“I was talking about time. It’s so hard for me to believe in it. Some things go. Pass on. Some things just stay. I used to think it was my rememory. You know. Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place-the picture of it-stays, and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think it, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened" (Morrison 35-36).
"I told you to put her human characteristics on the left; her animal characteristics on the right. And don't forget to line them up" (Morrison 193).
Sethe believes that she will always remember certain events that took place in her life, even if she does not want to. Throughout the story, Sethe struggles with speaking and remembering her past, describing why it is so hard for her in this passage. She will always remember places, because the "picture "of it stays in her mind. Morrison uses the word “rememory” to emphasize a memory's replayed or reimagined state—it is something that's being recalled again. However, it is made clear by Morrison through repetition that it is not Sethe’s rememory that causes her to become frustrated with remembering her past. No matter how much time goes by, Sethe believes that because of certain places, she will always remember the events that took place there. It is so hard to explain why certain memories stick and why others are forgotten.
Baby Suggs' Memories
As Baby Suggs was born into slavery, "...a sadness was at her center, the desolated center where the self that was no self made its home. Sad as it was that she did not know where her children were buried or what they looked like if alive, fact was she knew more about them than she knew about herself, having never had the map to discover what she was like" (Morrison 140).
"The last of her 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" (Morrison 139).
Baby Suggs never got to know her children, for they were all taken from her (except one). Even though Baby Suggs was bought out of slavery, she still feels the impact of how she was treated . However, because of these experiences, she is allowed to be a different person when she arrives at 124; loving and inclusive.
“When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees” (Morrison 87).
Paul D's Memories
Paul D lives a lonely and unsatisfying life. Since he escaped from Sweet Home, he is still unsettled so he cannot develop roots or restore his belief in humanity. His memories of Sweet Home constantly make him question his manhood and he has an inability to believe in his own existence.