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Amanda’s Annotation

In Beloved on December 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm

My annotations was on pages 111-113.

Pgs. 110-111Pgs. 112-113

 

In this scene, Sethe, Beloved, and Denver have gone back into the forest to the Clearing where Baby Suggs’ preaching rock is. Sethe goes back to a place in her mind where she vividly remembers being free. Then, she reflects on the loneliness that she felt when Halle was first gone. I found that these few pages were very personal to Sethe and are very important in order for the reader to better understand the characters.

In the first paragraph of the passage, Sethe remembers the “smell of leaves simmering in the sun, thunderous feet and the shouts that ripped pods off the limbs of the chestnuts.” These two things are mentioned multiple times in Beloved. When chestnuts are always referred to in the book as being ripped from there pods, it is always something strong that has done it; loud noise, excitement,or even a “strong” silence. I find this phrase interesting, seeing it in many places in Beloved where there is something important.

Throughout this passage, we find feelings of freedom. When people were with Baby Suggs, they felt free. Without Baby Suggs they felt lost. The beginning of the passage goes from Sethe feeling free- being able to claim herself, decide for herself, and claiming her own ownership- to losing Baby and feeling lost without her. She went to the Clearing to find Baby Suggs in a time of need because she needed a hopeful word from her. As she was searching for a way to replace her loneliness (possibly with Paul D), she feels even more loneliness than before.

Sethe moves from reflecting on her freedom (a feeling of hope), to her feelings of loneliness, and then, as if these thoughts triggered it, Baby’s fingers begin to strangle her. We know that these are not actually Baby Suggs’ hands, but Beloved’s. I think that Beloved is strangling Sethe because she is angry with her and wants her attention. These pages really show the personal thoughts of Sethe. I think that by knowing her more personal thoughts, we can better understand Sethe and the way she responds to the people in her life.

However, there are still some unanswered questions that I have about this passage. First of all, although I have an idea about the why the chestnuts are ripped from their pods, I still don’t know what they symbolize or represent. Another uncertainty I have is how Paul D would hurt Sethe more by staying. She realizes that he could add something to her life but it seems like she is afraid of committing. Why would she feel this way? Is it because of the past hurt that she’s felt?

Hannah’s Video Annotation

In Beloved, Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

Katrina’s Annotation

In Beloved, core texts on December 12, 2012 at 7:45 am

I annotated pages 234- 235 where Stamp Paid is leaving 124 after hearing voices on the porch. In this passage he considers the effects of slavery on the blacks and on whites and expresses his thoughts on slavery. I thought this was a very interesting passage because it was from Stamp Paid’s perspective and then shifts to an objective perspective while still mentioning the unspoken thoughts of the women of 124. I tracked the relation of the individual vs. the collective, the effects of slavery on the blacks, the effects of slavery on the whites, and the unique description of each of these groups.

My strategy for annotating was to highlight things I noticed were either repeated or seemed to be related. After that I looked at how the different colored highlights related to each other. I made notices and drew arrows to help me further connect them and see exactly how they were related. This helped me to connect and see the patterns throughout the passage.

What stood out to me the most was the underlying concept of the individual and what that means to a group or the collective. The passage begins with Baby Suggs’ death, but Stamp Paid considers how this relates to the deaths of an entire race. Individual occupations are listed, “the educated colored: the long-school people, the doctors, the teachers, the paper writers and businessmen…”, but even though these are subsets of the general group, educated colored, it still doesn’t arrive to the individual. This list is concluded with saying they “had a hard row to hoe” – implying that even though they may be educated they’re all on the same playing field. It’s interesting that no matter how individualistic one might be Stamp Paid still describes them in a way relating to slavery – being a laborer on a field.

A minor thing I noticed in the passage was Morrison’s choice to combine ‘white’ and ‘people’ to form ‘whitepeople’ and ‘colored’ and ‘people’ together to form ‘coloredpeople’. I interpreted this as these people weren’t simply being described by an adjective as simple as a color – they embodied that color. This further supports the divide between the African Americans and whites. Colors were used as adjectives in a rather unsettling way beginning with “red gums ready for their sweet white blood” and shifting to “the screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own”.

It was interesting to me that the analogy of slavery being like a jungle could be broken down into so many different things within it. The metaphor was a jungle in itself – everything was intertwined, it was impossible to isolate one part of the analogy without relating it to one of the other things I was tracking.

The passage was very poetic to me in the sense that it used an extensive amount of imagery and every word seemed very intentional. I don’t think this passage would have conveyed the same meaning if Morrison had not written it as an analogy. Stamp Paid’s thoughts on the psychological effects of slavery have many different layers to them and each reader will gain something different from the analogy. Not only the reader, but I think Stamp Paid has multiple thoughts towards slavery and this was the best way for him to express the complexity of it – the jungle metaphor works perfectly to represent the entanglement of many different aspects of an entire institution. This passage illustrates the complexity of it.

One of the questions I still had was to what extent does the individual contribute to perpetuating or changing the norm?

Photo on 12-11-12 at 11.42 PM Photo on 12-11-12 at 11.42 PM #2

Soobin’s Annotation

In activities, Beloved on December 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

My annotation is on pg.144-145 and it is the moment when Denver and Beloved are playing together and all of a sudden Beloved goes missing; Denver instinctively panics in fear that she lost her “sister.” This is an interesting moment because it shows both the progression of Denver’s emotions as this scene progresses, and it also shows how much Denver has grown to depend on Beloved.

I focused mainly on Denver’s emotional state at a certain moment. I first identified Denver’s emotion right after Beloved is missing. As no one answers when Denver calls out for Beloved, Denver starts to get uneasy and nervous. The dialogue may at first seem as though Denver is still addressing Beloved, but through further reading, it is possible to see that she is actually talking to reassure herself that Beloved is still there and has not left her: “‘Oh, shoot. Beloved… Stop fooling.’”

The next stage that Denver’s emotion shifted to after nervousness was panic. Denver “moves slowly toward the door” and makes slow movements that show she is starting to panic. This is the moment when Denver realizes that Beloved is really not there: “The room is just as it was when they entered- except Beloved is not there.” In the previous part, Denver was also in a stage of disbelief, but as she opens the door and confirms that Beloved isn’t there with her own two eyes, she panics.

As her feelings intensify from panic to despair, she recalls memories from the past. She recalls when Paul D came and feels that this is worse than that. The pivotal moment comes when Denver firmly asserts “she won’t put up with another leaving, another trick.” This shows how Denver grew as a character by spending time with Beloved and taking care of her like a sister and a mother.

One thing that I tracked was the reference to light or dark. I thought that light was a moment spent with Beloved or being with Beloved and dark was without.
* “The minnows of light still swim there; they can’t make it down to where she is.”
She is still thinking of the times with Beloved and can’t even imagine what it’d be like without Beloved.
* “Cold sunlight displaces the dark”
It was better to be with Beloved than without her, even when Beloved considered her to be unimportant, only Sethe was important.
* “Darkness or not, she moves rapidly around”
Denver is determined to find Beloved and also desperate to find her sister.
-The next two were very confusing and they were some of the questions that I had unanswered.
* “It is hard to breathe and even if there were light she wouldn’t be able to see anything because she is crying.”
* “She decides to stay in the cold house and let the dark swallow her like the minnows of light above.”

Another unanswered question I had from reading this passage was:
1) Why does this particular memory of Baby Suggs’s death hit Denver instead of a more impactful memory such as one of Sethe killing Beloved and Denver having to drink her mother’s milk and sister’s blood?

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Jenny’s Annotation.

In Beloved, Uncategorized on December 3, 2012 at 6:54 am

I annotated page 74-75 where Beloved asks Sethe about her mom and Denver notices something unusual about Beloved. This page is particularly interesting because Toni hides multiple hints during her description about Sethe’s memory and Denver’s perspective. Sethe’s  memory is smoothly but some points are questionable. From her memory we can tell  Sethe’s responsibility and determination to be a mom. And based on Denver’s perspective, we can guess the true identity of Beloved.

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I was tracking the term, the “words”, “language” and  ”message” that Nan and Sethe’s mother used, which Sethe doesn’t remember as a big girl but actually understand them while she was a small girl. Sethe actually told us about what Nan had said to her. The very few sentences, told us about the “message” that Sethe is more special to her mom than other crew. She is the only one who received a name from her mother and doesn’t get to throw away. But Sethe is angry about it; she doesn’t understand this “message” exactly. Toni doesn’t give us a clear answer about what Sethe is angry about while she knows she’s special to her mom. My guess will be that even though Sethe is that special to her mom, her mom still chose to leave her and never come back. She still chose to be gone forever without a word. Sethe is angry about her mom’s behavior, and sorrowed about her be left alone. From the feelings, we can tell that Sethe has the strong sense of responsibility to be a mom. Sethe doesn’t understand it and feel angry about the action that a mother just leaves their child alone, especially when she has children (after recall about her memory she looks back to Beloved and Denver). And that might be a hint for the book—-no matter what happens, Sethe never leaves her children. Never leaves them alone.

Anther hint is at the end of the paragraph, where Denver asks question about how did Beloved know all those things about Sethe. This question leads direct to Belove’s identity. Denver hated her mother’s world because she never be part of it, and as the only friend of hers, Denver wished Beloved to hate it too. However, Denver finds that Beloved is “greedy” to hear Sethe’s talk—the contradictory feeling brings us smoothing to think about. Why would Beloved be so engaged about her mother’s past? Since we don’t know any background about Beloved, we can analysis here that Beloved is someone from Sethe’s past. Someone who loves to hear about Sethe and from her past.

There are few more things to think about too. If Beloved is from Sethe’s past, how can Sethe never notice it?  Why could Sethe’s mother just leave her alone and never comes back?

Luna’s Annotation

In Beloved on November 13, 2012 at 5:16 am

This was an interesting passage for me to annotate because it is the scene in the novel when Denver, Sethe, and Paul D are introduced to Beloved’s love of sweet things. To annotate this passage I chose to focus on quite a few trends that only appeared once or twice on these two pages (66-67). I decided to track the descriptions of Beloved and her eyes, Denver’s reactions towards Beloved, the reoccurrence of sweets and the opposing feelings of Sethe and Paul D. What really struck me the most was that the text seem to really zigzag. For example at the beginning Denver described Beloved’s eyes with no expression at all, but a few paragraphs later Sethe described her as glowing health because she never left. This passage seems to take the reader on a short journey from when Beloved found her love of sweets to when Sethe and Paul D realized Beloved was not going to leave. If you can see in the last sentence Morrison writes “It there had been an open latch between them, it would have closed”. I would like to end this annotation with asking you why you think this is significant to the text and what it is implying/trying to explain to the reader?

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Team Tau’s Harkblog Space

In Beloved, core texts, discussions on November 3, 2012 at 12:46 am

Team Tau, here is your Harkblog space. Feel free to take ownership of what is written in this post, but do use the comment section of this post for the discussion itself.

Below, you will find questions, ideas, or prompts that should stimulate your discussion for each reading unit. However, don’t feel tied to these prompts, ideas, or discussions. Instead, use them as a platform to reach depth in knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the writer’s choices. Additionally, know that this is your space to work together to build ideas together.

Reading Section 1 & 2:

We’ll start with a relatively simple thought: “a good work of literature will teach you how to read it.” In what ways are you being taught to read Toni Morrison’s Beloved in the opening two sections? What are you being taught about the plot? The style of narration? The characters? What have you spotted in this opening section that you want to watch for as the novel develops?

Remember: we’re aiming to achieve depth in this discussion, so please focus your energies in that direction. That said, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions, as well, although know that this alone won’t show your engagement in the Harkblog.

Team Zeta’s Harkblog Space

In Beloved, core texts, discussions on November 3, 2012 at 12:45 am

Team Zeta, here is your Harkblog space. Feel free to take ownership of what is written in this post, but do use the comment section of this post for the discussion itself.

Below, you will find questions, ideas, or prompts that should stimulate your discussion for each reading unit. However, don’t feel tied to these prompts, ideas, or discussions. Instead, use them as a platform to reach depth in knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the writer’s choices. Additionally, know that this is your space to work together to build ideas together.

Reading Section 1 & 2:

We’ll start with a relatively simple thought: “a good work of literature will teach you how to read it.” In what ways are you being taught to read Toni Morrison’s Beloved in the opening two sections? What are you being taught about the plot? The style of narration? The characters? What have you spotted in this opening section that you want to watch for as the novel develops?

Remember: we’re aiming to achieve depth in this discussion, so please focus your energies in that direction. That said, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions, as well, although know that this alone won’t show your engagement in the Harkblog.

Team Omicron’s HarkBlog Space

In Beloved, core texts, discussions on November 3, 2012 at 12:43 am

Team Omicron, here is your Harkblog space. Feel free to take ownership of what is written in this post, but do use the comment section of this post for the discussion itself.

Below, you will find questions, ideas, or prompts that should stimulate your discussion for each reading unit. However, don’t feel tied to these prompts, ideas, or discussions. Instead, use them as a platform to reach depth in knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the writer’s choices. Additionally, know that this is your space to work together to build ideas together.

Reading Section 1 & 2:

We’ll start with a relatively simple thought: “a good work of literature will teach you how to read it.” In what ways are you being taught to read Toni Morrison’s Beloved in the opening two sections? What are you being taught about the plot? The style of narration? The characters? What have you spotted in this opening section that you want to watch for as the novel develops?

Remember: we’re aiming to achieve depth in this discussion, so please focus your energies in that direction. That said, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions, as well, although know that this alone won’t show your engagement in the Harkblog.

Beloved PP 34-35 Annotation – Margaux

In Beloved on November 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Beloved PP 34-35 AnnotationFor the Annotating video assessment, I chose to annotate pages 34 and 35 of Beloved. First, I made a sticky note of all the major contrasts I saw. I included natural vs. man made, independence vs. dependence, etc. I then went into the actual text and highlighted all the contrasts I saw including ones I wanted to look out for in the future. Then I made a list of major categories (creative language, memory, changing perceptions, questions, etc.) and color coded the two pages accordingly. Using noes in the margins I noticed that the use and important of Denver’s “tree structure” changes in her eyes as she develops as a character. It will be interesting to see how it continues to change throughout the rest of the book. Also, Denver’s interactions change. She interacts with others, then herself, and then others once more. Does Denver change as a person depending on who she is with? This process left me with a lot of good content questions. I plan to keep them in the back of my mind as I read further.