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Pages 169–199: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How had the community conducted itself when Baby Suggs died?

2. Why wasn’t Stamp Paid used to knocking on the doors of the community?

3. What are Sethe, Denver, and Beloved doing when Beloved begins to hum the song she couldn’t know?

4. Why does Stamp Paid suddenly understand Baby Suggs’ indifference to the world once she’d decided to die?

5. What does Sethe realize about the shadows she had seen at the carnival?

6. What does Sethe remember of the efforts to save her life?

7. Why is Stamp Paid outraged when Ella tells him that Paul D is sleeping in the basement of the church?

8. Why does Sethe pilfer from Sawyer?

9. Why had Sethe asked Mrs. Garner what “characteristics” meant?

10. How had Mr. Garner died?

Answers
1. When Baby Suggs died, the community set up the funeral meal in the yard because no one wanted to enter 124 Bluestone Road. Sethe retaliated by refusing their food and not joining the service, standing apart near the grave instead.

2. Stamp Paid wasn’t used to knocking on the doors of the community because they were always open to him, as if they were his own, in payment for all his services in the Underground Railroad—bringing messages back and forth, providing food, spreading news that needed spreading, and getting whatever was needed to the person who needed it as soon as possible.

3. Sethe, Denver, and Beloved are drinking hot, sweet milk in an effort to warm up and calm down from the skating expedition when Beloved begins to hum a song that she couldn’t know because Sethe had made it up for her children when they were small.

4. Stamp Paid suddenly understands Baby Suggs’ indifference...

(The entire section is 572 words.)