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"Because the novel follows two different stories, one told through flashbacks and one that is taking place in the novel’s present, there are two different climaxes. The climax of the flashback plot occurs near the end of Part One in Chapter 16, when the text finally reveals the circumstances of Sethe’s daughter’s death: eighteen years ago, Sethe attempted to murder all her children when she refused to hand them over to schoolteacher to endure a life of slavery. Only her elder daughter died. The second climax occurs at the end of the novel, during the “exorcism” of Beloved, who seems to be the ghost of the daughter Sethe murdered. In an echo of the first climax, Sethe mistakes Mr. Bodwin, her family’s benefactor, for schoolteacher and tries to kill him with an ice pick."
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Beloved.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/beloved/ (accessed December 2, 2011).