Anastasia asked:

I don't understand the section (about 75% in) narrated by Beloved. I don't understand what she means about Sethe going into the sea or the men with no skin or the man with the sharp teeth or being under the bridge, and so many other things. Can anyone translate Beloved's imagery/sensory experiences into what we already know has happened?

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Shannon I read about this on sparks notes. Here’s what they have to say: The reading the text best seems to support is that Beloved is describing a slave ship transporting Africans to America. For instance, she mentions piled-up corpses. Packed in overcrowded hulls, many Africans died of disease and starvation on the journey to America. Beloved’s references to rape echo the experiences of Sethe’s mother, who was “taken up many times by the crew” during the Middle Passage. Sea-colored bread refers to the moldy, inedible provisions on board, and the “hot thing” could be a branding iron like the one that marked Sethe’s mother. The “men without skin” seem to be the white captors and masters who oppressed the slaves. Thus, Beloved reminds Sethe not only of the crime for which Sethe cannot forgive herself but also functions as a conduit for memories of the history of slavery. Within the novel, the two are certainly presented as interlinked, and Sethe needs to come to terms with both her family’s history and the history of slavery.
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