Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

If you're looking for a sweet romance in Beloved, good luck. Sure, there's a major relationship in the book that seems to end happily, but for the most part, love is just really messy. And by messy, we mean colossally chaotic. For starters, love can literally kill in this book. Oh, and it can make good men go insane and brings babies back from the dead. If you want a sweet, cuddly type of love, we suggest you get a teddy bear. If you want to read about the kind of love that will make you shake, shiver, and cry, then Beloved is for you.

Questions About Love

  1. Is Sethe justified in killing her baby girl? Is her love "too thick"?
  2. Why do all three women—Sethe, Beloved and Denver—feel the need to say, "she is mine"?
  3. Beloved obsesses about Sethe's face and smile, while Denver needs Beloved to look and smile at her. Why is a smiling face such an important sign of love for them?

Chew on This

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

In Beloved, feeling loved is a lot like being possessed by another person.

Sethe and Beloved both need to realize that real love means letting the other person go free.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top