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Pages 148–165: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why hadn’t Baby Suggs been warned of the slave catchers’ approach by her community?

2. Why had Sethe taken her children to the shed as soon as she recognized schoolteacher’s hat?

3. How had Stamp Paid saved Denver’s life?

4. Why had the sheriff sent schoolteacher, his nephew, and the slave catcher away?

5. How had Baby Suggs been able to take Beloved’s body from Sethe after Stamp Paid had been unsuccessful at this?

6. Why had Denver been taken prisoner with her mother?

7. Why does Stamp Paid show Paul D the newspaper article?

8. Why does Paul D keep insisting the mouth of the woman in the picture with the newspaper article is not Sethe’s?

9. How does Sethe react when Paul D confronts her with the events reported in the newspaper article?

10. Why does she think Paul D is not coming back when he leaves?

Answers
1. Baby Suggs hadn’t been warned of the slave catcher’s approach by her community because they had been shunning her for “uppityness” since the day of the picnic–barbecue.

2. Sethe had taken her children to the shed as soon as she recognized schoolteacher’s hat in order to kill them, rather than allow them to be returned to slavery.

3. Stamp Paid saved Denver’s life by snatching her from her mother’s grasp as Sethe swung her against the wall a second time, having missed the first, in an attempt to bash out her brains.

4. The sheriff had sent schoolteacher, his nephew, and the slave catcher away because they were no longer needed. The children could not be returned to Sweet Home because one was still nursing, one dead, and the other two were now incapable of doing the work awaiting them there. The sheriff, himself, had to arrest Sethe for murder.

5. Baby Suggs had been able to take Beloved’s body from Sethe after Stamp Paid had tried unsuccessfully by tricking her. She had told Sethe it was time to nurse Denver but that she had to deal with one child at a time. Sethe complied and let go of Beloved.

6. Denver had been taken to prison with her mother because she was still a nursing infant and needed her mother’s milk, despite...

(The entire section is 574 words.)