Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beloved #3

The part where Beloved reveals her purpose for coming was intriguing. Denver doesn’t seem surprised at all when Beloved describes the place she came from and discusses the dead people. Then, Denver starts referring to her as if she recognizes her sister. “Don’t tell her. Don’t let Ma’am know who you are, Please, you hear” (76)? It’s strange how Denver becomes possessive of Beloved, fears she may leave, and even refers to her as sister-girl. Yet, when she begins telling her the story of her birth she says: “My grandmother”, “My brothers and…the baby girl” (77). It’s like one minute she believes this is her sister and the next she doesn’t. I’m not sure I understand this.

At the end of part one the disturbing details of Sethe’s crime are finally revealed. She explains to Paul D how she tried to murder (and did murder one of) her children to protect them from slavery. Again, Morrison highlights the topic of love. Sethe claims that she loved her children more after coming to Ohio, describing her love as deep and wide (wide enough to hold all of her kids). She says this is because they didn’t really belong to her before. But, Paul D again tells Sethe her “love is too thick.” Sethe replies: “Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” (164).

I think it’s interesting to see the contrasting male and female (and mother's) views here. Also, Paul D never confesses his own sins (sleeping with Beloved). “How fast he moved from his shame to hers. From his cold-house secret straight to her too-thick love” (165). Then, instead of staying and supporting her after such a devastating revelation, he compares her to an animal (2 feet, not 4) and walks out on her. Wow!

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