From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Toni Morrison

Beloved Theme of Community

With all the crazy, dysfunctional family drama going on in Beloved, it's no wonder communities play such a big role. These people need another support group. Sure, there's still all the pettiness that marks a typical Thanksgiving dinner with your relatives. But communities—especially for this group of ex-slaves—are as necessary as blood: they are what Morrison's characters fall back on when they're in trouble. Without a community, there's definitely no surviving slavery and its after effects.

Questions About Community

  1. How is Baby Suggs's "congregation" different from that of an actual church? What does she teach her community of followers?
  2. How is the community of Sethe and her daughters different from the community of the townswomen?
  3. What binds the community of Cincinnati together in Beloved?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The community in Beloved needs an outcast to band together against.

There's no real community in Beloved. Everyone is out for themselves.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...