Study Guide

Beloved Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

  • Paul D starts to move out of the house.
  • It's strange. Paul D can't explain it, but suddenly he can't go upstairs to sleep.
  • Sethe finds him asleep in the rocking chair.
  • The same thing happens the next night. And the next.
  • And then he realizes that he needs to sleep in Baby Suggs's bed, out by the porch.
  • And then he realizes that he needs to sleep in the storeroom. He can't figure out why. It's not like he's itching to leave Sethe like he wanted to leave the weaver woman. In fact, he loves Sethe more with each day.
  • And then he realizes that he needs to sleep in the cold room, which isn't even part of the main house at all.
  • He doesn't want to be in the cold room—he's just being prevented from going into 124.
  • And he can't say anything to Sethe about it at all.
  • Paul D has a feeling that Beloved has something to do with his strange new sleeping habits, but he can't say anything against her. Sethe's fierce when it comes to the girls.
  • One night, Paul D's lying in the cold room. Beloved comes in.
  • He doesn't want her there, but for some reason he can't make her go away.
  • It's funny—he doesn't think that he can hear her breathing.
  • Beloved stands over him and says that she wants him to "touch her inside part."
  • Paul D tells her to go away, that she should be good to Sethe who's good to her, but she doesn't listen.
  • Over and over again, she tells him that he has to touch her. And call her by her name.
  • Paul D thinks he's safe as long as he's focused on a can of lard and keeps refusing her.
  • Finally, she says if he calls her by her name, she'll go away.But guess what? He calls her "Beloved," and she doesn't leave. Instead, she moves closer. You can see where this is going right?
  • He doesn't even feel it when the rusty lid to his tin-can heart gives way.
  • Before he knows it, he's having sex with her. Only, instead of calling her name, he's saying "Red heart" over and over, louder and louder, until even Denver can hear it.
  • Uh-oh. We're thinking things have changed for good this time…

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