“124 was loud”- page 199
This quote shows that the house at 124 is haunted. The loudness represents Beloved haunting the house ever since her death, causing chaos and fear throughout the house. Once Paul D arrived at 124, he was able to chase the ghost away, however, it returned physically later on.
“Ever since he showed that newspaper clipping to Paul D and learned that he moved out of 124 that very day, Stamp felt uneasy.” – page 199
This quote shows that upon revealing the clipping to Paul D, Stamp Paid feels uneasy. The clipping unveiled the truth behind the killing of Sethe’s child, Beloved. Stamp Paid feels like it wasn’t his place to tell him, and that he should have let Sethe tell Paul D herself after seeing his reaction.
“He had insisted on privacy during the revelation at the slaughter yard – now he wondered whom he was protecting.” – page 199
Stamp Paid showed Paul D the clipping revealing Beloved’s death so to protect Denver, but through this quote we see that he has second thoughts about telling him. He feels that instead of protecting Denver, he should have tried to protect Sethe instead, due to the fact that it was her secret.
“It was seeing her, alive, don’t you know, and looking healthy four weeks later that pleased so much he gathered all he could carry of the best blackberries in the county and stuck two in her mouth first, before he presented the difficult harvest to Baby Suggs.” – page 200
Stamp Paid felt like he was an extremely important part of Denver’s life and that he was part of the reason that she was able to make it through the first four weeks of her life. He is proud that he was able to help her stay alive because he did not expect her to. He wanted to provide Denver with the best quality life had to offer, which is why he gave her the best berries before he presented the rest of the harvest to Baby Suggs.
“Deeper and more painful than his belated concern for Denver or Sethe, scorching his soul like a silver dollar in a fool’s pocket, was the memory of Baby Suggs – the mountain to his sky.” – page 201
The memory Stamp Paid has of Baby Suggs is deeper and more painful than any of the care or concern he feels for both Sethe and Denver. Baby Suggs was extremely important to him, which is why she is the “mountain to his sky” and why he….isugly.
“Baby Suggs went down next to the baby with its throat cut – a neighborliness that Stamp wasn’t sure had Baby Suggs’ approval.” – page 201
This quote reveals that Baby Suggs was buried next to Beloved, and Stamp feels that she would not have approved of this because it was demeaning to her. Baby Suggs would not have wanted to this because of all the trauma the baby had caused the family after her death through the haunting of 124.
“Stamp Paid raised his fist to knock on the door he had never knocked on (because it was always open for him) and could not do it.” - page 203
Before the death of Beloved, Stamp Paid was always able to just walk through 124 as if it were his own house. He was comfortable enough with both the family and the house that he felt no need to knock. “Once Stamp Paid brought you a coat, got the message, saved your life, or fixed the cistern, he took the liberty of walking in your door as though it was his own.” He freely walked through other peoples’ homes without hesitancy. However, the death of Beloved changed things because she began to haunt 124, thus causing Stamp Paid to feel uncomfortable with simply walking through without knocking.
“Rather than forfeit the one privilege he claimed for himself, he lowered his hand and left the porch.” – page 203
Stamp Paid went to 124 various times because he wanted to tell Sethe he was the reason that Paul D left her. He was hesitant because he was scared that it would risk his relationship with Sethe. He didn’t want her to get mad at him for showing Paul D the clipping, so each time he went to tell her he ended up leaving without even knocking.
“She should have known that he would behave like everybody else in town once he knew.” - page 204
Because Stamp Paid never followed through with telling Sethe the real reason why Paul D left, she thinks it is because he saw the tree on her back that he fled. She is unaware of the fact that Paul D actually left because he was enlightened of the fact that she killed Beloved.
“Those twenty-eight happy days were followed by eighteen years of disapproval and solitary life.” – page 204
Baby Suggs stayed with Sethe and Denver for twenty-eight days before she died. In those twenty-eight days she was a support system for Sethe, always there when she was in need. She was happy at that point in her life, but it only lasted until Baby Suggs passed away. After that, she was left alone in 124 with Denver, where no one wanted to visit because the house was haunted and her two sons had fled. She was left lonely and in solitude.
“Anybody feeling sorry for her, anybody wandering by to peep in and see how she was getting on (including Paul D) would discover that the woman junkheaped for the third time because she loved her children – that woman was sailing happily on a frozen creek.” – page 205
Because everyone around her always seems to want to know what she’s doing and how her life is going, Sethe wants to show them that she is happy. She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her, so even if she really is not happy, she wants everyone around her to think that she is so that they won’t talk about her.
“Nobody saw them falling.” – page 205
This quote is repeated twice as Denver, Beloved and Sethe are described on the ice. The three of them are able to act as themselves and do as they please because no one is around to see them fall and judge them. They are able to laugh and have fun without the fear of being judged by the rest of the community.
“It was then, when Beloved finished humming, that Sethe recalled the click – the settling of pieces into places designed and made especially for them.” – page 207
As Beloved begins to hum, a click goes off in Sethe’s mind. Sethe does not know where it came from or why until Beloved finishes humming. The click in Sethe’s mind brings her to the realization that Beloved is the child that she killed years back, the ghost that haunted 124 and caused her boys to leave her. When the click goes off, Sethe is brought back to different memories of the younger Beloved “… the birthmark, nor the color of the gums, the shape of the ears, nor … the fingers, nor their nails, nor even …” (page 207).
“Trying to get to 124 for the second time now, he regretted that conversation: the high tone he took; his refusal to see the effect of marrow weariness in a woman he believed was a mountain.” - page 212
As Stamp Paid is making his way to 124 yet again, he thinks back on a conversation he had with Baby Suggs a couple of years back. From this he wonders whether he stayed away from 124 for too long. He begins to feel indebted to Sethe and Denver because they are Baby Sugg’s family and he should be helping them.
“For the first time, she was going to be late for work.” – page 214
After the realization and the connection that Beloved is actually Sethe’s resurrected daughter, she is much happier. The smile on her face does not go away, and work seems secondary to her, so she allows herself to be late. Instead of going to work on time, she makes breakfast for Beloved and Denver so to ensure that they are happy with her as well. She sacrifices her job for the sake of her family.
“Thinking, She ain’t even mad at me. Not a bit.” – page 214
When Beloved turns out to be Sethe’s child from years before, Sethe fears that Beloved will be mad at her or hate her because she had to kill her. Any guilt that she felt for having to kill Beloved goes away because she realizes that she is not mad at Sethe because of it.
“And since that was so – if her daughter could come back home from the timeless place – certainly her sons could, and would, come back from wherever they had gone to.” – page 214
Sethe is hopeful that Howard and Buglar will soon return to 124 after leaving her so many years ago. She feels that because Beloved was able to return from “the timeless place” and rejoin the family, her sons will also come back and make the family complete.
“Paul D convinced me there was a world out there and that I could live in it. Should have known better. Whatever is going on outside my door ain’t for me. The world is in this room. This here’s all there is and all there needs to be.” – page 215
Paul was the light and hope of her life. When he arrived at 124, he chased the ghost of Beloved away and brought love back into Sethe’s life. She has the people she love in the house – Paul D, Denver, and the physical form of Beloved, so she doesn’t need anyone else.
“And now I know that if you was, you ain’t now because you came back here to me and I was right all along: there is no world outside my door. I only need to know one thing. How bad is the scar?” – page 217
Sethe believed that Beloved was angry with her because Sethe killed her and that was the reason why 124 was haunted. Once the physical form of Beloved arrived at their house, she knew she was right; that there was nothing else she needed that she didn’t already have. She felt remorse for her actions and questioned Beloved about the scar on her throat.
“Once long ago, she was soft, trusting. She trusted Mrs. Garner and her husband, too… [believed] that for every school teacher there would be an Amy; that for every pupil there was a Garner, or a Bodwin, or even a sheriff, whose touch at her elbow was gentle and who looked away when she nursed. But she had come to believe every one of Baby Suggs’ last words.” – page 222
This quote demonstrates Sethe’s belief that there was a good to justify a wrong in the world. She compares the two opposites – Amy Denver and the schoolteacher. Amy Denver was like the angel of her life, aiding her in times of need and helping to deliver her daughter. The schoolteacher was seen as the devil, he brought about evil to her and those she knew at Sweet Home. Now, however, she felt that she should move on with her life, allowing the past to remain where it was, but not forgetting it at the same time, and not having to find a reason to right the wrongs.
“Schoolteacher beat him anyways to show him that definitions belong to the definers – not the defined.”- page 225
The schoolteacher beat Sixo after he said “Sixo plant rye to give the high piece a better chance. Sixo take and feed the soil, give you more crop. Sixo take and feed Sixo give you more work.” Sixo was being clever and using logic in retort to schoolteacher’s accusations, and though he knew Sixo was right, he didn’t tolerate his use of knowledge. The schoolteacher believed himself to be of higher status than Sixo and didn’t want him taking the least bit of pleasure in knowing that he was clever.
“No, no that’s not the way. I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animal ones on the right. And don’t forget to line them up.”- page 228
The schoolteacher wanted to separate the two separate characters, yet have them lined up at the same time to compare and contrast the similarities and differences that he sees from his point of view. This shows the student’s superiority to Seethe, a black, female slave who is seen as an animal.
“No notebooks for my babies and no measuring strings, either.” –page 233
When Seethe sent her children off first to escape towards freedom, she didn’t know what was in store for them. They had no guides to follow, just words of helpful strangers. She had no absolute direction in what was to happen, just faith and hope.
“One more curve in the road, and Sethe would see her chimney; it wasn’t lonely looking anymore. The ribbon of smoke was from a fire that warmed a body returned to her – just like it never went away, never needed a headstone. And the heart that beat inside it had not for a single moment stopped in her hands.” –page 233
The ribbon of smoke referred to Beloved, and how she filled up the empty spaces in Sethe’s life. Even after killing Beloved, it was like she was never fully dead because she haunted 124 as a ghost until the physical form of her arrived.
“It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread. In, through and after life, it spread, until it invaded the whites who had made it. Touched them everyone. Changed and altered them. Made them bloody, silly, worse than they wanted to be, so slaved were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.” –page 234
This quote is said by Stamp Paid after he attempts to knock on the door of 124 and runs away upon seeing Beloved’s face in the window. It demonstrates his views towards slavery and how it not only affects the blacks, but also the whites. He feels that blacks are educated, though the whites don’t recognize it, and slavery dehumanized both races, as it turned them into animals.
Chapter 20 Quotes Analysis
“Beloved, she my daughter She mine. See She come back to me of her own free will and I don’t have to explain a thing. I didn’t have time to explain before because it had to be done quick.” pg236
This quote shows Sethe’s love for Beloved where when she finds out that Beloved has come back, she believes that Beloved has returned and Sethe won’t ever let her go. This quote shows that Sethe believes still that it was necessary for her to kill Beloved and that when she comes back Sethe already assumes that Beloved would understand everything and that she shouldn’t worry about explaining it to Beloved about the things she did.
“Nobody will ever get my milk no more except my own children” pg 236
This shows that Sethe’s love for only Beloved and Denver, it’s evident that after Beloved came back from the dead Sethe started to pay attention to her children more and focus on being a better mother.
“Now I know why Baby Suggs pondered color her last years” pg 237
When Sethe finally realizes that her daughter has come back she feels a maternal need to care for her and to be a better mother figure towards her children. After realizing this she now understands why Baby Suggs pondered about colors. Sethe right now is finally becoming more mature and finally filling in her position as a mother.
“I would have known who you were right away because the cup after cup of water you drank proved and connected to the fact that you dribbled clear spit on my face the day I got to 124” pg 239
This quote shows that Sethe should have knew that 124 was Beloved’s spirit and she starts to connect the dots when she reminisces about how to be a better mother.
“Now I can. I can sleep like the drowned, have mercy. She come back to me, she my daughter, and she is mine.” Once Beloved came back Sethe felt a sense of relief where she is able to relax, since Beloved has come back and Sethe assumes that Beloved will understand everything that happened between her and Sethe.
Chapter 21 Quote Analysis
“The first thing I heard after not hearing anything was the sound of her crawling up the stairs. She was my secret company until Paul D came.” - page 237
When Denver states that Beloved’s crawling was the first sound she had heard in a while, it implies that the house was very quiet until that moment. She acknowledges Beloved’s haunted crawling as her secret company because it was the only thing that kept her sane. Before the house became haunted, Denver felt alone from all the stillness in the home. The noise that shook the house comforted her, and no one else. However, when Paul D came, Denver’s comfort was disrupted as he tried to drive away Beloved’s spirit. This partly reveals how Denver’s loneliness originated from the hole in her family, the lack of Halle’s presence.
“I love my mother but I know she killed one of her own daughters, and tender as she is with me, I’m scared of her because of it. She missed killing my brothers and they knew it.” – page 237
From this quote, we are able to see Denver’s reaction to her mother’s actions. Though she still loves her mother, she’s afraid that Sethe will end up killing her like how she killed Beloved. She doesn’t understand the reason for Sethe’s actions. This memory is brought up in her thoughts because Denver wants to know what made her mother kill Beloved.
“When I came back to 124, there she was. Beloved. Waiting for me. Tired from her long journey back. Ready to be taken care of; ready for me to protect her. This time I have to keep my mother away from her.” – page 238
Denver believes that Beloved came back for her because she was the only one who appreciated Beloved. While her two brothers and everyone else left the haunted house, Denver was the only one who enjoyed Beloved’s company. Denver believes that instead of dying, Beloved went on a tough, “long journey” and returned exhausted. Denver wants to protect Beloved from Sethe.
“Only place she can’t get to me in the night is Grandma Baby’s room.” – page 239
Denver claims that the only place where Sethe can’t meet her is in Grandma Baby’s room. It is in Grandma Baby’s room that Denver felt safe enough to dream in peace and quiet in the confined room. In this room, Denver often dreamt about Halle and how he was bound to come back. Denver’s daydreams reflect her need for warmth and protection after being abandoned by her father.
“So she [Grandma Baby] got the chance to know him… and he scared her the way he loved things. The boss taught him. Offered to teach the other boys but only my daddy wanted it… My daddy said, If you can’t count they can chat you. If you can’t read they can beat you. They thought that was funny.” – page 240
Grandma Baby was afraid of Halle’s educational growth because she was scared he would be too smart for his own good. However, Halle knew the importance of education. He didn’t want to be cheated by white people from not being able to read or count numbers, for monetary purposes. Denver’s brothers thought that Halle’s motivation for becoming educated was funny because back in the day, African Americans weren’t known to become educated people. Grandma Baby claimed that Halle scared her because she was afraid people would mock and laugh at him for his childish desires.
“Grandma Baby said people look down on her because she had eight children with different men. Coloredpeople and whitepeople both look down on her for that. Slaves not supposed to have pleasurable feelings on their own; their bodies not supposed to be like that, but they have to have as many children as they can to please whoever owned them.” – page 241
In the 1800’s, it was common for slaves to have several children, but only so that their children could become slaves and work for other white people. Slaves were not supposed to be intimate with their partners for the enjoyment of it. Instead, they’re supposed to make babies for their owners so that the children could be sold off for money. Colored people looked down upon Grandma Baby because they believed that she should’ve had enough dignity to respect her own body. White people degraded Grandma Baby because they felt that she should’ve only had sex to bare children and not to take pleasure in it. This view reflects the way people in that time period recognized the birth of slaves.
“The whitepeople came anyway. In her yard. She had done everything right and they came in her yard anyway. And she didn’t know what to think. All she had left was her heart and they busted it so even the War couldn’t rouse her.” – page 242
Denver claims that the presence of the white people at the funeral disrespected Grandma Baby. Since Grandma Baby was treated harshly by the white people, their presence made a mockery of her. At her funeral, people were supposed to pay their respects; yet, Denver sensed that the white people were there just to show their fake “concern” for Grandma Baby.
“She [Beloved] told me things too. That I was charmed. My birth was and I got saved all the time. And that I shouldn’t be afraid of the ghost. It wouldn’t harm me because I tasted its blood when Ma’am nursed me.” – page 242
Denver said that Beloved told her she was charmed because she was the lucky daughter who didn’t get killed by Sethe. She would always get saved from danger. Thus, her luck convinced her to not be afraid of the ghost, Beloved. She believes that because their blood-related, Beloved wouldn’t harm her.
Chapter 22 Quotes Analysis
Background information- This chapter is Beloved’s message for Sethe. There is almost no punctuation, in the same way a baby would talk. Her intelligence level is still from an infant, and she explains how she first started to see Sethe from when she was a spirit. Her thoughts are scattered, and can’t string them together in sequential order. Very random order, again like an infant. She recalls her patchy memories of a time when she was crouched with dead bodies, and how they are all trying to leave their bodies behind. She also explains her attempts to try to join Sethe, and how she becomes human.
“I am Beloved and she is mine.” –page 248
She declares her identity with confidence, and she declares what she came to life for—Sethe. She lives for Sethe.
“I see her take flowers away from leaves she puts them in a round basket the leaves are not for her … she opens the grass I would help her but the clouds are in the way” –page 248
She explains what she sees from the supernatural world, when she was not human yet. She observes her admiringly from afar, and also lovingly illustrates how she wants to help her mother still.
“I am not separate from her there is no place where I stop her face is my own and I want to be there in the place where her face is and to be looking at it too” – page 248
Beloved likes to believe that she is not separated from her mother—that’s how strong the bond is between them. She doesn’t want to accept that they are in two entirely different places/dimensions. She recognizes that she resembles Sethe, her mother, and she wants to be there with her to see her face to feel the connection directly.
“All of it is now it is always now there will never be a time when I am not crouching and watching others who are crouching too” –page 248
The belief that everything is happening in the present, because that is where she wants to be. She realizes that her time to be with Sethe is coming. She abruptly changes the subject to how she ‘crouches’ in the other dimension she is in, where death is rampant.
“I am always crouching the man on my face is dead his face is not mine his mouth smells sweet but his eyes are locked”-page 248
Dead people trying to leave their bodies behind.
“some who eat nasty themselves I do not eat the men without skin bring us their morning water to drink we have none” -page 249
Experiences on an African slave ship?
“we are all trying to leave our bodies behind the man on my face has done it it is hard to make yourself die forever you sleep short and then return in the beginning we could vomit now we do not” -page 249
Beloved speaks of how she’s trying to escape the pain. She feels too much pain and would prefer to ‘die’, even though she is already dead. She tries to die to escape the pain, but it only seems like ‘sleeping’. She is so sick of the feeling, wanting to ‘vomit’. The next couple of paragraphs speak about the scenario of what is happening, squished between all the bodies and souls. She refers to the souls as ‘men without skin’
“a hot thing” -page 249
She repeats this phrase throughout the chapter. Signifies a branding iron
“In the beginning I could see her I could not help her because the clouds were in the way in the beginning I could see her the shining in her ears she does not like thecircle around her neck I know this I look hard at her so she will know that the clouds are in the way I am sure she saw me I am looking at her see me she empties out her eyes… she wants her earrings” -page 249
Again, tries to show that she is trying hard to find Sethe and wants to help her out dearly. She wants to make sure that Sethe knows she still loves her. She knows much about Sethe’s life already that Denver does not know, like the ‘earrings’. Patchy memories.
“I am in the water and she is coming there is no round basket no iron circle around her neck she goes up where the diamonds are I follow her we are in the diamonds which are her earrings now my face is coming I have to have it I am looking for the join I am loving my face so much I want to join I reach for her chewing and swallowing she touches me she swallows me I am gone” -page 252
This is the process of how Beloved became in human form. She finds herself in the water, and the physical form coming to her is actually part of Sethe. She believes that the face coming to her belongs to Sethe, and she realizes that she has to have it. Once she is ‘swallowed’, she becomes one with the human form and can now be joined with Sethe. There are no more boundaries in the way, such as the ‘round basket’ and ‘iron circle.’
“I come out of blue water after the bottoms of my feet swim away from me I come up I need to find a place to be the air is heavy I am not dead” -page 252
She is now one with the human form. She is living, and now knows that she must find Sethe.
“there is a house there is what she whispered to me I am where she told me” Beloved mentions this earlier in the story, when Sethe asks her how she came upon the house. The spirit ‘whispered to her’ where the house, and now her coming to 124 was made clear.
“she is my face smiling at me doing it at last a hot thing now we can join a hot thing” -page 252
Now they can both be branded together forever. Beloved’s joining with Sethe sealed the prophecy of Beloved meeting together. They had a spiritual as well as a physical connection.
Chapter 23 Quotes
“I am Beloved and she is mine.” - page 253
Here, Beloved wants to claim Sethe after being parted from her for a long time. Beloved treats Sethe as something that can be hung on to, and not as an individual person. It is understood that Beloved feels that because Sethe left her, she has the right to own Sethe.
“They did not push her. She went there.” - Page 253 Beloved tells us that Sethe went into the water, and unlike the other bodies, she wasn’t forced to go inside. This quote is to emphasize that again, Sethe left Beloved just as the first time. Since Sethe once killed her daughter and willingly left her, she sees this reoccur as Sethe goes into the water on her own account. She was not pushed inside, which shows that Sethe wanted to go inside with the other dead bodies, away from Beloved.
“It’s good, but I cannot lose her again.” - Page 253 When Beloved says that “it’s good”, she is referring to Sethe finally smiling down at Beloved, but right after, she notes that she will not lose her mother again. There is a change in tone within these two sentences because the first part gives us a positive outlook on Sethe’s actions towards Beloved, but the second part is a reassuring threatening tone. Even though Sethe is finally smiling at Beloved, the fact that she says that she will not lose her again foreshadows that something will happen that will prevent the connection between Beloved and Sethe from falling apart.
“Tell me the truth. Didn’t you come from the other side? Yes. I was on the other side.” - Page 254
There is a shift in point of view in this chapter as Sethe and Beloved converse. There is a constant exchange of answers and questions that the mother and daughter discuss since Beloved’s death and resurrection. Sethe at first doesn’t believe that Beloved came back from the other side, but Beloved affirms that she was in the spiritual world after her death. This quote shows that there is some kind of a spiritual world that exists in Beloved and Sethe’s religion, and Sethe’s questions gives us an understanding that she isn’t surprised that Beloved came back from the dead.
“If they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away.” - Page 254 Beloved assures Sethe that if anyone tries taking control of her again, she will do everything to help her. Beloved will do anything to protect her mother because, as we’ve seen before, Beloved thinks her mother is all hers. The iron circle represents any enslaving element that would hurt Sethe; but Beloved would never allow anything to happen to Sethe or their relationship. She can be so protective of her mother that she would bite the circle instead of just taking it off. The way that she plans on owning Sethe is not a very kind one, but a more of an obsessive way.
“Will we smile at me?” -Page 254 Beloved sees her and her mother in the same face, so when she says “we” smile, it is showing the relationship in Beloved’s eyes, and the way their relationship is perceived in the girl’s mind. She wants to be one with her mother, and she is taking the necessary steps to be one face by mentioning that the smile comes from two people but one face.
“Daddy is coming for us. A hot thing.” - Page 255 “Daddy” or Halle is introduced again in this chapter to show that there is still hope that one day, he will come back and be a part of Sethe and Beloved’s life. He is still in Beloved’s thoughts because last thing she remembers, Halle was still in their lives.
“Beloved You are my sister You are my daughter You are my face; you are me” - Page 255
We see the many relationships that Sethe feels she has with Beloved. She is as close to her as a mother, daughter, and she admits to share the same face with her daughter. We see Sethe interpreting her and Beloved’s relationship as she speaks to Beloved.
“I have your milk.” - Page 256 Sethe assures Beloved that she has milk to nourish her and that even if Sethe has been separated for a long time from her daughter, there is still a chance at reuniting and restarting a relationship that has been dormant for so long.
“I will never leave you again Don’t ever leave me again You will never leave me again You went in the water I drank your blood I brought your milk You forgot to smile I loved you You hurt me You came back to me You left me” - Page 256 This is such an amazing quote. Here, we see both sides of an argument, and the terse statements show the magnitude of emotions while giving both characters to give their own opinion, defending their actions. Switching from Sethe to Beloved, this quote utilizes the memories of each of the characters to give us a full understanding of the conversation. Beloved feels more of a victim and a person that was left by an important person, but Sethe seems that always did the best for Beloved, giving her milk to Beloved, and always caring for her. Element Analysis: Chapter 19