By ntzap
  • Sethe was neglected from her mother as she was growing up

    "I didn't see her but a few times out in the fields and once when she was working indigo." (72)
    "Nobody will ever get my milk no more except my children...Nan had to nurse whitebabies and me too because Ma'am was in the rice. The little whitebabies got it first and I got what was left. Or none." (236)
  • Sethe's positive experience at Sweet Home

    "The five Sweet Home men looked at the new girl and decided to let her be. They were young and so sick with the absence of women they had taken to calves. Yet they let the iron-eyed girl be, so she could choose in spite of the fact that each one would have beaten the others to mush to have her." (12)
    ""...she felt fine. Not scared of the men beyond. The five that slept in quarters near her, but never came in the night." (27)
  • Halle and Sethe get "married"

    "When he asked her to be his wife, Sethe happily agreed and then was stuck not knowing the next step...She and Mrs. Garner were the only women there, so she decided to ask her." (31)
    "Sethe had the amazing luck of six whole years of marriage to that "somebody" son who had fathered every one of her children. A blessing she was reckless enough to take for granted, lean on, as though Sweet Home really was one." (28))
  • Sethe sends Buglar, Howard and the already crawling girl? away from Sweet Home

    Sethe sends Buglar, Howard and the already crawling girl? away from Sweet Home
    "Anyhow I took my babies to the corn, Halle or no. Jesus. When I heard that woman's rattle. She said, Any more?... I told her to take you all; I had to go back. In case." (238)
    "I birthed them and I got them out and it wasn't no accident. I did that... It was a kind of selfishness I never knew nothing about before. It felt good. Good and right." (190)
    The image of the milk represents possession. Sethe's milk and children were the only things she owned.
  • Schoolteacher's nephew steals Sethe's milk

    "After I left you, those boys came in here and took my milk. That's what they came in here for. Held me down and took it." (19)
    "Nobody will ever get my milk no more except my own children. I never had to give it to nobody else--and the one time I did it was took from me--they held me down and took it." (236)
  • Sethe tells Mrs. Garner about the nephew taking her milk and is beaten for it

    Sethe tells Mrs. Garner about the nephew taking her milk and is beaten for it
    "Them boys found out I told on 'em. Schoolteacher made one open up my back, and when it closed it made a tree. It grows there still." (20)
    "Last time I saw her she couldn't do nothing but cry, and I couldn't do a thing for her but wipe her face when I told her what they done to me. Somebody had to know it...Schoolteacher wouldn't treat her the way he treated me. The first beating I took was the last." (238)
  • Sethe escapes Sweet Home and meets Amy Denver

    "It wasn't no white boy at all. Was a girl. The raggediest-looking trash you ever saw saying, 'Look there. A nigger. If that don't beat all'... Her name was Amy." (38)
    "They never expected to see each other again in this world and at the moment could care less." (99)
  • Baby Sugg's celebration turns the black community against offering help to Sethe

    "Nobody warned them, and he'd always believed it wasn't the exhaustion from a long day's gorging that dulled them, but some other thing-- like, well, like meanness" (185)
    "...they ate the food they brought and did not touch Sethe's, who did not touch theirs and forbade Denver to." (202)
  • Sethe sees the four horsemen coming

    Sethe sees the four horsemen coming
    "When the four horsemen came--schoolteacher, one nephew, one slave catcher and a sheriff--the house on Bluestone Road was so quiet they thought they were too late...a nigger woman holding a blood-soaked child to her chest with one hand and an infant by the heels in the other." (174-175)
    "That anybody white could take your whole self for anything that came to mind. Not just work, kill, maim you, but dirty you...she could never let it happen to her own." (295-296)
  • Sethe gets a tombstone with "Beloved" engraved on it

    "Ten minutes for seven letters. With another ten, could she have gotten 'Dearly' too?" (5)
    "But what she got, settled for, was the one word that mattered." (5)
  • Paul D shows up at 124

    "As if to punish her further for her terrible memory, sitting on the porch not 40 feet away, was Paul D, the last of the Sweet Home men." (7)
    "Trust things and remember things because the last of the Sweet Home men was there to catch her if she sank?" (21)
  • Paul D, Sethe, and Denver go to the carnival

    "There's a carnival in town. Thursday, tomorrow, is for coloreds and I got two dollars. Me, you, and Denver gonna spend every penny of it." (56)
    "All the time the three shadows that shot out of their feet to the left held hands... she decided it was a good sign. A life. Could be." (57)
  • Beloved appears at 124

    "A fully dressed woman walked out of the water." (60)
    "Sethe was deeply touched by her sweet name; the rememberance of glittering headstone made her feel especially kindly toward her." (63)
  • Paul D tells Sethe what happened to Halle

    "A blessing, but in its place he brought another kind of haunting; Halle's face smeared with butter and the clabber too; his own mouth jammed full of iron, and lord knows what else he could tell her if her wanted to." (113)
    "There will never be a day, she thought, when Halle will knock on the door. Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder." (112)
  • Paul D leaves

    "Standing straight as a line with her back to him. He didn't rush to the door. He moved slowly and when he got there he opened it before asking Sethe to put supper aside for him because he might be a little late getting back." (194-195)
    "He must think I can't bear to hear him say it. That after all I have told him and after telling me how many feet I have, "goodbye" would break me to pieces. Ain't that sweet." (195)
  • Sethe recognizes Beloved as her daughter

    "It was then, when Beloved finished humming, that Sethe recalled the click-- the settling of pieces into places designed and made especially for them." (207)
    "No gasp at a miracle that is truly miraculous because the magic lies in the fact that you knew it was there for you all along." (208)
  • Mr. Bodwin comes to 124

    "Edward Bodwin drove a cart down Bluestone Road... He didn't have to think about the way-- he was headed for the house he was born in." (305)
    "He is coming into her yard and he is coming for her best thing. She hears wings. Little hummingbirds stick needle beaks right through her headcloth into her hair and beat their wings. And if she thinks anything, it is no." (308-309)
  • Paul D comes back

    "His coming is the reverse route of his going." (310)
    "No. This little place by the window is what I want. And rest. There's nothing to rub now and no reason to... The thing in him, the blessedness, that made him the kind of man who can walk in a house and make the women cry." (321)