what is Beloved?



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Beloved could be many things. Some believe that she is a reincarnation of Sethe's "crawling already? baby". It's easy to come to this conclusion, considering how Beloved knows certain things (like the existence of Sethe's diamond earrings) and appears to have a scar on her neck where perhaps the baby was murdered (in the coochie-coo spot under her chin). She could also be an escaped slave that came out of the water from exhaustion or simply a woman who was so dehydrated and tired that she lost all memory of her life. This, however, does not explain Beloved's supernatural occurrences throughout the novel. Beloved also may symbolize many things. Some say she might represent all of the slaves who had died during the middle passage, which could explain her narratives of the dark place with people crouching, some alive and some dead. There are many ways to interpret the character Beloved, and every person might have slightly different ideas on who she actually is.

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