© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Beloved

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Beloved Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Was Sethe justified in killing Beloved? Why or why not?
  2. Imagine you were in Sethe's place: what would you have done that day in the shed when schoolteacher came after you? Would you have tried to kill your children?
  3. Is Beloved a ghost? Is she a dead person come back to life? Or is she a random girl who's been possessed by the spirit of Beloved?
  4. What, in the text, drives you to your conclusion?
  5. Why is the book separated into three parts?
  6. If you were to pick one narrative perspective for the book (instead of the several that make up the book), whose perspective would you pick? Why?
  7. The end of the book makes it so that we're not entirely sure what happened to Beloved. Do you think Beloved is gone by the end of the book, or do you think she's still around?
  8. How would you feel about Sethe if Sethe were a man—a father who killed his child?
  9. How does Beloved's "ending" compare to the Holocaust motto "Never Forget"?
  10. What would this story be like if Sethe and her kids weren't African American? Could the story even exist?
  11. How does this novel compare to other novels about slavery and its effects?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement