Beloved

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A male slave at Sweet Home, Halle is Sethe’s husband and the father of her children. After seeing Schoolteacher’s nephews hold down Sethe and take her breast milk, he goes mad. The last anyone sees of him is Paul D seeing him at a butter churn, smearing butter all over his face in insanity.

Halle Quotes in Beloved

The Beloved quotes below are all either spoken by Halle or refer to Halle. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Slavery Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Beloved published in 2004.
Part 1, Chapter 15 Quotes

The last of [Baby Suggs’] children, whom she barely glanced at when he was born because it wasn’t worth the trouble to try to learn features you would never see change into adulthood anyway. Seven times she had done that: held a little foot; examined the fat fingertips with her own—fingers she never saw become the male or female hands a mother would recognize anywhere. She didn’t know to this day what their permanent teeth looked like; or how they held their heads when they walked.

Related Characters: Baby Suggs, Halle
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:

While waiting for Sethe and Halle to arrive at 124, Baby Suggs thinks fondly of her son. She recounts how her previous children had been stolen from her immediately upon being born.

Suggs’ memories speak to the alienation between slaves and their relatives. The cruel actions of traders and owners would rip families apart, even severing children from their mothers. As a result, Suggs’ memory is imprinted only with the initial physical components of her children, and she lacks any knowledge of their future. Describing the children in terms of fractured body parts—“a little foot”; “the fat fingertips”—emphasizes the disconnected way that Suggs engaged with them. And she has similar snapshots of their existence in time, holding only past images with no present or future to combine into a full sense of her children as people.

The passage shows how this broken relationship with one’s relatives has a permanent effect on how one deals with all relationships. Suggs’ earlier experiences with her children, for instance, induced complete alienation from Halle because she presumed “it wasn’t worth the trouble.” Morrison thus draws our attention to the fact that one’s ability to take an interest in those around them is predicated on perceived value and permanence—both of which are negated by slavery.

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Part 2, Chapter 24 Quotes

Remembering his own price, down to the cent, that schoolteacher was able to get for him, [Paul D] wondered what Sethe’s would have been. What had Baby Suggs’ been? How much did Halle owe, still, besides his labor? What did Mrs. Garner get for Paul F? More than nine hundred dollars? How much more? Ten dollars? Twenty?

Related Characters: Sethe, Paul D, Halle
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:

Still consumed by memories of Sweet Home, Paul D wonders about the economics of slavery. He starts to brainstorm the costs that might have been paid for other slaves on the plantation.

This description emphasizes once more the dehumanizing way that slaveowners interacted with their slaves. Whereas earlier descriptions pointed out how slaves were likened to animals, this passages views them as commodities for sale. That each person can be affixed with a certain price point condenses their identity into a single interchangeable number. Even more insidiously, this mindset seems to have infiltrated Paul D. He takes on the language and perspective of the slaveowners here—indeed, applying it to his closest family and friends. Thus Morrison not only portrays the existence of this horrifying economic mindset, but also shows how easily it can infiltrate the minds of even the slaves it oppresses, so that they develop inferiority complexes and think of themselves as commodities to be priced.

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Halle Character Timeline in Beloved

The timeline below shows where the character Halle appears in Beloved. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
...was easy and that “being alive was the hard part.” Sethe asks about her husband Halle, who she hasn’t seen since fleeing Sweet Home and thinks may be dead, but Paul... (full context)
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
...and recalls how her children had been sneaked out of Sweet Home and sent to Halle’s mother, Baby Suggs, and how Sethe had run away after, to meet up with them.... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
...men, though other slave-owners told him that no slaves could be men. Sethe eventually chose Halle, a Sweet Home man who had worked extra time to buy freedom for his mother,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
...families. Baby Suggs, for example, was separated from all of her eight children except for Halle. (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
...that desire has failed to live up to his fantasy. Sethe remembers deciding to marry Halle and asking Mrs. Garner if there would be a wedding for them. Mrs. Garner simply... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Sethe and Paul D each separately remember when Sethe and Halle had sex out in the cornfield on Sweet Home, where they thought no one would... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Slavery Theme Icon
Sethe tells Beloved that she got the earrings from Mrs. Garner when she married Halle. She had heard about Mrs. Garner’s wedding and wanted some kind of celebration or meal... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Slavery Theme Icon
As Sethe and Paul D argue, the conversation shifts to Halle. Paul D tells her that Halle actually saw when the white boys held her down... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Sethe is shaken by this revelation. She is upset that Halle saw the whole thing and didn’t try to stop it. Paul D says that the... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
...for more.” She wonders why she hasn’t gone crazy from all of her suffering, as Halle evidently did. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
Community Theme Icon
Sethe can’t stop thinking about Halle going mad. She misses Baby Suggs and wishes that she were around to help her... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 15
Slavery Theme Icon
The novel flashes back to Baby Suggs waiting for Sethe and Halle to make it to 124 from Sweet Home. She is delighted to see Sethe arrive... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Baby Suggs remembers when Halle and she were bought for Sweet Home. She had injured her hip and could not... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
At Sweet Home, Baby Suggs realized that she and Halle had arrived at a better place, but were still slaves. The Garners ran “a special... (full context)
Slavery Theme Icon
Once Halle buys Baby Suggs’ freedom, Mr. Garner delivers Baby Suggs to the Bodwins, who will help... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 18
Motherhood Theme Icon
...D about her escape from Sweet Home, and how she did it by herself, without Halle’s help. She talks about how she felt when she arrived and felt freedom. She realizes... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
Slavery Theme Icon
Sethe remembers talking to Halle about Schoolteacher, asking if he thought Schoolteacher was different from Mr. Garner. Halle said it... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 21
Home Theme Icon
...younger, Denver was afraid Sethe would kill her, too. She would dream that her dad, Halle, was coming. She idealized Halle as “an angel man.” Denver’s monologue ends like Sethe’s, insisting... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 24
Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...Paul D thinks of his price and wonders what the monetary values of Baby Suggs, Halle, and others is. He thinks of Sixo laughing as he died because the Thirty-Mile Woman... (full context)