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Topic for discussion: Week 6

Why do you think Toni Morrison refers to Sethe's house as "124" all the time? What is the significance of the number?

(I stumbled across this on the internet, so I don't expect you to pull the answer out of thin air. If you're intrigued, do some Googling and see if you can figure it out. It shows how seemingly insignificant choices on the part of a writer can really be very deliberate!)


I believe that she refers to the house as 124 because the third child is missing. Beloved was the third child and she was killed.

OK I don't know if that last one saved because I'm internet was being goofy.

I think that she refers to the house as 124, because the third child is missing. Beloved is the third child and she was killed.

Good job, Laura! Yes, that was the interpretation I came across while researching the novel online.

Can anyone find alternative interpretations? I found one or two.

By the way, for those of you who aren't aware, the blog is set up so that I have to approve each post before it appears. If you post a reply or a new entry and you don't see it right away, that's why.

I found an interpretation that 1+2+4 = 7. The babies tombstone has "beloved" engraved which also has 7 letters. 7 has biblical importance including: God created the earth in 7 days and the 7th day is the sabbath.

Maybe "124" could be the date when her daughter died. She died on Jan. the 24th. Number one would be the month and 24 would be the date.

online, it said that 124 was a symbol of how Sethe was able to keep her first, second, and fourth children, but killed her third, which is why the number 3 is left out.

I think the number 124 may represent Beloved because when you add up these three numbers it equal 7 letters which could stand for Beloved.

My interpretation of the significance of 124 would be like Laura's in which Beloved is the 3rd child, but was killed so instead of it being 1234, it is 124.

I also did some "googling", and found some interesting interpretations about Beloved being Sethe's third child. It says that Beloved's physical appearance also hints at this. The three fine lines she has on her forehead, symbolize her being Sethe's third child.