Why does Beloved haunt the house at 124?
Although the novel does not provide a precise answer to this question, the most plausible reason Beloved haunts 124 is that this house is where her murderer—that is, her mother, Sethe—lives. Beloved is a ghost story, and ghosts conventionally haunt those with whom they have unfinished business. Thus, Beloved haunts the woman who was supposed to nurture and protect her, but who took her life instead.
Why did Sethe kill Beloved?
Sethe killed Beloved because she did not want her daughter to be subjected to the trauma of slavery. Sethe had recently run away from Sweet Home, and white men from the plantation tracked her down in Cincinnati. Rather than let these men take her children, Sethe resolves to kill all her children and spare them a life of degradation. As Stamp Paid explains to Paul D late in the novel: “She ain’t crazy. She love those children. She was trying to outhurt the hurter.” Even though Sethe attempts to kill each child, Beloved is the only one who dies.
What happened to Halle?
Nobody knows exactly what happened to Sethe’s husband, Halle. He was supposed to meet Sethe at a designated spot in order to run away from Sweet Home together, but he never showed up. Paul D tells Sethe that the last time he saw Halle he was at a butter churn, smearing butter all over his face. This incident occurred soon after Halle witnessed schoolteacher’s nephews forcibly take Sethe’s breastmilk. Paul D implies that what Halle saw made him go insane, but no one in the novel knows for sure.
How did Paul D get his freedom?
Paul D tried to escape from Sweet Home with Sixo, but the two got caught by schoolteacher and his men. The white men murdered Sixo, and they sent Paul D to a prison camp in Georgia, where he was forced to work on a chain gang. At some point heavy rains flooded the prison and enabled the prisoners to escape undetected in the night. A group of Cherokee helped the men out of their chains and informed Paul D how to make his way north to freedom.
Why does the Black community of Cincinnati keep their distance from 124?
The most obvious reason the Black community stays away from Sethe and her family is that they fear her. They remember the horrific incident when Sethe killed her daughter and they choose to stay away from 124. Although that’s true, there’s another reason they stay away. Shortly after Sethe arrived in Cincinnati, Baby Suggs hosted a gathering with an enormous feast that many guests felt was recklessly extravagant. Annoyed by what they took as a prideful display, many in the community lost some respect for Baby Suggs. Though the combination of fear and distaste keeps the community away, Sethe also isolates herself from others.
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