M u l t i n a t i o n a l - B l o g - o f - A r t - a n d - L i t e r a t u r e - f r o m - D e n v e r

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Beloved - Toni Morrison (1931 Lorain, Ohio)

©Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby’s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Burglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old—as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Burglar); as soon as two tiny hand prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the doorsill. Nor did they wait for one of the relief periods: the weeks, months even, when nothing was disturbed. No. Each one fled at once—the moment the house committed what was for him the one insult not to be borne or witnessed a second time.

Beloved - Copyright © 1987, 2004 by Toni Morrison
Originally published by Alfred A. Knopf,
a division of Random House, Inc.,
New York, in 1987.

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