Notes on Objects & Places from Beloved

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Beloved Objects/Places

124: 124 Bluestone Road is the house rented to Baby Suggs by the Bodwins when she moves to Cincinnati after her son, Halle, buys her freedom. 124 is a way station for news, refuge, and companionship for coloredpeople of the Cincinnati community, until Sethe murders her daughter in the woodshed to protect her from Schoolteacher. After Sethe returns from prison and buys a headstone for the little girl's grave, the little girl haunts the house and no one in the community will come visit.

Sweet Home: Sweet Home is a plantation in Kentucky where Mr. Garner and then Schoolteacher enslaved Baby Suggs, Halle, Sethe, Paul D and his brothers, and Sixo. Only Baby Suggs, Sethe, her children, and Paul D escaped Sweet Home.

Sethe's Tree: Sethe has a tree of scars on her back where Schoolteacher beat her for telling Mrs. Garner that his nephews took the milk from her breasts. Amy Denver, the whitegirl who helped her get to the Ohio River and delivered Denver, told her that the web of whelps looked like a chokecherry tree.

Headstone: Sethe prostituted herself for the pink headstone that marks her daughter's grave. The only word on it is 'Beloved' because she couldn't afford both words of 'Dearly Beloved,' which was the only part of the funeral service for her daughter that Sethe heard.

Brother: Brother is the tree that Paul D picked out at Sweet Home to talk to.

Emerald Closet: The emerald closet is an enclosure made by boxwood trees that Denver goes to. She hides cologne there and it is her special place.

The Clearing: The Clearing is a place in the woods where Baby Suggs, holy, held her revival-like meetings of emotional outpouring. Weekly in the warm seasons, she would call the children of the community to laugh, the men to dance, and the women to cry until they had all tired themselves out with emotion. Then Baby Suggs would preach informal sermons.

Sethe's Earrings: Mrs. Garner gave Sethe crystal earrings as a wedding gift when she married Halle, and Sethe never wore them until she arrived at 124. They were taken away from her in prison and she never got them back. When Beloved asks her where her diamonds are, Sethe thinks she's talking about the earrings, something which a perfect stranger couldn't have known about.

Tobacco Tin Heart: Paul D thinks his heart as a rusted tobacco tin into which he has locked the horrors of past memories and feelings. When he has sex with Beloved, the tin opens and he has to confront the memories and the pain that are released.

Alfred, Georgia: Alfred, Georgia, is where Paul D was imprisoned for attempting to kill Brandywine. The cells were dug into trenches and the 46 prisoners were chained to each other each day to work. The guards would wake them at sunrise with a gunshot and demand oral sex from the prisoners. Paul D and the others, all chained together, escaped during a mudslide.

Ohio River: The Ohio River is the river Sethe had to cross to reach freedom, and it is also where she gave birth to Denver. Stamp Paid helped her across the river the next day with her newborn baby.

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