sawdust, bleeding. Sethe was holding her bleeding “crawling already?” daughter, whose throat she had cut with a saw. it show that sethe was the one responsible for Beloved death and she felt close when killed someone she loved.

Anonymous said...

regarding the harming of sethes kids, i feel as if she thought by sending her children to heaven they would be better there than with schoolteacher, she didn't want her kids to go through everything she did, yes what she did was completely wrong but to her there was no other way, it was heaven or hell and sweethome is her own personal hell which her kids had no knowledge of and she wanted to keep it that way.

btw your baby is so cute congrats

-Melodie

lolosita said...

Hi everyone, did I forget to mention that my daughter's name is Salimata Adila? Thank you for your well-wishes, we are all doing great, though it is hard for my son to understand why this little baby is taking a lot of my attention, but he's being a really awesome and helpful older brother.

I agree with you -- I think that the climax of the book is when we find out that Sethe killed her baby. As a mom, I could never imagine doing that, but I have also never had to endure the horrors of slavery, so I don't understand the hell that Sethe had been through, and feel like I cannot judge her actions without having been in her shoes. The fear and hysteria she must've been experiencing when seeing the schoolteacher's hat must've been so overwhelming... I don't know how I would've made such a decision so quickly, in the time that he came up the road to her house. However, I don't think that Sethe's decision means that she was mentally ill, necessarily.

I enjoyed that Paul D came back to the story at the end, as I feel that poor Sethe really had everyone leave her (including Beloved leaving TWICE), except Denver, who as Weldy pointed out, really became the adult or the "normal one" in the end, by becoming the provider for the family as Sethe and Beloved devolved into arguments and obsession with one another.

Hope all is well, good luck on your finals, everyone! -Ms. Lauren