• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What do we learn about Paul D's character in the first two chapters of 'Beloved'.

Extracts from this document...


John Diviney What do we learn about Paul D's character in The first two chapters of 'Beloved' Paul D, "the last of the Sweet Home men," is waiting on the porch of 124 when Sethe comes home from work one afternoon. Sethe has not seen Paul D in eighteen years, since they were both slaves at the Kentucky plantation called Sweet Home. He has had, in total, a 24-year relationship with Sethe, or 'Halle's girl' as she was called back on the plantation. He not only saw her as a friend but as the lady of his sexual fantasies. To fully understand the character of Paul D it is necessary to understand his past: slavery. It can be denoted from the absence of Site's murdered third child that as an institution, slavery necessarily shattered its victims' traditional family structures or stopped bonds from ever forming. Slaves were thus deprived of the foundations of any identity apart from their role as servants. The actual 'identity' of Paul D is unknown because that wasn't his real name; his owner, Mr. Garner, gave it to him. Not a lot is revealed about him in the first couple of chapters but many questions arise from snippets of information that is given such as where was he 'locked up and chained down for eighty-three days in a row'? ...read more.


Paul D is obviously an empathetic man. He shows this particularly when he talks about Sethe's 'merciful eyes' - if they looked like everything she had been through they would be unbearable to look at. Sethe finds it very easy to talk to him about life. Denver notices how her mother changes from a woman into a childish girl when Paul D is there. It is as if there is something about him, a sense that he will understand everything. It could be his wisdom from his 18 years of wandering, his eyes or his life. "There was something blessed in his manner." The transformation of the scars on Sethe's back into the chokecherry tree transforms her story of pain and repression into survival. Her scars become and poignant and beautiful symbol. Paul D reinforces this more positive interpretation when he kisses them: "he saw the sculpture on her back had become, like the decorative work of an ironsmith too passionate for display." Paul D feels he is the 'man of the house' as he is the only male figure present in 124 for a number of years. ...read more.


Paul D introduces us to a new character called Sixo who had to walk for over 30 miles to be with his lover and had idealistic plans of how they would spend their time but in the end it was a quick 'session' on the floor and it meant everything to them both. Paul D walked for 18 years, experienced what he wanted and was disappointed. To Sixo making love meant everything but to Paul D it was just fulfilling a fantasy. Paul D is a complex character but Morrison only chooses to reveal certain bits of information about him through different narratives throughout these two chapters to increase the mystery surrounding him. In both chapters she uses an omniscient point of view where she can see into the minds of all characters. She fluidly moves from the thoughts of one character into the thoughts of another. As Sethe thinks about Halle's gentle lovemaking in the cornfields (in contrast to the unsatisfactory lovemaking that has occurred with Paul D) Paul D remembers watching the couple with jealously. We learn a lot about Paul D in the first two chapters but it is very evident that there is a lot more to discover about the life of this man. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree James Joyce section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree James Joyce essays

  1. The character of Major Paul Petkoff in the play "Arms in the Man."

    Petkoff is revealed. One of the more humorous relationships in the play is between Mrs.

  2. The emotional emptiness in "Araby" by James Joyce, "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck which ...

    them love because they're more concerned about their wealth, which eventually leads to the children taking action themselves in order to get their parent's love.

  1. Dubliners offers a comprehensive picture of what Dublin was like over a century ago. ...

    The story implies that pursuing a concert career like Kathleen was doing is a cut-throat competition, not only with other singers and musicians but when dealing with the people paying for the performances. Thus, if Kathleen knows how to speak Gaelic, and sings it as well, she will be popular with the public.

  2. Assess the role of Carr in 'Travesties' by Tom Stoppard

    By means of this redefinition, Tzara apparently hopes that art can regain the importance it once had as an improver of the human condition: > When the strongest began to fight for the tribe, and the fastest to hunt, it was the artist who became the priest-guardian of the magic that conjured the intelligence out of the appetites.

  1. Symbolization of Dublin Life.

    Eveline suffers at the hands of her father: "Latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her..." (21) It is mainly because of money that Eveline and her father "squabble"; she needs to buy foods while he does not want to give her his "hard-earned money."

  2. While no major events take place in the opening chapter of Ulysses, it remains ...

    One good example is in the line "Pain, that was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart."9 This line is written so poetically that it contrasts clearly with the speech of Mulligan. It also captures the image of Stephen as a tortured soul.

  1. Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" introduces many interesting characters with many different ...

    and he compromises by resolving not to let Turkey deal with important papers in the afternoon. When Bartleby begins work, the narrator says that he placed him behind a screen so that he, "...might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not to remove him from my voice"(121).

  2. Of Being Trapped: Male and Female Paralysis in Dubliners

    His uncle was supposed to come home and give him money so he could go on his journey but the man is out drinking. He comes home late as a result and the boy ends up being extremely late for the bazaar.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work