Beloved Journal Questions

Beloved Journal Questions - Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)...

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Unformatted text preview: Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987) Questions adapted from Prof. Florence Boos (University of Iowa) Chapter 1 1. 9. firsthsthasterrs have esteem When was this book first published? Where does it fit chronologically in reiation to the What is the reference in the epigfirafiphi'éiitty‘MiIlion afi'ci‘iaaiét? When does this story open? Why do you think Morrison chose this date for the beginning of the story? ' _ What do we learn at first about the family's relatiOnship with the outer world? About the death of Baby Suggs? What had been her experience of life? What is the central event around which the novel turns? Why do you think we only learn about the basic facts gradually, as though unravelling a puzzle? ' What do we team about the circumstances under which Beloved's grave was carved? What are some of the memories of “Sweet Home" evoked by the appearance of Paul 13.? Is the title ironic? What do we learn about Sethe‘s former husband? The circumstances under which her back has become scarred? How do Sethe and i’aul D feel about their reunion after eighteen years? How does Paul D. respond to Sethe's explanation that a ghost is haunting their house? 10. What evicts the ghost? Are there symbolic elements to this scene? k Chapter 2 1. List the key events of the past Paul D. and each Sethe remember after having sex. 2. Why are Paul D's memories of eating corn described with such fervor? (30) Chapter 3 1. How does Denver react to Paul D's presence? Do you find this a realistic detail? ‘ What do we learn about the circumstances of Denver's birth? Through whose imagination is the story told? 3. What had Sethe expected. when she heard a voice in the grass? What do we learn about the white girl who facilitates her escape? 4. What have been the circumstances of Amy Denver's life? In what ways does she help Sethe? (3941) _ H _ _ _ _ 7‘ 5. What roie does the schoolteacher play in her story? 6. Why is the novel told through a series of flashbacks? Is the chronological sequence always clear? 7. What do we know about Paul D? What has been his past? (prison farm, war, wanderer, ($749) What seems to be the basis of his attachment to Bethe? Chapter 4 1. What is Paui D’s attitude about Sethe’s love? 2. What does Paul assure Sethe of? (55) _ 3. What form of entertainment does the new family enjoy together? 4. Describe the shadows Sethe sees. (57) Chapter 5 1. What symbolic circumstances attend Beioved‘s return to 124? What do you make-of her 5 ' a ' literal, physical return? _ _ 2.. Why doesflt Paul D. ask about her circumstances? (62) Are there humorous'elements to ' ' - - . the scene? (63) i 3. What account is given of African-American wanderers at the time? {63) 4. What is Denver's response to the newcomer? What types of information does she conceal? What do you think may be her motive? ' I 5. What do you make of Beloved's eating and sleeping habits? 6. What does Paul D. sense about Beloved? Chapter 6 _ 1. What does Beloved coax from Sethe? Had she been able to talk about her-past before? 3 I (68—69) _ ' _' ' ' 2. What memories does the mention of the earrings evoke? How had she been married?" I .: -' I 3. What memories does Bethe have of her mother? What had she learned of her father? Of ' " j l" I her siblings? ' ' ' " 4. What finally happened to Sethe's mother? Who had cared for Sethe? - _ . . 5. What does she remember about the language of her mother and of her youth?IWhat do. I ' " " You infer from this? . .. . - I '. 6, What attitude does Beloved take toward Bethe? What oddity characterizes her questions? .' Chapter 7 1. What is Paul D.‘s attitude toward the newcomer?- 2. According to the narrator, why can't she be evicted? (76) 3. How does she reiate to Denver? (7'7) 4. What new facts about her husband’s death does Paul D. reveal to Bethe? . . _ 5. What is significant about Paul D‘s memories of a rooster? What has been the fate of his _ .' ' '2 .. comrades? (85) . ' ' I ' ' 6. What shared project is meant by Sethe and Paul D's venture t0ward "beating back the ' " past"? (as) ' ' ' ' ' - ' Chapter 8 - . . . 1. What are Sethe‘s memories of Wis she entirely favorably drawn? Is there a ' . .‘I symbolism to where the child is born? 2. How is the birth itself described? Could Sethe have given birth alone? 3. Describe Morrison’s use of tree motif in the last pages of the chapter. 6. Chapter 9 1. How does Sethe make it to the other side of the river, and who helps her and brings her to her new location on her arrival? 2. What do We learn about Baby Suggs' character and occupation? What effect does she have on others? What advice does she give her daughter—in-law? 3. How had Baby Suggs cared for Sethe on her arrival in Ohio? (109) Does Sethe express love for her children on their reunion? What physical object has survived the journey? 4. What psychoiogical changes/adjustments does Sethe undergo after escaping from slavery? (111) (5) What is the purpose of the sudden shift to the present day on page 111? What seems to threaten Sethe, and how is she healed? 6. What do yOu make of Beloved's participation in the ritual? Of what crime does Denver accuse her, and is her accusation just? (119) . What resolution does Sethe come to in the clearing? What kind of formal education does Denver receive, and how does it end? i 9. What effect does the family trauma have on Denver? (g What declaration does Baby Suggs make on her deathbed? Why do you think she makes this? 11. What meaning does the scene of copulating turtles have for Beloved? Chapter 10 1. What were the circumstances of Paul D.'s prison work camp? What had happened before his escape north? Who was Brandywine, and why had Paul D. tried to kill him? 3. What features of his reaction does the story concentrate on? ( 4. How are the prisoners bound together? Why is no separation permitted between them? 5. How do they occupy their time? (128429) 6. Why wasn‘t Paul I). able to escape from the prison farm? - a What is the significance of the rain in this section? (109—110) What finally frees the men? a What is the relationship of the convicts to the Indians? What do we learn about the history of the Indians? How does Paul D. finally escape? (Who tells him how to go North, and what is this advice? (132) Is it accurate? Is it symbolic? l" *1 2:.."‘\ Chapter 11 1. What effect does Beioved have on Paul D.? How is this comprehensible within the novel's themes? 2. Why does Paul D. feel uncomfortable in the house? 3. What might motivate Beloved to entice Paul 12).? Does Beloved understand the _ implications of her suggestion? Should these episodes be read iiterally? . Why does her solicitation cause him to say, "Red heart"? To whose heart does he refer? Does this indicate a return to feeling? 5. Had he been sleeping when this incident occurred? Chapter 12 1. What indicates Denver‘s need for a relationship with her sister's ghost? (139) - - _ . 2. Why do Beloved's memories center on a bridge? (140) . _ i ' ' 3. How does Sethe reconstruct Beloved‘s past? Is she completely honest? (140)" 4. How does Denver reconstruct it? Why doesn’t she ask Beloved about the latter‘s "I behaVi'oYTW' . ' “Wh'at'isDenver's-attitudetoward her sister? (121) Beloved's toward Bethe? What ' emotions does Denver feel when Beloved Seems to disappear? (142—144) __ _ ® What unexpected event occurs at the end of the chapter? What does Beloved seem to see? _ ' Chapter 13 1. Why is Paul D. so upset by Beloved? What had been Garner's attitude toward slaves? ' . :- 5' '- How had the teacher departed from these views? I - ' is he able to tell Sethe the truth about his problem? 3. What is Beloved's reaction to Sethe and Paul D's courtship? _ _. _ 7 What is the answer to Paul D's question to Denver, whose ally are you? How is the; - ' ' ' problem of his sleeping place solved? 5 5. What is the purpose of the flashback to an eariier act of sex? - . . __ 6. What does Bethe think motivates Paul Dis expression of desire for a child? Does she ' '. reciprocate? (155) Why or why not? ' ' ' ' 7. What had she dreamt of for years? Chapterlé ' - ' ' ' . I f. @‘Afirat is the significance of Beloved's loss of a tooth? What does she struggle to resist? : - "- What symbolism seems latent in the chapter's final passage? : . - '. Chapter 15 1. What had motivated Stamp Paid to pick blackberries? (160} What results ensued from ' " '. I H " I I thisact? - " I I @How do the neighbors respond to Baby Sugg's party? (162) What ominous does she have? '- _ _ 3. How had she received her name, and why does she keep it? Why may she not want to' I- - ' - '- use the name Jenny Whitlow? . _ I . _ _ 4. What comments on slavery are made in this chapter? How had the escaped slaves responded to freedom? _ _ _ _ _ i 5. What were the circumstances of Baby Suggs' marriage? What have been some of the ' limitations 'of Garner'srelatively lenient treatment? _ . . .. ._ . _ _ 6. What have been some of the disappointments of her life? Is she successful in finding her; :3 '. ' children? ' ' 3' ' " I- '- H 7. What special powers is she alleged to have? (i, What had been her views on religion? . "_ _ . .p __ 9 What may be some effects of having a mother«in—law, not a mother, demirtate Sethe's" p'r'esentim'enti 1" past? (' Chapter 16 1. From whose point of View is the murder described? (175) How does the speaker’s testimony frame our view of the situation? What does he regret, and at whom is his anger directed? W...Wha_tlns$n13_s tiifi‘ii‘iétfiflhiis??? does her action have on Sena? (176) Under what ominous symbolic circumstances does sse'aiiigéiei'itfié‘ifiifigyduagatria? Chapter 17 1. What account is contained in the newspaper article Stamp Paid shows Paul D? On what grounds does Paui D. reject its authenticity? 2L""'How do the neighbors respond when they see the posse of white men in search of Sethe? What difference does their failure to warn Sethe have? Chapter '18 What characterizes Sethe's account of her past action 18 years earlier? What had 7 motivated her to try to kill her chiidren? Does she believe the resuits were at ieast in part 2. What is Paul D.’s reaction to ail this? 3. How does Morrison represent the new divide between Sethe and Paul 33.? ( Chapter 19 1. What is revealed by Stamp Paid's reflections after this narration? What has been the nature of her life in the interim? 2. What is shown by the debate between Stamp Paid and Baby Suggs? What is her point of View? 3. What reaiizations does Sethe have on her walk to work? " 4. What does the reader iearn from Sethe's narration of part of the event? Explain her understanding of "characteristics". What attitude does she preserve toward her deceased daughter? 5. In her memories, how had other biack peOple died during that period? When does Sethe realize who Beloved is? 7. What is the significance of Stamp’s ribbon? Chapter 20-23 .1.. "Recordlthemkey elementsaadler images.timeshwoman's story- What motifs are present in these chapters? 2. What is the significance of Morrison going in the order she does? Chapter 24—25 .‘ 1. Where’s Paul D.? 2. What was the Sweet Home siaves’ plan forrescape? What happens? 3 What are the significant images at the end of the chapter? Where did Stamp Paid get his name? 5. What happened to his wife? I 6. How is Sethe depicted in this chapter (276)? Chapter 26' 1. What is the state of 1‘24 at the beginning of the chapter? 2. Describe Sethe's state. ' _ Q What is Denver’s plan? How does her "outside iife" differ from her inside iife?_(294)_ ' a What is the significance of the coin bank at the Bodoin’s? 5. What is Ella and the other women's response to the story of 124? 6. ' What do they see when they arrive? 7. Who’s also arriving as the women begin to sing? ,_ How does Sethe react? What happens to Beloved? 9. What is the significance of the hummingbirds? Part III Chapter 27 1. What finally precipitates Beloved's departure? What effect does her removal have on those left behind, especiaiiy Denver? What are Sethe's last actions in the book, and What motivates them? 2. How is Paul D’s return compared to his arrivai? 3. Why does the tense shift on page 315? Chapter 28 1. What is the tone of the concluding paragraph? By classical definition, a tragedy effects __ _ i __ purgation and cieansing by the evocation of pity and terror? Is this work intended as an i" i ' tragedy? A comedy of redemption? Or some mixture of the two? . ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2011 for the course LIT 341 taught by Professor Lisle during the Fall '10 term at Grand Valley State University.

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Beloved Journal Questions - Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)...

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