Pages 64–85: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why does Paul D question Beloved so relentlessly?

2. How does the questioning end?

3. Why hadn’t Halle helped Sethe when he witnessed the brutality the nephews inflicted on her?

4. Why does Paul D keep remembering Mister in the face of his torture?

5. Why does Sethe wish she had gone insane?

6. How do we know Denver is assured Beloved is the spirit of her sister?

7. How had Amy treated “Lu’s” back?

8. How had Amy fashioned shoes for Sethe?

9. Why had Denver been born in a boat?

10. Why had Amy left Sethe after Denver’s birth?

1. Paul D questions Beloved so relentlessly because he wants her to leave. It’s been five weeks since her appearance and she is interested in him sexually. He cannot understand why both Sethe and Denver do not see this. Both Beloved’s interest in him and the fact that the other women do not see it is disturbing to him.

2. The questioning ends when Beloved chokes on a raisin. Afterward, she is tired and wants to go to bed.

3. Halle hadn’t helped Sethe when he witnessed the brutality the nephews inflicted upon her because he knew he, himself, could be subdued and possibly killed if he did. His failure to come to her aid was so distressing to Halle that he could not accept it and went insane.

4. Paul D keeps remembering Mister in the face of his torture because he had helped this rooster hatch and then he, Paul D, was tortured by man—while the rooster remained the same: a rooster, unchanged by what man could do to him, even in death.

5. Sethe wishes she had gone insane because she is suffering so from Paul D’s telling her of her husband’s insanity and Paul D’s own torture. While she wishes she had had this sweet oblivion, she also knows, as a mother, she could not have done so, for her children needed her.

6. We know Denver is assured that Beloved is the spirit of her sister because she asks Beloved not to reveal her identity to Sethe, and also asks if Beloved remembers playing with Denver by the stream.

7. Amy had treated “Lu’s” back with a poultice of cleaned spider-webs in order to draw out the pus in the wounds produced by the whipping.

8. The shoes Amy had made for Sethe were pieces of Sethe’s shawl filled with leaves and tied over Sethe’s feet.

9. Denver had been born in a boat because Sethe went into hard labor and her amniotic fluid released just as they reached the river. She had seen the boat and headed directly for it.

10. Amy had left Sethe after Denver’s birth because she was herself a runaway indentured servant and afraid to be caught, as they would be on this busy river, with a runaway slave.

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Pages 43–64: Questions and Answers


Pages 86–113: Questions and Answers