Novel: Beloved by Toni Morrison

In an idyllic moment in the book, the new family of three goes to a carnival together, and on the way home they - or at least their shadows - hold hands (59). This interlude with its promise of future happiness is abruptly ended by the discovery of a mysterious woman at their home. How is her arrival unusual, and how do you account for Sethe's symbolic reaction to her (voiding unending water)? How are the character constellations changed by her arrival? In what ways does she seem to be otherworldly? On p. 62 the mysterious young woman says her name is "Beloved"; does Sethe realize the implications of this? (Compare this to her insight on 163 and especially on 207).

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