free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
Free Study Guide-Beloved by Toni Morrison-Free Online Booknotes Summary
Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version

CHAPTER 20

Summary

Since Sethe thinks Beloved has chosen to come back to her, she decides she must tend to her as no mother has ever tended to a child. First, she must explain to Beloved that if she had not killed her, something worse would have happened to her. Now Beloved can feel safe in her care. Sethe also feels relieved that her daughter has come home, for now she can "look at things again because she's here to see them too." She knows that after the murder she stopped looking out at the world, but now she plans to look again.

Even though Sethe plans for a brighter future, she is still haunted by he past. Once again in this chapter, she remembers more about the atrocities that she has experienced. She thinks about Mrs. Garner not doing anything to Schoolteacher’s nephews after they abused Sethe, even though she told Mrs. Garner all about what happened. She also remembers putting her children in the wagon that would take them away from her. She then remembers being horribly beaten for setting her children free. The beating was so bad that she bit off a piece of her tongue as oppressors struck her back. Since Denver never lived there, she does not like Sethe to talk about Sweet Home. Sethe now knows, however, that she will be able talk to Beloved about it, because she was there.

Sethe thinks about her misery after the murder. Her “mind was homeless then.” She wanted to lay in the grave with Beloved, but she knew she had to live to take care of Buglar, Howard, and Denver. In truth, for eighteen long years, Sethe has never been at peace. Now, however, she believes she can live a new life, for “she come back to me, my daughter, and she is mine."


Notes

In this chapter, Morrison employs a new narrative technique, known as stream of consciousness. The chapter is written as if it were Sethe's internal thoughts. It begins, "Beloved, she my daughter." By switching to a first person internal monologue, Morrison can show the change in the psyche of Sethe. She is finally beginning to see her children as separate entities from herself. In the past, Sethe was unable to accept that Beloved was a separate person from her who deserved to live regardless of Sethe's fears. Through the years, she has convinced herself that murdering Beloved was a loving act that was intended to protect her daughter from pain. Now that Beloved has returned, however, Sethe is forced to face the fact that this daughter is angry about her murder at the hands of her mother. As a result, Sethe desperately wants to explain her reasons to Beloved.

Sethe feels a true relief to know that Beloved has returned. Since the day of her murder, Sethe has been afraid to look out into the world. She did not want to see what her baby could not see. Now that Beloved her returned, Sethe is again free to look at the world, for her daughter is also present to see it; but until Sethe can exorcise the past and her guilt about it, she will never be able to see the world clearly. Sethe tries to deal with the past by thinking about it. She again members the beating she received by Schoolteacher’s nephews, the lack of concern shown by Mrs. Garner, the pain she felt when she sent her children away from her in a wagon, and the beating she received for sending her children to freedom.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
Free Study Guide-Beloved by Toni Morrison-Free Online Plot Summary Notes
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:52:25 AM