The Mysterious Character In Toni Morrison's Beloved

763 Words 4 Pages
Beloved is a historical fiction novel based on a grisly true story. It took place in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1873, but also includes flashbacks that took place in Georgia and Kentucky. An overly protective mother, Sethe, attempts to kill her children to save them from the traumatizing life of slavery. She is only able to kill one of her children, Beloved. The plan backfires when Beloved, the dead child, comes back to haunt Sethe and Sethe’s youngest child, Denver, almost two decades later. Many characters affected the plot of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, but Denver, Sethe, and Beloved had the greatest impact.
Denver is Sethe’s youngest child. She is ignored and small in the beginning. “Sethe took two swift steps to the stove, but before she could tank Denver’s collar, the girl leaned forward and began to cry” (17). She is very protected at home and has a sheltered life. Her mother keeps her sheltered because she never wanted her children to have to endure the life of a slave. Denver is shy, sensitive, very intelligently manipulating. She is believed to be a ‘charmed’ child because she didn't die when her mother tried to kill her.
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Beloved is originally assumed to be the ghost haunting the house of Sethe and Denver. There is a lot of evidence supporting that she is the dead daughter of Sethe. She has a scar where Sethe cut her two year old daughter in order to kill her. When Beloved firsts meets Sethe, she has a strong aroma of milk. She also hummed the tune that Sethe hummed to her children when they were little. Beloved is the core of the novel. Beloved could be a woman who had been locked up by a white man and trapped as a slave, but as it goes on, it becomes evident that she is indeed the dead daughter of Sethe. Toni Morrison once stated "Anything dead coming back to life hurts” (36). Beloved throughout the book represents the past returning to haunt the present. She also could overall represent the voice of all of the

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