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Beloved

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Beloved Chapter 25 Summary

  • Paul D's still sitting in the church and thinking when Stamp Paid finds him.
  • Stamp apologizes for the fact that no one in the community has taken Paul D in.
  • He says that all Paul D has to do is ask—any one of the families around will gladly take him in now.
  • Paul D says that he's actually chosen to live in the church even though the preacher offered him a spare bed. He says he needs some time alone.
  • There's a small interruption: a man on a horse comes up and asks where Judy from the slaughterhouse is.
  • For some reason, Stamp (who knows everyone and everything) says he doesn't know a Judy and leads that guy astray. We're not sure why, but maybe Stamp doesn't like the guy and is protecting Judy.
  • Or maybe he just doesn't like Judy (she's probably a prostitute at the slaughterhouse). After all, Paul D asks to stay at Judy's house and instead of telling Paul D where she is, he distracts Paul D by telling him how he changed his name from Joshua to Stamp Paid.
  • Stamp explains that he used to be married to a beautiful woman named Vashti.
  • One day the master's son decides that he wants to have Stamp Paid's wife.
  • Stamp tells Paul D that he should have killed the man, but his wife had asked him not to.
  • For nearly a year, the master's son sleeps with his wife.
  • For revenge, Stamp Paid tells the master's son's wife about what was happening. He realizes, though, that she already knows. And she isn't going to do anything to stop it.
  • Then one day, his wife tells him she's back.
  • Stamp tells Paul D that he broke her neck and that was as low as he ever got. But then, right afterwards, he tells Paul D that he didn't snap her neck; he changed his name instead. The way Stamp tells the story, though, we're not so sure that he didn't break his wife's neck.
  • The second thing Stamp tells Paul D is that he was in the yard when Sethe killed her daughter.
  • Paul D doesn't know what to think.
  • Stamp Paid tries to explain that Sethe did what she did out of love. She just wanted to "outhurt the hurter."
  • But Paul D is still scared. He's scared of Sethe, of himself, and, finally, of Beloved. (Smart guy.)
  • The mention of Beloved gets them onto the topic of who Beloved is.
  • Okay, not that everything in the novel isn't significant, but this piece of information is really important: Stamp mentions that a white man had a girl locked up in a house at Deer Creek. The white man was found dead in the summer and the girl was gone.
  • So here's our question to you: Is Beloved really Beloved? Or is she the runaway girl? Or could it be both? Could the girl be possessed by Beloved the ghost? Just some stuff for you to chew on…
  • Stamp Paid asks if it was Beloved that ran Paul D out of 124.
  • Shuddering, Paul D realizes that he can't answer Stamp's question.
  • Instead, he asks Stamp, "How much is a nigger supposed to take?"
  • To which Stamp replies, "All he can."
  • The chapter ends with Paul D crying out "Why?" five times. (Hint: that number is pretty significant. Think about it.)
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