December 20

After Reading Part I of Beloved

What affect has reading this first half of the novel (based on the real life story of Margaret Garner) had on your interpretation of history? Be thorough and thoughtful in your response.

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Posted December 20, 2012 by tashak38 in category Uncategorized

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98 thoughts on “After Reading Part I of Beloved

  1. Oscar G.

    Oscar G.
    January 6, 2013
    Period 1
    After reading the first part of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, I did not get many new things from slavery. Most of us today know that slavery was inhumane in so many ways. Most often it tore families apart where they would never see each other again. In school we are also thought that they were physically punished, about the slave’s insane amount of hours that they put in, and how the slaves were rarely or almost never given a break. However in, “Beloved” the reader gets more of a personal experience about the slavery era, something not many textbooks can give a reader. For me although personal experiences do help to make me give a final thought, in this case it did not, do not get me wrong; in the novel Sethe takes his daughter’s life so that she does not have to live the slave life like is living. I did manage to get a gasp that aven after slaver, many people stayed scarred about the actions that occurred in this time, and it is from those scars of other people that we as a society must learn not to damage one another.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      I need you to include some specifics here, Oscar. Without them, your response is vague–and I do not get a sense of a genuine reaction to the text. You need concrete details.

      Reply
  2. Mercedes G.

    Mercedes G.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    January 6, 2013

    After I had read part one I was in disbelief at what happened throughout this part and it was just part one. I was in disbelief because I already knew that slavery was bad but all of the things on side made it that much worse. The things that happened to Sethe was so shocking and cruel that it hard for people to read it none the less imagine it. Reading this part has enlightened me a bit about the other things that happened to the lady’s during their time in the Sweet House by other men. I was also shocked when I read that Sethe killed Denver because I didn’t know that she capable of doing that but with what Sethe has gone through I can understand how she does not want her daughter going through the same.

    Reply
  3. Bilguun Batdorj

    Bilguun Batdorj

    Ms Keeble

    AP English 11

    Jan 6 2013

    This year I learned the many different aspects of what a slaved used to experience in the past, all of them being harsh and cruel. I knew that slaves, before reading Beloved, were treated like dogs to being lynched for no reason at all. This book illustrated visually on what the average slave felt and thought about. It felt like I was in the mindset of an escaped slave. The book illustrated the difficult life altering decisions African American slaves had to make in order to pursue a better life. This book has opened my mind and proven the fact that history always repeats itself. Even though the war in Syria is not connected to the slavery in America during the 18th century, it shares one simple characteristic; the Syrian rebels have the same hopes and fears as did the escaped slaves had.

    Reply
  4. Desiree N.

    Desiree N.

    Ms. Keeble

    AP English 11

    6 January 2012

    My interpretation on slavery in history was not changed after reading “Beloved” by Tonie Morrison. Previous to reading “Beloved” I knew that slavery made a major impact on a slave’s physical and emotional health. What I did not know was that even after a slave was freed or escaped, they kept those emotional and sometimes physical scars. Sethe, a runaway slave, kept all of those horrible memories with her, some she didn’t dare to remember but they popped into her head anyways. “Beloved” gave me a clearer idea of the emotional pain slavery left on a person.

    Reply
  5. Jonathan V

    Jonathan V
    Ms.Keeble
    Period 1
    Ap Eng and Comp
    6 January 6, 2013

    After reading the first part of, “Beloved”, I got a greater understanding of this specific time in history. My interpretation in history before reading the first part of the novel, I thought slavery was not a big deal because it was just smart humans taking advantage of the less smart and made them do things, making them believe that they were working for a better cause. The better cause was that the slaves were going to work hard for a certain period of time, making “Good money” when in the reality, they were making mediocre money to feed themselves and he heard work paid off in the opposite side of the rope with the white people. This to me was the idea life for the two separate life styles because both of the sides had brains but one knew how to use it better. After Margaret Garner explained her side of the story, I soon realized that my assertions were wrong and that both sides were human, even after I said and thought wrong about the colored side, both sides had a brain and they did know how to use it but one side knew how to use it better. To me this is imperialism and it goes back to the times of President Lincoln and the babysitting policy made by the secretary of state which stated that any country that did not know how to rule themselves had to be fathered because that’s what hey needed a father. Imperialism is the same business because it is when the stronger or the white people take over the weaker the colored and treat them like puppets, moving them as they please. Also the main characters showed that even though they were going through these tough times, they were living happily and every person that joined their life like Beloved made them stranger but yet conflict emerged in between the families. I thought they had enough problems with slavery but at “home” things got tense if there was yet another mouth to feed.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Good job, Jonathan! You mean Sethe explained her side. Be careful. I do love the way you delve into the real details of the matter. Love it!

      Reply
  6. Brenda C.

    Brenda C.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English, Period 5
    6 Jan 2013

    After reading the first part of beloved I realized how much slaves really suffered on a daily basis. Slaves suffered more than I imagined they did, the fact that a mother had to kill her own daughter is just sad. I know I would not be able to do something like that if I was ever in that position. But then again Sethe only did that to save her daughter from living and growing up as a slave for the rest of her life.

    Reply
  7. Jasmine J.

    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, Period
    6 January 2013

    Part one of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” gave me a new perspective on slavery and evoked an emotional response. Before, slavery was very black and white in my mind; whites took natives from Africa, shipped them to America, and used them for physical labor. After reading part one of “Beloved”, I saw the grey area. Slavery was emotionally damaging as well as physically. For once, I felt the pain of those enslaved and applied to myself. i out myself in the shoes of a slave and it change my whole thought process of slavery. Mothers, like Sethe, took their daughters’ life away so that they wouldn’t have had to experience the pain. I couldn’t imagine taking my own child’s life for any reason and most mothers would agree. The fact that she killed her daughter showed how ruthless slavery was.

    Reply
  8. DaJohn Wade

    After reading part one of Beloved, slavery became more of a personal experience instead of a narrative. I felt as if i was going through her struggles with her. Her everyday life became mines. Also, part one put the effects in slavery in a deep perspective for me. I know a lot about slavery, but this book gave me a personal reflection on slavery and how it had left a burning impact on her life. The memories still gave long lasting pains. A lot of stories, books, articles, and other information about slavery talks about the acts that went on, but not many go into about the aftermath. I was able to connect with her because my experiences of being racially profiled still raises chills up my spine.

    Reply
  9. Sidney

    Sidney
    Ap English
    06 January 2013

    Reading part one of Beloved by Toni Morrison has helped me by giving me a new perspective on slavery life. I heard the stories of mothers killing their children in order to protect them from the unknown, before. Just like the indigenous  people in the Christopher Columbus essay we read. But Sethe’s  story made it more personal to me. This story has changed my interpretation of history by feeling their desperation and fear. These women believed that they had a good reason to take a child’s life and although I do not agree with it, I understand why it was done. The fear was real and its horrible to imagine it so. But the love of a mother is intense.

    Reply
  10. Dartise

    Dartise
    Jan. 6, 2013
    1st period

    After reading the first part of Beloved, my interpretation has changed by being able to view a slave’s life after they runaway or become free from their owners. In addition, many textbooks don’t really extend into an African American’s life after they escape slavery. This book was kind of a wake up call because it made me realize how awful it was for a slave to have to keep running nor being able to live in peace.

    Reply
  11. Ryan

    Ryan C.
    Ms. Keeble
    Period 1

    After reading part one of the book, “Beloved”, by Toni Morrison, my vision and interpretation about slavery has changed. Before I knew that slavery was horrible but this book made me realize more about the hardships of slavery. For example, Sethe killed her own children so they don’t have to endure the horrors of slavery. So far my vision has opened up greatly on the hardships and horrifying stories on slavery.

    Reply
  12. Johanna G.

    Johanna G.
    Keeble
    AP English, Per. 2
    6 January 2013

    After reading Part One of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”, I began to understand the emotional perspective of slavery. In previous history and English classes, our teachers only shared the cruel and physical aspect of what was going on with slavery. We were told that African Americans were taken from their country and forced to work as slaves for white men. They were treated unfairly with limited or no rights at all, harshly beaten, or even killed. However, I didn’t realize nor did I look into their emotional pain. Reading “Beloved” gave me a deeper understanding of what slaves had to go through on a daily basis. For example, in the novel, Sethe took her daughter’s life away so that she wouldn’t have had to experience a life of slavery. This one action demonstrated how difficult and merciless not only her life was, but of each and every single slaves’ life.

    Reply
  13. Alicia Gonzales

    Alicia Gonzales
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11
    6 January 2012
    After reading part 1 of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”, it caused my thoughts and interpretations of history and slavery to become more bold. In other words, I feel like I have gained more knowledge of the conditions of slavery, and the types of things that people had to actually live with and go through.
    Slavery had to have been so cruel and unjust, something that was and still is tough and painful, emotionally and physically. Think about it, even Sethe, a mother that loves her children maybe even too much, murdered her baby daughter. Why? Because she didn’t want her daughter to have to deal with slavery. She wanted to prevent her from having to experience living that life, therefore she thought the best solution was to take her life, rather then someone else taking her life, or even just harming her daughter.
    To me, yeah, it’s understanding that she didn’t want anyone to hurt her baby and put her through slavery, but I think it’s crazy and sad that she chose to be the one to take her baby’s life. With all that being the case, it shows how serious of a thing slavery is, because if it wasn’t a big deal, Sethe wouldn’t have taken her daughter’s life because of it.
    Overall after reading part 1, I just find it interesting all that a mother or anyone would do to prevent their kids from having to be slaves. And I’m reminded that slavery is no joke. It’s the sad truth and reality in history. Something that unfortunately took many lives, and effected famalies’, individuals bodies, peace of minds, etc.

    Reply
  14. Adria

    Adria W.
    Ms.Keeble
    AP English per.2
    1/6/13

    After reading the first part of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, my interpretation on the history of slavery hasn’t changed much. It did, although, give me a deeper insight on the sacrifices runaway slaves like Sethe had to make. There were so many painful experiences that Sethe went through. I think the ones that had to do with her daughter, Denver, were really painful to me. I personally don’t think I could ever do half of the things that Sethe had to do to keep herself and Denver safe and away from anything having to do with slavery. For example, in the book, Sethe ran away from her enslavement when she was 6 months pregnant with her daughter putting herself and her unborn in danger because of slavery. When she killed her daughter to keep her from becoming a slave was when I realized that Sethe did what she thought was necessary to protect her child. I now not only have a deeper understanding of slavery and the consequences to being a runaway slave after reading the first part of “Beloved” but it also made me more appreciative of everything around me and my family.

    Reply
  15. Rachael B.

    Rachael Brandt
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English Period 2
    6 January 2013

    My thoughts on slavery before were just the ideas that slavery was a major foundation of the United States before politics and morals shaped it into something that was greatly seen as licentious. I never looked at slavery as having emotionally affected those involved. I came to realization that the effects of slavery before and after go deeper than just physical abuse after reading the first part of “Beloved”. Slavery had traumatized those slaves into doing the unthinkable, just as Sethe had killed her daughter to protect her from the horrors of enslavement. Ex-slaves were emotionally distraught especially those with families. It ripped and broke families apart, a fact I did not anticipate from studies of the shameful subject. I have further grasped the reality that history books seem to neglect how deeply scarred passed their skin slaves were.

    Reply
  16. Diana Larios

    Diana Larios
    AP English 11
    Keeble
    6 January 2013
    Period: 1

    Part one of the novel “Beloved” by Toni Morrison has utterly altered the way I view history and specifically slavery. Prior to reading the novel I had always felt sorrow and sadness for those who had to live through the harsh moments that came with slavery but this novel has given me great depth to the cruel reality of what it actually was. This novel I felt contained great detail to the point that I felt as if it was coming alive. It is beyond doubt powerful and it made me very emotional especially when the character Sethe made the hardest decision a mother could ever have to face and that was murdering her first born daughter to protect her from the vicious brutality that came with being enslaved. To her, death was better than life as a slave and that was chilling for me to process because today most of us cherish everyday that we have on earth and to think that someone thought it was better to be dead, I cannot think of the pain they had to endure to think in such a way. I cannot imagine her pain, and I am not a mother but I can say that I do understand why she took the decision she made. I was glad that we saw this story through the eyes of a mother because it made it sincere and I could feel her love as a mother. There is no way that we can ever understand the pain that these slaves faced because unless we live through it we never will be able to understand. It is very powerful how someones experiences can change the way you view a subject completely.

    Reply
  17. Raymond P

    Raymond P
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    6 January 2013

    After reading the first part of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, the way I thought of slavery has changed dramatically. This made me realize that slavery has damaged the slaves lives drastically. While reading this, it made my mind picture every little thing that was going on. The emotional pain this poor women went through was terrible. It brought a little tear to my eye. This novel has really grasped my attention and I can not wait to finish reading it.

    Reply
  18. Alexia George

    I had the same first thoughts as most about “Beloved” being just another book discussing slavery. But when I started reading further in I realized it stood out from the rest. “Beloved” focused more on how slavery affected Margaret Garner (Sethe) and her family. It told exactly what happened and how. “Beloved” opened my eyes to realize that with slavery comes other misfortunes. Most of the lectures or stories we hear about slavery due not include the raw/uncut parts of a slave’s life. Margaret was not only a slave; she killed her baby, got raped, had her sons runaway, and moved on without her husband. We do not know about the suffers of the slaves unless they tell us themselves. Reading part one was enough for me to understand that slavery was not just working in the fields from dusk until dawn and getting beat without a reason. I feel more appreciative of the freedom that I have now. I would rather much go to school for seven hours than do dirty-work for twelve. With all that was told in part one, it is hard to imagine what could possibly happen next.

    Reply
  19. Elisha Hussain

    Elisha Hussain
    AP English 11, Period: 5
    Ms. Keeble
    January 6, 2012

    After reading the story ” Beloved”, by Toni Morrison, my view of history has changed drastically. Before reading this, I was unsure of the dangers that African Americans had to face during slavery. After I finished the first part I was literally in tears because of everything that the slaves had to face. For example, when Baby Suggs had children each of them were sold off. That tore my heart because I know for a fact that if I had a child and if he or she was taken I would be devestated. Also, the one thing that stuck out to me the most was that Sethe had to kill her child because she didn’t want it to go through all of the horrendous things that she experienced. Before I started to read this book I thought that it would be boring and something that I wouldn’t enjoy reading. I was very wrong because this book gave me an insight through the main character into the actual world of slavery. Also, since this story was fiction it made me realize that the time of slavery was worse that people actually described it to be. I for one have a much better insight of how the women, children and men were treated. This story sent chills down my spine in a bad way, because of everything that Sethe and Baby Suggs went through. I can connect this to the real world today, because there are many countries that have slavery going on under the radar. It is a sad fact, but we don’t seem to acknowledge it enough or think about everything that these people may go through. Reading the first part of this book has given me a better insight of slavery and it makes me want to probe further into the book.

    Reply
  20. David M.

    David M.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11
    6 January 2012
    After I read “beloved” I didnt find much new that I didn’t already imagine from Slavery. I mean Slavery is Slavery there are no breaks, its not necesarilly a vacation. People should know that Slavery is horrible, having a first hand account just proves what you can imagine and thats what this book was like for me. People wishing for death instead of going back to slavery is exactly how it is. History cannot tell you the full story or the hardships that these Slaves endured, but one can only imagine what goes on. History wont tell everything because people want to keep it vague. First hand accounts such as this are what people need because not everyone is like me. Realizing that these travesties occured is something that people dont think about and thats why people need this book. Slavery is never going to be right, but History cannot depict everything like this book can. I cannot say i know how it feels to be a Slave, to know the pain, the constant feeling of fear or dwindling fire of hope that one feels when searching for freedom. In this book their only freedom was death and Sethe and his Beloved saw that. This book is great for learning the real feelings of being a slave and it captivates you in that moment in which they are about to end it all. You feel the pain and suffering of their walks from town to town and the aftermath of their decisions. It is truly an eye opener.

    Reply
  21. Zoey Madsen

    Zoey Madsen
    period 5
    AP English 11
    1/6/2013

    After reading part one of “Beloved”, by Toni Morrison, I really felt the blunt reality of slaves and former slaves during that time. I’ve never read a book that gave full on detail of how difficult slaves’ lives were like. The story fully enlightened me on the aftermath that slavery can have one somebody’s life, and the lives of others. While reading the book I could feel the pain that Sethe encountered throughout her life, and it really opened my heart and made me feel Sethe’s position in some cases. It was a strong willed book and it completely educated me on the full affect slavery had on people and their families. I couldn’t imagine going through the experiences detailed throughout the reading. Part 1 of “Beloved” transformed my idea of slavery and opened my eyes to how deep “the peculiar institution of slavery” really went.

    Reply
  22. Johan Ocegueda

    Johan Ocegueda
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    6 December 2012
    I always knew that the life of a slave was hard and horrible in many ways. I always gave the slave many many props for everything they went through. But this just halped me understand everything they went through a little more. I am astonished by how ugly and cruel these peoples lives were. Sounds wrong and ugly but I dont believe this is life, I would rather die than live like this. Maybe killing loved ones sounds bad, but I am sure they will feel less pain dead than alive and living in that hell that they called life.

    Reply
  23. Kiloni D

    Kiloni Driskell
    6 December 2013
    AP English, 2
    Ms.Keeble

    After reading part one of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, my interpretation has slighty shifted. The way Sethe reenter her passed made me feel sympathy for all the people who went through this tragic event of slavery. When Sethe discusses the scars on her back to Paul D, she looks at it like it’s a haunting to her and then Amy described the scars on her back as a chokecherry tree. Paul D interpretaion was different. He symbolized the scars as something beautiful. The scars on her back has a story within. I know slavery is painful but for a mother to have to kill her kid so she would not have to go back to slavery must be horrifying. They suffered from hard labor, they had no freedom and could not have an education. So far the story gave me a vivid understanding of what people went through after slavery.

    Reply
  24. Ross H.

    Ross Hatlen
    Keeble
    Apeng Period 2
    6 January 2013

    Before I read part one of Beloved, I thought of slavery as just a bad thing from American history. Yet before this book, I never thought of it from the slaves perspective. This book made me become emotionally connected to the slaves, I really felt bad for her. Slavery was a much worse than I had ever thought. Not being able to connect to your children because you know they are going to lave you is horrible. Beloved was a guilt trip for me, since my distance relatives had slaves. It change the perspective of my family. I no longer think of slavery as just a bad thing in history, but as an abomination in history.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Revise Ross. I will give you the credit you deserve once you eliminate that vague pronoun reference and correct that possessive. You have to be careful with your composition, Sir! 🙂

      Reply
  25. Niauni

    Niauni Hill
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English, Period 1
    06 January 2013

    After reading Part 1 of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison I realized that slavery does not only affect those who endure it, but also those who learn about, like myself. Reading through the lines of pain and suffering Margaret Garner encountered made me feel all alone, trapped in a dark, cloudy room. I also read how Sethe killed her own daughter. Now, not is it only wrong to kill someone, regardless of anything you go through, but your own flesh and blood? What Sethe was going through was probably something she couldn’t control nor handle, but that doesn’t make anything right. After reading this, my view on slavery hasn’t changed, it just made me more aware of what did go on in the past.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Awesome, Niauni. Your detailed response made me feel it with you. Good job. 🙂 But one caution. Make sure you make a distinction between Sethe and Margaret Garner. Morrison creates a fictional narrative based on Garner’s story.

      Reply
  26. Thomas T

    Thomas T
    Keeble
    Ap English
    Period 1

    Part one of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison is not like the vast majority of readings on slavery; it feels real. Many times I’ve read in a textbook that describes slavery as working for their owner and being whipped, but they’ve always left out details. “Beloved” does a fantastic job in showing slavery on a personal level unlike any other I’ve read. I recall reading “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston and remember specifically how the book takes place two generations after slavery ends. Although, it did not describe the grandmother’s perspective of slavery other than bearing her ex-owner’s child and quickly dismisses the subject entirely. “Beloved” shares Sethe’s experience with having to kill her own daughter to save her from slavery. Looking back at the vague readings of slavery, this has changed my perspective on slavery from just working till death to the hard lifestyle and to the ultimate reality of death being a blessing to slaves.

    Reply
  27. Heather H.

    Heather H.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11 Per. 2
    5 January 2013

    Reading the first part of Beloved has opened my eyes to the emotional side of slavery. While statistics, names, dates, and other facts have been hammered into my mind by various history classes and books, it is hard to draw emotion from numbers. Reading an individual’s struggle gave me a day-to-day view of the horrors of slavery and the extremes to which pain and suffering went. Sethe’s decision to murder Beloved rather than have her return to slavery nearly broke my heart. When death is a welcome relief, it is undeniable that the circumstances are torturous. When I take this individual story and consider that these horrid circumstances were common for millions, I cannot help but be outraged.

    Reply
  28. Jhoann B.

    Jhoann Batac
    Ms. Keeble
    AP Eng 11 Per 2
    5 January 2013

    Part one of Toni Morrison’s Beloved has transformed my interpretation of history, enlightening me with a more subjective awareness of the “peculiar institution of slavery.” Morrison probes the long-lasting damages enslavement has inflicted upon individuals and conveys the severity of these injuries through personal conflicts surrounding ex-slave Sethe. Before reading this novel, I thought of slavery as being an unfortunate time in America during which numerous African Americans suffered. I was incognizant of the reality of slavery until I read about the difficulties revolving around Sethe, like the conflict involving her murdering her first-born daughter in an attempt to protect her from enslavement and the character of Beloved, whom I believe is a being born from all the tragic feelings of the victims of slavery. Ultimately, I have definitely gained a deeper understanding of slavery’s history and legacy from this novel.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Awesome. That is exactly how I read it too. I would love to share something with you Jhoann. remind me later.

      Reply
  29. Joelynn D.

    Joelynn D.

    Ms. Keeble

    AP English – 2nd period

    05 January 2013

    Before reading “Beloved” I thought that it would just be another novel about the effects of slavery. I knew that it was based on true events but I was somewhat doubtful about whether or not it would be any different from the other novels I have read. But now after reading Part I of “Beloved” I am captivated by the story.

    What first captured my attention, was the perspective of the book. Unlike those that I read before, “Beloved” was mainly from a mother’s point of view. This made me feel like I was learning about slavery all over again because there were so many new revelations about slavery and it’s repercussions after reading about it through a mother and her family. This changed my interpretation because it has made me realize that slavery caused much more pain than I can even begin to imagine. For example, Sethe’s decision to kill her child so that she would not be taken back into slavery shows that even death was better than slavery. Although it seems cruel for her to kill her own child(and I cannot begin to understand her pain), I understand her reasoning.

    Reply
  30. Sarai P.

    Sarai P.
    AP English
    Keeble
    5 December 2012

    After reading part one of “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, my personal understanding of slavery has changed. Prior to reading this novel, I could only somewhat relate to the suffering endured by those who went through slavery. Slavery to me was much like an aftertaste, present but very discreet. After this novel however, I feel as if though I have been able to really connect with the hardships that many had to endure.

    Reply
  31. Veronica

    Veronica
    January 5, 2013
    Ap English, 1st period

    After reading part 1 of Beloved, my interpretation of slavery became more realistic because textbooks only talk about when African Americans were slaves and how they were badly treated by their white owners. They never really talked about the lives of these slaves once they escaped and supposedly became free. These slaves weren’t necessarily free since all of what they’ve endured came back to haunt them such as the character Sethe, where her baby comes back to haunt her since she had to do what no mother would ever think of doing to their own child, which would be to kill them. Also, not knowing if ones family members have made it safely to where they were headed can be painful since they don’t have any way to contact them.
    This first part really opened my eyes as to seeing all the suffering and pain slaves had to endure once they escaped from slavery. Also, how they couldn’t really live a normal life since they constantly had to be on the run or how experiences from their past came to haunt them.

    Reply
  32. Hannah R.

    Hannah Reddy
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 2
    7 January 2013

    After reading Part One of “Beloved”, the novel enhanced my interpretation of history. I already had previous knowledge of what real slavery was; not what other books or teachers made it out to be. However, imagining and picturing what Sethe had to endure to reach Cincinnati, it made me realize that she was just one person, there were probably dozens of other men and women who had to abide by these same circumstances, or even worse. I used to complain (I have a car now) about having to walk places because I didn’t have a ride, and now I cannot bring myself to imagine myself suffering the same trials and tribulations as mentioned in that first half. I couldn’t imagine having to kill my own child because I was that afraid of what might be in store for her, or having the milk that was reserved for my child and unborn child stolen from me, and directly out of me while there may be a possibility that my husband watched from above. I truly have a new respect for people like Sethe and what they had to go through in order to get where they are and where there family is today.

    Reply
  33. Alicia Oseguera

    Alicia Oseguera
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    7 January 2012

    After reading Beloved, by Toni Morrison my interpretation towards the history of slavery has changed because of the detail descriptions given in this novel in the first part. Yes, I did know what any slaves had to go through but it was not the same. We are being left out on a lot of the horrifying tortures many slaves had to go through. Reading this part made me see why many slaves preferred death. Living as slaves made them feel as if being dead would be better than alive and it is true because they had to go through some harsh stuff. The slaves had to go through a lot being treated less than others, tortured, and in many cases killed for nothing. Just reading this part made me see that being a slave was harder than what we have learned in school. Everybody can agree that this part of the story was able to let us see that slaves had to suffer every day. For example, Sethe sacrificing her daughter made us see that the slaves were living in such cruel ways that they even wanted to kill their kids to have them not suffer in slavery. This just makes sense because which parent will like for their kids to suffer and live in a life where they will just be tortured. It is proven that their life was cruel and every day was just a burden for them because even until today many people do not like talking about slavery. Why don’t they talk about this topic? No slave can forget what it was like to live during this time. The slaves were treated so bad that it is impossible for them to forget about it, it’s a scar that will never go away. This novel was able to show the reader the life of slaves and how cruel they were treated while they were innocent of every crime.

    Reply
  34. Rebekah N.

    Rebekah N
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    5 January 2013

    Throughout a typical American child’s education, we are taught through a white man’s perspective on the treatment of African American’s. After reading Beloved, my eyes are opened to a whole new world. I am introduced to not only the Physical struggles endured by a Black women after the Civil war but also the Psychological hardships experienced. Because of what Sethe went through as a slave, she did not want her daughter to go through that same hell. In that, she decided to take the innocent life of her daughter. Similarly, Garner also took identical actions with their offspring however the outcome was different to where their child ended up haunting their living space, 124.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Good point. Can you revise after proofreading. Look at that apostrophe in the first sentence. Thanks Rebekah!

      Reply
  35. Kiana Ledda

    Kiana Ledda
    Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 5
    January 4, 2012
    After reading Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, my interpretation of slavery has definitely changed due to the horrific details that were left out in many history teachers’ lectures. Like many of my peers, I believe that we were all blinded by the meaning of slavery and what African Americans had to go through every day. They were basically living in fear every day, waiting for death to rescue them from their pain. Not only did they have unequal rights, they were beaten, threatened of death, not taken proper care of, etc. If I were in their shoes, I would want to take my life then and there because I don’t think I would be strong enough to experience that unforgiving pain and fear. I think we can all agree that the story touched us all when Sethe chose to sacrifice her daughter in order to keep her from the cruelties of slavery. As humans, we do what we can to protect the ones we love, and I think that Sethe’s decision was reasonable because I honestly would’ve done the same thing to my child in order to protect them from future harm and a life that they did not deserve. Even when slavery was abolished, African Americans couldn’t seem to adjust to their new life because slavery had left such a huge impact on them. How would they easily forget those days where they were nearly put to death due to the back breaking work and constant beating? They also couldn’t forgive nor forget the people who have hurt them not only physically but mentally. As said in my previous blog response, African Americans were robbed of their education and their freedom. This story defines what slavery had done to innocent African Americans, and it was definitely an unforgettable tale.

    Reply
  36. Alexis L.

    Alexis L.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11
    1/4/13
    After reading “Beloved” part one, by Toni Morrison, it did change my interpretation on slavery drastically. What it did do was change my emotions towards slavery. With the Denver family hardships and the death of Sethe’s daughter, it can really impact one’s views and thoughts on slavery immensely. I expected a lot of things from the book, which led me to believe that i would have not as much satisfaction from reading, but i was sadly mistakened.

    Reply
  37. Amacalli Duran

    Amacalli Duran
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English
    7 January 2012

    Since the sixth grade, I have read at least one narrative regarding slavery in each of my English classes. When assigned to read “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, I felt as though I would only recount the same horrors and atrocious described in the other novels. In the sixth grade, I learned the very basics of slavery. My innocent mind was not exposed to the atrocities committed until the seventh and eighth grade. The raape, starvation, isolation, depression, shame, and cruelty slaves endured, transformed my very basic knowledge of slavery. In ninth and tenth grade, I learned of the political side of slavery. The laws, rebellions, acts, and manifests that were proposed to further enslave Africans. My definition of slavery had now expanded. Now in eleventh grade, I wonder what this book has to offer. After reading “Beloved” I learned that there was much of slavery I did not understand, the psychological damage.

    The average American is overwhelmed by slave’s narratives of mistreatment including raape, beating, torturing, and starvation. They automatically assume that this treatment is what led to their emotional and psychological damage, but I beg to differ. Slavery is only depicted as the harassment of African-Americans but as the name implies, slavery is the enslavement of freedom. By reading “Beloved” I understood what it meant to truly not have freedom. When Baby Suggs was given freedom she has an epiphany and thought, “These hands belong to me. These my hands. Next she felt a knocking in her chest and discovered something else new: her own heartbeat. Has it been there all along? This pounding thing” (141). By definition freedom means to be liberated, but these words do not truly emphasize the true meaning of freedom. Freedom is being able to go hang out with friends on a Friday night, freedom is being able read and color, freedom is being able to paint your nails, freedom is being able to love yourself. As Americans, we don’t recognize freedom because it hasn’t been taken from us; however, even the smallest task we complete is because we are free. But after reading those lines, I realized how slaves never had this luxury. What I didn’t understand was how the lack of freedom, being your own controller, impacted salves. Like Baby Suggs, slaves associated their body and mind for the bidding of others. Like Baby Suggs inquired, was that really her hand? What had that hand ever done for her? Even more, was it capable of doing anything for her? Or was her hand only useful under the control of another? Part of the psychological damage of slaves came from not knowing how to be in control of themselves and not ever being given the chance to. Their physical and emotional enslavement, which did not enable them to express themselves and fill empowered, furthered the damage.

    (It does not allow me to publish raape written correctly)

    Reply
  38. Rachel N.

    Revised Version:

    Part One of Beloved,”by Toni Morrison, depicted a sadly moving experience of how the horrors of slavery come back to haunt her when a mysterious visitor named Beloved comes as a painful reminder. Hearing the degrading experiences Margaret Garner had to go through made me feel sad for everyone that had to endure such a painstaking experience. Not only was their humanity stripped away, but they were beaten to the point where their world, emotionally was turned upside down. It shocks me how humans can get to a point in their minds where they don’t feel anymore and hurt people. It blew me away at how these people still managed to stay alive and possess some amount of dignity about living. I would have quit and not have kept going with my life. Seeing the level of resilience and courage these people had to face their lives and the truth of their past, is admirable. It scares me to see what they have gone through, but at the same time I tremble in awe.

    Reply
    1. Rachel N.

      Sorry my computer messed up. Here’s the revised version:

      Part One of “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, depicted a sadly moving experience of how the horrors of slavery come back to haunt her when a mysterious visitor named Beloved comes as a painful reminder. Hearing the degrading experiences Margaret Garner had to go through made me feel sad for everyone that had to endure such a painstaking experience. Not only was their humanity stripped away, but they were beaten to the point where their world, emotionally was turned upside down. It shocks me how humans can get to a point in their minds where they don’t feel anymore and hurt people. It blew me away at how these people still managed to stay alive and possess some amount of dignity about living. I would have quit and not have kept going with my life. Seeing the level of resilience and courage these people had to face their lives and the truth of their past, is admirable. It scares me to see what they have gone through, but at the same time I tremble in awe.

      Reply
      1. Tashak

        It’s the vague pronoun references. How would your audience know who “her” and “their” are? And what does painstaking mean? I need you to be completely aware of this tendency to slip in these areas. Revise. Please don’t take it personally. I want you to be superb at responding to lit.

        Reply
        1. Rachel N.

          Revised:

          Part One of “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, depicted a sadly moving experience of how the horrors of slavery come back to haunt the main character, Sethe when a mysterious visitor named Beloved comes as a painful reminder to her past slavery life. Hearing the degrading experiences Margaret Garner had to go through made me feel sad for everyone that had to endure such a painful experience. Not only were previous slaves humanity stripped away, but they were beaten to the point where their world, emotionally, was turned upside down. It shocks me how humans can get to a point in their minds where they don’t feel anymore and hurt people around them. It blew me away at how these people still managed to stay alive and possess some amount of dignity about living. I would have quit and not have kept going with my life. Seeing the level of resilience and courage these people had to face their lives and the truth of their past, is admirable. It scares me to see what they have gone through, but at the same time I tremble in awe.

          Reply
  39. Dominique N.

    Dominique N.
    AP English 11 Per 2
    Ms. Keeble
    December 3, 2012

    After reading Part One of the novel Beloved, my interpretation on the history of slavery changed slightly but not dramatically. If anything it opened new doors and my eyes to a more indepth view of slavery, and I learned more about what kind of events actually happened. I had already expected there to be a lot of unfair inhumane things done to these slaves which were described in detail in this novel, but also how the slaves felt as went through these events. Personal experiences of Sethe for example showed how it felt to be a slave in this time period who was put through brutal conditions while dealing with her own personal problems on the side. After reading this part of the book my eyes were opened, but my interpretation stayed the same.

    Reply
  40. Gonzalo Haro

    Gonzalo Haro

    The first part of the novel “Beloved” by Toni Morrison changed my view of slavery. History books have always taught me that slavery was awful and cruel but I never really knew to what extent. The book made me realize that slavery greatly and horribly affected people. Both Beloved and Paul D had terrible experiences dealing with slavery that made me think of it on a personal level. I’ve never felt more empathy for former and current slaves before. The humanity of it all was the worst part. The way Paul D described his grueling experience along with the forty-six men really got me thinking of all the suffering that has been brought on the people in the United States. Now, history seems a bit darker than before. Tormenting African-Americans to the point where they think that killing their children would be a lot better than to live the way they were living is something no one should ever have to endure.

    Reply
  41. Jashleen Singh

    Jashleen Singh
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11 Per 2
    1/3/12

    After reading the first half of, “Beloved” I feel as if my interpretation of history, especially slavery, has become more realistic. Prior to reading this novel I had pictured slavery to just be a time in which laws were unjust and cruel. While that may be true, I thought that when slavery was abolished, it just took time for the lives of African Americans to change to the ways of everyone else’s. It was eye opening to read the stories of these characters and picture myself in their positions. For example, the thought of me killing my own child to protect it from the horrors of slavery completely broke my heart. The concept of constantly having to run away because I couldn’t be stable, sent chills down my spine. Putting myself in the shoes of a mother who had to witness the loss of all her children was terrifying. Even though I haven’t been exposed to these situations myself, reading about them and understanding what these people were going through enabled me to expand my general knowledge of African Americans during this time in history.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      So very thoughtful and I love your reliance on active verbs–no wordiness here! One question? How should novels be punctuated?

      Reply
  42. Tanzeel H.

    Tanzeel Hak
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English, Period 2
    30 December 2012

    The first part of the story was really interesting. Usually, we do not get to hear about what happens to slaves after they become free, let alone hear their personal stories. It was a real eye opening story. I never really thought about the sacrifices they made and the psychological pain they endured. Sethe had to sacrifice her own children to ensure that they would not go back into slavery, killing Beloved and leaving her two sons bloody. Sethe’s plan was successful, although it must have been painful for everyone physically and mentally. Even after that incident, you could feel that Sethe still lived in the past and would often think about her past and all the events she had overcome. Taking a deeper look into this, we learned that when the four horsemen arrived at 124, Sethe grabbed her kids and began trying to kill them to save them from slavery. However if Baby Suggs’ neighbors were not jealous of her life they could have warned Sethe and her children so that they could have escaped. If they had escaped the story would have taken an extremely different path, Beloved would have never died, and the “rebirth” would not have existed either. Due to everything that happened, none of the children had a father figure and when one arrived really late they felt their connection with their mother becoming strained because of the new man spending too much time with their mother.
    Slavery really had an impact on the family. In this story we see many aspects of life after slavery. The story surprises me a lot. The way this story portrayed the life of a former slave really brought to light the changes and difficulties that people faced even after becoming free. I thought it was more positive, like escaping slavery would result in a whole new life that was way better than the past; albeit there would be bad memories from the past, but they would become repressed. The former slaves would live happily ever after. This story proved me wrong, in that, moving on and adjusting to a new life did not come as easily as I had thought it would have. Slavery did damage that could never be undone.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      I love your insightful response Tanzeel. You are doing a great job!

      Look at how many times you said, “the story.”

      Use it once, then choose synonyms. Don’t forget to apply everything you have learned in your responses. That’s the point here. 🙂 Great job otherwise.

      Reply
  43. Efrain E

    Efrain E.
    Period 1
    AP English

    After reading the first part of “Beloved” I realized that even after slavery was abolished, it left physical and emotional scars on the people who were formally slaves. It gave me a different perspective on history because it shows that when a significant event like the abolishing of slavery occurs, it affects both society and the individuals that were a part of that event. Important historical events leave individuals with emotional, mental, and physical memories of the hardships and good times that they encountered.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Thanks Efrain, but I know you would have more to say than this. I need you to re-do, responding with more specifics and with the thorough approach I always see in your work.
      1) Why the quotation marks? 2) Does “good times” fit in a discussion about slavery? Think about the connotation–could you use a better, more precise phrase? Be careful of moves like this one. Re-do. 🙂

      Reply
  44. Jessica A

    Jessica A.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP Lang. & Composition, Per. 5
    3 January 2013

    Part one of “Beloved” left my understanding of slavery unaltered. In my point of view, Margaret Garner took the necessary measure for her daughter to escape the unjustly behavior of whites towards blacks. She killed her daughter for a good cause. Why should her daughter endure slavery for the remainder of her life? Instead, she lay in peace. In this case, and only this case, I accept a murder. During other durations in history, individuals killed their own loved ones to withdraw them from facing cruel treatment. I understand and acknowledge the challenges that slaves and runaways faced and I sympathize with them. I already recognize the means of survival during this time period, and rather than having my interpretation of history altered, I feel enlightened with first-hand accounts with slavery. I understand the “edge-like” feeling that rouses within people because of this topic.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      I need you to revise this. Eliminate awkward phrases. Say what you need to say plainly. No fancy here. Revise and be sure to use appropriate prepositions. Read your response aloud if that helps. If you have questions, email me.

      Reply
  45. David D.

    David Delgado
    Ms. Keeble
    Period 2
    AP English
    2 January 2012
    Beloved by Toni Morrison really brought my attention to what a slave life was like and how it affected people. I already knew how slaves have been treated but what I didn’t know was how it affected them afterward. After reading part one I see now that even though Sethe was a slave and no longer is doesn’t mean it’s actually over for her mentally. Even though she was no longer a slave she was still haunted by the past and living in fear of it, she was basically scared for life. I felt sorry for Sethe especially when she killed her own daughter; in my opinion it was wrong. It is also understandable though because she didn’t want her daughter to suffer; as a result she killed her daughter.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Awesome David. I am wondering what affect changing that last clause to one simple sentence would have on your response. Just something to think about. Is it effective to have two sentences with semi-colons side-by-side. Did you do that on purpose? Think about it because you control the composition, right?

      Reply
  46. Aaron Chon

    Aaron Chon
    Ms Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 2
    07 January 2013

    Reading the first part of Toni Morrison’s Beloved has, like many other narratives, brought the poor reality of a situation to a personal level; in this case, it would be the “peculiar institution of slavery”. Many would look back at slavery and dismiss it as an unfortunate happening, but when situations such as Denver’s family difficulties and the murder of Sethe’s child are involved, the forgotten experience known as slavery becomes much more real and personal. The presence of the character Beloved does not pose so much of a historical element of the story, but more of a collection of emotions and darkness that emerged as a result of slavery and such. Although not physically, ghosts and other figures exist among those who have had tragedy and difficulty in the past.

    Reply
      1. Brandon Cummings

        After reading the first few chapters of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” I had the same first thoughts as majority of my classmates being that it might just be another book discussing the historical events of slavery. Leading on into that intensive thought, I was soon awoken to the fact of the book making me realize that slavery greatly and horribly affected people of many races not only the people of African American decent. Reading further on into the novel, I soon came to realization that the effects of slavery before and after go deeper than just physical abuse. I realized that it wasn’t all on in physical state but on a emotional state as well as physical. There was much emotion throughtout the times of slavery which was show throughout the book at various occasions. One of the moments that I found myself with pathos was when Sethe ran away from her enslavement when she was 6 months pregnant with her daughter putting herself and her unborn baby in danger because of inslavement. When she murdered her baby to keep her from becoming a slave was when I realized that Sethe did what she thought was necessary to protect her child. I honestly don’t know what I would to do if I had that decision to make , not only because I’m not a woman but the fact that that’s probably the biggest and hardest decision you can probably ever make but in reality it’s a terrible thing to ever commit which is why I have such pain behind the fact of the matter.

        Reply
  47. Natasha R

    Natasha Ramirez
    Keeble
    Ap English
    30 December 2012

    After reading the first section of Toni Morrison’s, Beloved , my interpretation of the slave era nothing really changed after reading. Though it did enlighten me on some particular events that I think at would have happened , such as other runaway slaves helping eachother out. The section of the reading actually gave me a clear depiction of how life for runaway slave was.

    Reply
  48. Canyon Riley

    Canyon Riley
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 2
    31 December 2012
    Although my interpretation of history is unchanged after reading the first half of Beloved, I had an epiphany after reading about Sethe killing her own daughter and Sethe’s past as well. I think that taking the life of an innocent is wrong, but I have mix thoughts concerning the death of Margaret Garner’s daughter. On one side, it seems wrong to end her daughter’s life because she didn’t deserve death. On the other hand, I understand that Garner didn’t want her daughter to suffer from slavery. In Beloved, Sethe does the same as Garner, but this backfires when the baby’s spirit haunts 124 as a reminder of Sethe’s past. Sethe regards the past as an inescapable presence that will manifest your future. It’s amazing how true this is because I’m starting to notice patterns in history and in my own life.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Wow! Wonderful point. Patterns. Connecting to the patterns in our own lives–maybe a good thing you’re doing that now instead of waiting until you go off to college. Love it! You’re a mathematician, right? What do you think about the 124 address?

      Reply
  49. Rachel N.

    Rachel N.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English Language & Composition
    7 December 2012

    Part One of “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, depicted a sadly moving experience of how the horrors of slavery entwined its grip on mental competence within society shortly after the Civil War. Hearing the degrading experiences Margaret Garner had to go through tenderly pierced the agony inside of me that possess empathy for what these former slaves had to endure. Not only was their humanity stripped away, but they were beaten to the point where their world, emotionally was turned upside down. It shocks me how humans can get to a point in their minds where they don’t feel anymore and hurt people. It blew me away at how these people still managed to stay alive and possess some amount of dignity about living. I would have quit and not have kept going with my life. Seeing the level of resilience and courage these people had to face their lives and the truth of their past, is admirable. It scares me to see what they have gone through, but at the same time I tremble in awe.

    Reply
    1. tashak38 (Post author)

      Revise those first two sentences. Choose more precise verbs. You don’t want to experiment with your word choice. Use words and phrases to say what you need to say. Try to save your creative stretches for more creative assignments. All I need you to do is say it cleanly and plainly. Your power is in showing your thinking. Your thinking and analysis must be absolutely clear. That means you should know, with exactness, what you have just said. As an audience member, I should know exactly what you mean. OK?

      Reply
      1. Rachel N.

        My first two sentences are explaining what the rest of my response is going to be about. You are suggesting that I make those first two sentences simpler and less complex?

        Reply
        1. tashak38 (Post author)

          Keep your thinking complex and your phrasing clear. Some of your word choices confuse the reader. Have someone else read it for you to get a more concrete idea of what I mean. Make sure each word means precisely what you need it to mean.

          Reply

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