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Sep/Oct: Beloved by T. Morrison > Man is not an Ax

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message 1: by Pam (last edited Dec 02, 2019 05:12PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
After Paul D opens up some to Seethe he tells her that the worst night of her life (when she was beaten and robbed of her motherhood and womanhood) that her husband saw the entire thing and went mad with the grief of it. (mad as in certifiable detached and unable to comprehend; crazy)

And Sethe, who had been holding out hope that her sweet husband would come home, is awash with emotion. Grief, shame, anger.

"He saw them boys do that to me and let them keep on breathing air? He saw? He saw? He saw?"

Paul D responds "Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.”

This whole scene just breaks a person. Morrison doesn't go into much detail about what occurs, she spread out the confrontation across various flashbacks and rememories. But the emotional Crux comes from Sethe's breakdown. She had withstood that AND then escaped AND delivered her baby.

The whole scene sets up her next confrontation with Paul D when she comes clean with her own past and he just leaves.

Man is not an ax, but darn it did it feel like Morrison was saying that a woman is one. She she cannot stop busting every minute of the day because if she does she'll come apart.

What about your interpretation?


message 2: by Florian (new)

Florian (laughingflow) | 234 comments First, I believe that this story is extremely intriguing. Just like you mentioned it Pam, we don't have the full story, it's like scattered memories and emotions and it tells (in my opinion) that such e perience is fully/partially erased, it becomes vague, one can remember mainly sensations and what he/she has felt.

I am not quite sure about my interpretation, it is like the event was the main motivation of the escape so challenging behavior could destroy the entire belief of Seethe.

When I read that part, I was torn apart: of course everyone would like to be the person who helps and fights against oppressor in that situation but the truth is we don't know what we would do. Once again, I believe this built the main character behavior helping her to go over many situation while finding the tremendous energy and the courage to do so.


message 3: by F. S. (new)

F. S.  | 6 comments Or being a mother means being an ax? (as one way I see the book is as almost as an ode to motherhood)Responsible for someone growing under your heart, for ones waiting for you in a unfamiliar place. Although, can't remember what she did turn to when Paul left her.


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