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Excellent/Interesting Observations and Questions

Here are the names of the people who got "+'s" on their reading responses for Week X, along with excerpts from people's observations and a list of the "top 10+" questions asked. (Note: when listing the questions, I'll always copy the wording from the first time the question was asked and put the author's name first in the list of names in parentheses after the question, so that everyone who asked a roughly similar question gets some recognition, but the first person who asked it gets more.)

Week X: Morrison

Honor Roll: Andrea Caccese, Jeff Ciminesi, Celeste Creel, Stefanie Evans, Marcy Gambino, Jason Golubski, Jeff Green, Rob Lefferts, Sarah McNaughton, Tom Priester, Jake Proper, and Jesse Reiter.


Top 10+ Questions

1. Why did denver say that beloved was "more" than her sister? At one time she was convinced that it was her sister. And why did beloved fade from memory over time? (Jesse Reiter)

2. Why does Morrison jump around with the narration? What's the piont of it? (Jamie Coniglio, Mike Krauklis, Amelia Vanni, Ryan Destro) The chapters going from pgs 200 to 217 had a completely different style than the rest of the book. What was Toni Morrison trying to accomplish by doing that? What is meant in those pages? (Megan Russell) At the ending... What closure is there? Are you satisfied with the ending? (Tom Priester) Why do you think that Morrison chose not to clarify the ending more for the reader? Was this choice effective? (Marcy Gambino) Does Morrison's increasingly descriptive details about characters make the book more captivating--in other words, are you more drawn into the story line as the story progresses? (Sarah McNaughton)

3. Why do you think that Sethe tried to kill all of her children when the slavecatchers came? Do you think that her actions were selfish or do you think they were justifiable? (Jeff Ciminesi) Infanticide plays a major role in the novel. Why is it a central theme? Morality plays a huge part in the text. How does morality effect the the lives of the characters? (Tom Priester) Most of the townspeople knew what slavery was like. They were also mad at Baby Suggs and Sethe for showing too much pride, but why would that be be so offensive that they wouldn't warn Sethe of the whites coming for her? Why was the pride considered so bad that they would see Sethe and her children beaten back into slavery? (Stefanie Evans, Jake Proper)

4. What is in Paul D's tin? Memories of Sweet Home? Why does [Beloved] take advantage of Paul D? (Kelly Rosemellia) I have a question on the part where Beloved comes to Paul D in the cold house and lies with him, Paul called out her name "Red Heart" what was that all about, I read that part a lot of times, but I never knew why that particular name satisfied the girl. (Amy Carlson, Kristine Cuomo) How important do you think the role of Paul D is to the story? (Amelia Vanni)

5. DOES SETHE FEEL A DIFFERENT CONNECTION WITH BELOVED THAN WITH DENVER? I KNOW THAT SETHE AND DENVER SHARE A MOTHER DAUGHTER BOND, BUT WHY IS THERE STRAINS IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP? (Leslie Strandburg--who loves capital letters!) How come Sethe can tell Beloved about the past but if anyone else asks she gives basically one word answers? (Kris Krajewski) Why did Sethe feel so indebted to Beloved? Why was Denver always so reluctant to hear things about the past yet Beloved loved to? Why in the end did Denver choose her mother over Beloved, she seemed to have a much closer bond to her sister? (Marcy Gambino) Do you think that Beloved's feelings towards Sethe changed over a period of time? If they did, how and why? (Mickey Dunning) What makes Denver's attitude toward Paul D change by the end of the novel? (Cindy Stevens)

6. What is the significance of having Amy in the story? (Bryant Loomis, Kristen Konieczny, Holli Neal) "Anything dead coming back to life hurts" Why is this quote by Amy Denver so important? (Tom Priester) Why focus on the development of Baby Suggs for so long during the novel? (Ryan Barone) Does 124 have any significance other than being the number to their house? (Nate Cooper) Is it possible that the family's house number, 124, signifies its generations? 1=Baby Suggs, 2=Halle and Sethe, 4=the four grandchildren. (Jeff Green)

7. First, is Morrison trying to trick the reader into thinking Beloved is actually a real person and not a ghost? If so, why? (Ryan Barone) Beloved came back as a person, in the flesh and blood, right? That I do not understand, was she really flesh and blood, or was everything people saw and felt figments of their imagination caused by the ghost? Why did Beloved come back in the form of a young woman? Was she just making up for lost times or was there more motivation on her part?? (Stephanie Armstrong, Kelly Rosemellia, Bryant Loomis, Ryan Destro) What is Beloved trying to prove or accomplish by coming back 18 years after Sethe killed her in the shed? (Jason Golubski) WHY IS BELOVED SO QUIET AND WITHDRAWN? I AM NOT VERY FAR IN THE BOOK SO THE ANSWER TO THAT MAY LIE AHEAD. WHY IS SHE SO DEPENDENT ON SETHE? (Leslie Strandburg--who REALLY loves capital letters!) Why does Beloved try to choke Sethe? When Denver and Beloved are out in the shed, why does Beloved disappear? (Alex Herrera) Why did Beloved have so much anger if she was only two when she was killed? (Noelle Dull, Megan Hulbert, Mickey Dunning) What is the meaning of the first chapter in which Beloved speaks in first-person? (Jeff Green) How and why did Beloved leave them finally? (Stephanie Stoddard, Karine Torlet, Jake Proper, Jamie Coniglio, Nate Cooper) The ending of the story was confusing when they chased Beloved out of the house. Was she really pregnant, and where did she go after she left? (Marcy Gambino, Mickey Dunning) if ghosts come back for a purpose, and do not leave until then, what did Beloved accomplish. Did she just want to make Sethee miserable for sometime and that was enough. Or is it possible that ghosts can give up? (Stephanie Stoddard) What did Beloved's being a ghost bring to this story? (Mike Krauklis)

8. Another question I had was about Paul D, when he goes back to Sethe, he promises to take care of her by night, What are his motives? Is he in love with her? (Amy Carlson)

9. My last question was if this book can tell us anything about the relationship between ghosts and the living (those they "haunt")? (Stephanie Armstrong) What is the purpose of this story?-What message is the author trying to convey to us about "blacks" and slavery? (Ryan Destro)

10. Why is there no mention of Denver's maternal grandmother? Maybe I missed something, but she isn't talked about much, just her paternal grandmother. (Brad Beck) [Someone else asked why Denver's maternal grandmother is hardly mentioned--she was hung when Sethe was still a kid. (Jesse Reiter)] I am wondering what ever did happen to halle? (Shana Sek, Adam Di Palma, Rob Lefferts, Bethany Prechtl) What happened to Halle the night of the attempted escape from Sweet Home? (Jeff Green) What do you think happened between Paul D and Sethe? Did they get married or did Sethe never fully recover from the ghost's mistreatment of her? (Jake Proper) Why is it left so open as to where Howard and Buglar may have gone? (Lindsay Robinson)

11. Did Toni Morrison have any relatives that were close to her that were slaves? I understand her purpose for telling the story was to demenstrate the slaves life, but is there another reason to why she would tell this? How did she come about this knowledge of Sweet Home or is it made up? (Theresa O'Hern)

12. Why doesn't Sethe realize who Beloved is until 3/4 of the way through the book? (Noelle Dull, Karine Torlet, Kris Krajewski, Bryant Loomis) When Sethe meets the runaway, Amy, in the woods, she knows that this girl won't hurt her, but still gives her the wrong name when she asks..Also, the significance of the velvet is????? Is there a connection that Sethe feels between herself and Amy?? (Megan Hulbert) What do you think held Sethe at her home that was haunted? (Sheryl Harvey)

13. What is the symbolism in comparing Denver to an antelope? (Cindy Stevens) Another question about the baby, why was she always referred to as "the crawling-already? baby girl"? (Sarah Boyle) Why on pages 174 and 175 was "nobody saw them falling" stressed so much? What is it suppose to represent? (Jason Golubski) Throughout the book they mention MOSSY TEETH, what is it or who? (Kristen Konieczny) A "sheild and sword" were referred to several times in the novel, what exactly were they referring to? What made sethe go mad and attack mr bodwin at the end of the novel? (Megan Russell)

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EN 209: Novels and Tales, Spring 1999
Created: 5/4/99, 2:28 pm
Last modified: 5/4/99, 2:28 pm