Thursday, January 30, 2014

We're AP Lit Nerds and Loving It: January 30, 2014

Focus: Was Sethe's act of violence one of hurting or healing? Was is selfish or selfless?

1. Enjoying a visit from Mrs. Talen to discuss the A.P. process

2. Socratic seminar: Discussing Beloved through Chapter 16

Use one or two of the Socratic "stems" to pose an important discussion question.

3. Wrapping up: Was your question answered (or did it just lead to further questions)?

1. Bring your critical review book to class tomorrow.

2. Please also bring the critical review packet that I gave you a couple of weeks ago.

3. For next Tuesday, please read through Chapter 1 of Part 2 in Beloved. As you read, keep adding to your list of words and phrases (we're doing an activity with it on Monday).


  1. Today’s scribing is prepared by Ms. Leclaire

    Opening question: Parallel scene in Chapter 14 where Beloved is pulling out her tooth and dreaming about exploding and being swallowed; Chapter 16 where Sethe murders the little girl, trying to keep her head from falling off...significance of that parallel? (Nia)

    Towards the end of the reading, Sethe slits the throat of one of her children--confirming that this woman is Beloved (Katie)

    Connection to Sethe getting choked, but calls Beloved’s touch “heavenly”

    When Beloved is first introduced, her voice is awful; also linked the throat being cut (Maddie)

    Weebies = heeby jeebies (Katie)

    What was choking Sethe in the woods? Denver sees Beloved choking her...but was it Beloved? (Aya)

    Reaching for hands that aren’t there, but Beloved admits later to choking her and fixing her (Ian)

    Sethe kills baby to save her from schoolteacher; was this justified (Whitney)

    Many slaves killed children to spare them from slavery; could have run instead of murder children (Katie)

    Possibility of babies dying in slavery anyways, but doesn’t necessarily justify (Emily)

    “Crawling already?” baby is a bizarre, almost inhuman name (Aya)

    Beloved’s obsessed with Sethe but strangles the love an act masking revenge, or does she genuinely care about Sethe? (Kate)

    Wants Sethe to join her in death (Charlie), as a baby wants its mom

    Obsessive, unhealthy love--wants Sethe all to herself and hates that she’s with Paul D, ambiguous feelings towards Denver (Aya)

    Wants attention of Paul D (Katie)

    Intrigued by Sethe as a baby is (Emily)

    Choking scene was about Beloved wanting to be the hero; chokes her but heals her as well; like starting a fire just to put it out, for attention (Mackenzie)

    Denver is obsessive too (Charlie)

    Denver obsessive of Beloved; Beloved trying to win them all over; scene with Paul D, center of attention (Nick)

    “I only love her” -- Beloved; then why does she go out to see Paul D? (Aya)

    Tearing Sethe and Paul D apart by seducing Paul D (Katie)

  2. Scribing, continued...
    Wouldn’t it also break relationship between Sethe and Paul D (Whitney)

    Why does Paul D go to Sethe’s work and ask him to have her child? (Kai)

    This whole dynamic is a specific allegory; published in 1989, generation growing up without...Paul D’s way of trying to root himself down to 124 (Nick)

    Why does he want to stay there? (Whitney)

    Two parts of him fighting: Run, run now vs. settle down, you’ve run enough; Morrison trying to understand the runaway father that she’s seen much of in her lifetime (Nick)

    Selfish for Paul D; Sethe doesn’t want more children (has enough traumatic experiences as it is) (Kendall)

    Went in wanting to tell her about Beloved, but wimped out; at first was just an act of cowardice to ask for another baby (Kate)

    Wanting to make Beloved not his daughter by having a child with Sethe (Nick)

    Tobacco tin inside his chest; so cold and hard that can’t be broken open, but the top starts to come off, unnoticed, after his sexual act with Beloved (Anna)

    Page 138: The rust coming heart, red heart--did Beloved break down his barriers in a good way? (Kate)

    Motif of red in Beloved--red heart (Charlie)

    When Baby Suggs got her freedom, she was surprised that she had a heart--connection to Paul D freeing his heart (Alex)

    Since its Beloved, the barriers cannot be broken down in a good way; maybe more of a bleeding heart; she unlocked his demons, his pain, starting to rip him apart (Mackenzie)

    Isn’t that necessary for him to heal? Has to relive the past to accept it. (Alex)

    But there’s so much pain, how can they heal from that? (Mackenzie)

    Associating death with Beloved the most; he feels alive in the scene with Beloved (Emily)

    Chapter 14 at the end: Beloved disappears and says she sees herself--what does she mean by that? (Alex)

    Connection to seeing a face in the burning sun (Charlie)

    Worried about totally falling apart, seeing herself slip away and go back to ghost/baby form; but she has a purpose here as an adult (Ian)

    This part is written in the present tense “Denver is a strategist now” (142-143); this is what’s happening now, rather than the past...are we finally moving into the present? Are the characters? (Nick)

    The flashbacks are does it all tie together? (Charlie)

    Denver’s obsession with Beloved and with Sethe; Sethe covered with blood, Denver taking in her mother’s milk and Beloved’s blood...Beloved and Sethe are a part of her, her connection to Sethe and to the ghost (Katie)

    Integrating Paul D in the shed as part of this, too (Nick)

    Does Beloved actually like Denver, or is she just using her? (Aya)

    Will have to deal with Denver to get close to Sethe (Emily)

    Denver and Beloved’s relationship is like drug culture--getting her fix, tempting and bribing (Nick)

    Wrap up:

    Role reversal of Sethe and Beloved?
    Why is Denver obsessed with Beloved despite her wicked deeds?
    How are Paul D and Beloved alike in their relationship to Sethe?
    What is causing Beloved to fall apart?
    How does Baby Suggs contribute to the conflict in the sotry?
    What is Beloved’s purpose?
    How will Paul D change now that tin is open?
    What do you think of Paul D’s approach to his lack of manhood?
    Sethe didn’t really have another option.
    How did Sethe feel after killing Beloved?
    Different approaches to red heart
    Baby Suggs and her motivation behind the gathering, making pies, etc.
    Why doesn’t Beloved have any blood?
    When Paul D said red heart…
    Beloved uses people to ground her, like Paul D
    Clarification of Sethe killing baby
    Idea of Beloved falling apart
    What’s B’s endgame? Why is she coming back?
    Seeing B as not human is helpful
    Talk more about ghost story elements, etc.