Beloved: Passage Analysis
Buffalo men, they called them, and talked slowly to the prisoners scooping mush and tapping away at their chains.
Nobody from a box in Alfred, Georgia, cared about the illness the Cherokee warned them about, so they stayed, all forty-six, resting, planning their next move. Paul D had no idea of what to do and knew less than anybody, it seemed. He heard his co-convicts talk knowledgeably of rivers and states, towns and territories. Heard Cherokee men describe the beginning of the world and its end. Listened to tales of other Buffalo men they knew — three of whom were in the healthy camp a few miles away.
Hi Man wanted to join them; others wanted to join him. Some wanted to leave; some to stay on. Weeks later Paul D was the only Buffalo man left — without a plan. All he could think of was tracking dogs, although Hi Man said the rain they left in gave that no chance of success. Alone, the last man with buffalo hair among the ailing Cherokee, Paul D finally woke up and, admitting his ignorance, asked how he might get North. Free North.
Magical North. Welcoming, benevolent North. The Cherokee smiled and looked around. The flood rains of a month ago had turned everything to steam and blossoms. That way,” he said, pointing.
“Follow the tree flowers,” he said. “Only the tree flowers. As they go, you go. You will be where you want to be when they are gone. ” So he raced from dogwood to blossoming peach. When they thinned out he headed for the cherry blossoms, then magnolia, chinaberry, pecan, walnut and prickly pear.
At last he reached a field of Apple trees whose flowers were just becoming tiny knots of fruit. Spring sauntered north, but he had to run like hell to keep it as his traveling companion. From February to July he was on the look out for blossoms.When he lost them, and found himself without so much as a petal to guide him, he paused, climbed a tree on a hillock and scanned the horizon for a flash of pink or white in the leaf world that surrounded him. He did not touch them or stop to smell.
He merely followed in their wake, a dark ragged figure guided by the blossoming plums. ?? The apple field turned out to be Delaware where the weaver lady lived. She snapped him up as soon as he finished the sausage she fed him and he crawled into her bed crying. She passed him off as her nephew from Syracuse simply by calling him that nephew’s name.Eighteen months and he was looking out again for blossoms only this time he did the looking on a dray.
?? It was some time before he could put Alfred, Georgia, Sixo, schoolteacher, Halle, his brothers, Sethe, Mister, the taste of iron, the sight of butter, the smell of hickory, notebook paper, one by one, into the tobacco tin lodged in his chest. By the time he got to 124 nothing in this world could pry it open. Beloved Passage Analysis Syntax: Emphasizing the Tone Toni Morrison’s unique syntax manifested in this passage reinforces the overall content.Sentence fragments without a subject such as sentences number five and six focuses on Paul D’s observations. At this point he is uncertain where to go next and he takes the role of observer, fading into the background to the extent where Paul D, as the subject, is not present in the paragraph. Furthermore, the simple sentences present in the first paragraph also imply the calm and quiet after the prisoners’ hurried escape.
Truly, this is a moment where they can rest and gather their own thoughts to make the next step in their journey.Incomplete phrases such as “Free North. Magical North. Welcoming, benevolent North” emphasize Paul D’s decision. Note that he is not the subject of these phrases, probably because he did not actively make the decision himself, rather viewing another person’s choice with approval. The third paragraph in which Paul D is running to Delaware with the aid of tree flowers is filled with complex compound sentences, rich in imagery expressing a new life for Paul D.
The stark contrast in syntax between the two paragraphs clearly defines Paul’s change in life.His history represents the life of 60 million and more slaves, to whom Morrison dedicates the entire novel. Context and Summary: Escape Plans Morrison’s Beloved delves deeply into the world of abuse and pain, brought from a lifetime of slavery. Chapter 10 reveals Paul D’s history between his escape from a prison in Alfred, Georgia after attempting to kill Brandywine and when he appears on Sethe’s doorstep at 124 Bluestone Road, Cincinnati. Shortly after Paul D’s escape from prison, he and forty-six other prisoners walked into a camp of sick Cherokees, who broke their chains and provided for them.However, as each individual prisoner dispersed, Paul D, the last “Buffalo man”, remained uncertain with his destination.
For so long, Paul D merely wished to be relieved of Sweet Home, the place where he worked as a slave, as well as his dreadful memories of watching his companions get severely punished. The passage on page 132 focuses on Paul D’s journey to the “free” and “magical north” by the aid of tree flowers as they continually bloomed in the warm weather to his temporary destination in Delaware.Eighteen months later, Paul D finally manages to trap his horrible memories into “the tobacco tin lodged into his heart”, giving this character background as well as depth. Tone: Uncertain Hope In the beginning of this passage, Morrison’s tone is uncertain, not using many adjectives to describe the prisoners’ relief when they were free, as if the prisoners themselves were uncertain on what emotion to convey. Antithesis also emphasizes the prisoners’ uncertainty such as, “some wanted to leave, some wanted to stay on”.
Paul D, who “knew less than anybody” was the last to make a decision. While the lack of adjectives in the first paragraph indicates uncertainty, the vivid imagery in the second paragraph indicated hope and rebirth. The description of spring’s rapidly budding flowers that come into “tiny knots of fruit” parallels Paul D’s own situation, when he sets out to find a new life in the north that may bear fruit and fortune. Flowers in this paragraph also give the reader an image of beauty and hope compared to the painful life of chains and whips in Sweet Home.The third and final paragraph also features blossoming trees, symbolizing Paul D’s search for a new life eighteen months later at Sethe’s haunted house.
The themes of suffering and redemption in Beloved is reflected in this passage through the tone of uncertainty and fear which transitions into hope and anticipation. Imagery: Flowers and Rain Beloved is rich in nature imagery, particularly animals and flowers and this passage is centered around flowers and their meaning. Universally, flowers represent a myriad of positive emotions, a moment devoid of them would represent a depressing solemn time.Hence, the lack of flowers in the first paragraph indicates Paul D’s hopeless and dispassionate situation. Furthermore, the beginning of the passage took place in the rain, which also reiterates a washed-out, emotionless calm after their fevered rush for freedom.
Paul D’s journey with the guide of cherry blossoms, then magnolia, chinaberry, pecan, walnut and prickly pear”, which in this context implies new life and hope, emphasizes his rebirth when traveling to Delaware and to 124. Passage Analysis Grammar and Syntax ModelsSentence Number| Sentence Summary| Number of Words| Sentence Beginning| Number of Phrases| Number of Clauses| Sentence Type| 1| Introducing Buffalo Men| 19| Adverb| 2| 2| Compound Complex| 2| Prisoners plan their next move| 26| Subject| 3| 1| Compound| 3| Paul D’s inner thoughts| 16| Subject| 1| 1| Simple| 4| Paul D’s observations(co-convicts)| 13| Subject| 2| 1| Compound| 5| Paul D’s observations(Cherokee)| 12| Verb| 2| 1| Sentence Fragment| 6| Paul D’s observations(Buffalo men)| 21| Verb| 2| 1| Sentence Fragment|