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Chapter 19 and 20

Chapters 19 and 20

Part Two of the novel begins with the phrase "124 was LOUD." Stamp Paid feels guilty for showing the clipping to Paul D and he decides to visit Sethe to apologize. It takes him several efforts to overcome his fear and shame and get to the house. When he finally makes it to the porch and knocks, there is no answer. When he goes around to a window in the back of the house, he sees three women sitting still (not the two he expected). He is hurt by the affront. Stamp's guilt is mostly because Paul D left the house and he thinks that Denver needed somebody normal in her life and he took that opportunity away from her. When Stamp Paid visits Ella he mentions the third woman inside 124 Bluestone Road. Ella hints that the woman is Beloved, reminding Stamp Paid of a list of people who come back from the dead because they died in "a bad way." Stamp Paid thinks back to that day, which he calls the Misery; he is especially heartbroken when he considers Baby Suggs, holy and how her faith was broken. Stamp Paid is aware of the irony of Baby Suggs, holy - a minister - being buried next to her grandchild with the throat cut by the mother's handsaw.
Sethe thinks back to her 28 days of happiness before Misery and her attention is brought back to the present when Beloved asks her about a skate that she has found. Sethe is excited and she goes rummaging through the closets looking for the other skates. In the end, she can only find three. Sethe, Denver and Beloved make their way to the frozen creek where they decide to test their luck. Beloved wears two skates, Denver wears one and Sethe wears her shoes. The three of them hold hands and fall and glide and are like three sisters. Denver tries to do something fancy and she falls, amidst laughter. They all laugh and after Beloved and Denver stop laughing, they see that Sethe is on all fours on the ice, laughing and then, crying. The two of them console her while she cries and they walk home, arms interlocked. Something feels right about the moment and that night, Sethe realizes that Beloved is her daughter. The next morning, she goes to work at Sawyer's Restaurant, eager to return home to start putting the puzzle pieces together.

Sethe thinks about Beloved and how she did not have the time or words to explain the Misery when it happened. But now that they are back together, she has a chance. Sethe has yet to confront Beloved, but she already knows the stranger is her daughter and she thanks Baby Suggs, because she must have helped. Sethe's words about Beloved, "she is mine," become a refrain, repeated over and over again. Paul D thought her love was too thick, but Sethe knows that Beloved understood, which is why she "came back like a good girl." Sethe admits to herself that the original plan was to take the four kids to the other side and join them there, where her own mother is waiting for her. Sethe is eager to talk to Beloved, but she waits a little longer and imagines the time when Beloved will put her head on her mother's shoulder, and the two of them will have peace and "sleep like the drowned."

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points To Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8 and 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17 and 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21 and 22
Chapter 23 and 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27 and 28


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