In a striking reversal of characterization, Sethe dances frenetically through the kitchen after Paul D shows her the clipping. She pours out confessions of her inability to mother her children — to nourish them and protect them from harm while she worked the fields, from fire while pork was being smoked, from the well, and from the stomp of Red Cora's hoof. Paul D, incapable of asking outright if she murdered her own child, looks at Sethe with unquestioning love — "love you don't have to deserve." The climax of their encounter, and of the novel itself, pours out in simple words: "I did it. I got us all out [from schoolteacher's tyranny]." Sethe, beaten down by slavery and despair, flaunts her pride that she — a woman, a slave, a pregnant female — managed to rescue her family, "Without Halle too." To dramatize her deed, she envisions herself as "deep and wide and when I stretched out
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