After Paul D reveals to Sethe that Halle witnessed her attack and smeared butter from the churn onto his face, Sethe interprets his act as a desperate response to his wife's bizarre deprivation of breast milk. For Sethe, the scene fills a gap in the story of her flight; it explains, in part, why Halle could not rescue her or reunite with his family. For Baby Suggs, Halle no longer exists, gone with her other seven offspring. But he is replaced by her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren, whom she welcomes with a sumptuous feast for 90, a food offering as rich as the butter that smeared Halle's face when he realized his powerlessness to stop the assault on the barn floor beneath his hiding place in the loft. These feedings symbolize a generosity denied by slavery, a hunger not soon to be alleviated, even after nationwide emancipation.
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Baby Suggs, red signify Beloved, fiery hue. Touches, Home stiffen Sethe, sterile ghost story, nervous giggle. Details