The brief and unsatisfying sexual encounter between Paul D and Sethe reminds them both of slavery. He recalls his slave-brother, Sixo, who walked 34 miles to and from meetings with his lover, Patsy; Sethe recalls kitchen work for Mrs. Garner, who helped her with the tedious chores of bristle-sorting and ink-making. Aged 13 when she arrived at Sweet Home, Sethe took a year to select a husband from among the five male slaves. Halle, the gentlest man, revealed his qualities through devotion to Baby Suggs, his crippled mother, whom he worked to emancipate. Sethe naively requested a marriage service to honor her union with Halle. Mrs. Garner laughed a little at the suggestion of slaves needing the same type of marital conventions as whites. Nonetheless, Sethe, dressed in a make-do wedding frock, enjoyed her brief honeymoon in Mr. Garner's cornfield. The
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