Beloved Pages 169–199: Summary and Analysis
by Toni Morrison

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Pages 169–199: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Mr. Bodwin: the brother of Miss Bodwin, also an anti-slavery white person who does whatever he can to help with the Underground Railroad and the newly-liberated slaves

Reverend Pike: the reverend of the store-front church where Paul D is living in the basement, also the religious leader who conducted the funerals for both Beloved and Baby Suggs

Sawyer: Sethe’s employer at the restaurant

Stamp Paid, remorseful for having read the newspaper article to Paul D, and now worried about Sethe’s well-being, goes to 124 Bluestone Road for the first time since Baby Suggs’ death. He has a hard time getting himself to knock instead of just walking in as he’s used to doing in the community. His knock is not answered although he hears voices, so he looks in the window and sees the girls. He recognizes Denver, but not Beloved, and decides to make inquiries about her. Six times in as many days he tries to force himself to knock on the door, but simply can’t.

Beloved finds a pair of ice skates. Sethe searches the house and finds one half of another pair. The three women have an uproarious time skating on the lake. Sethe’s laughter turns to uncontrollable weeping, but the girls are not immediately aware of the change in her emotions nor her lack of control over her emotions. They return to the house to warm up and Beloved begins humming a song she couldn’t have known, since Sethe had made it up for her children when they were small.

Sethe begins not to care for the outside world. She is late for work for the first time in sixteen years and begins locking the door to her home. She is convinced that Beloved is her daughter come back to her and, since Beloved is back, her sons will also return. Meanwhile, Stamp Paid goes to John and Ella to find out who the girl is. Ella doesn’t know but, by way of telling him to ask Paul D, mentions that Paul D is sleeping in the basement of the church, which outrages Stamp Paid’s sense of honor for the community.

Sethe is closing off her world. Her husband is missing, possibly dead, certainly insane. Baby Suggs is dead....

(The entire section is 591 words.)