Beloved Pages 43–64: Summary and Analysis
by Toni Morrison

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Pages 43–64: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Beloved: a young, well-dressed, apparently ill, black woman with soft hands and feet who appears near 124 Bluestone Road unable to remember more than her name

Here Boy: Sethe’s family dog who refused to enter the house once the haunting began and who disappears when Beloved appears

Nan: the one-armed slave who minded the slave children and cooked wherever it was that Sethe had been before Sweet Home

Denver snidely asks Paul D how long he’ll be “hanging around.” Her attitude promotes an argument between Denver and Sethe about Denver’s lack of manners and then another between Sethe and Paul D about whether or not she wants him to stay. After he explains that Sethe will not be abandoning Denver by allowing him to stay, they decide that he will stay.

The next day, Paul D takes them to Colored Tuesday at the carnival and succeeds in winning over both the women. When they return home, they find Beloved sleeping on the tree stump near the house. As soon as they see her, Sethe has an overwhelming need to urinate copiously. They can learn only Beloved’s name from her but it is clear she is ill. After four glasses of water, Paul D leads her to Baby Suggs’ bed, where she sleeps for four days. Since it was common in post-Civil War days for ex-slaves to have secrets they were not ready to share, no questions were asked of strangers, but they were expected to offer their information when they felt it was safe. Denver, suddenly compassionate, takes total charge of the stranger. Paul D becomes suspicious when Beloved shows no inclination to leave nor talk about her life.

After recovering, Beloved becomes attached to Sethe, which flatters Sethe. Beloved begins to ask Sethe questions about things in Sethe’s past she could not possibly know about unless she had been there. Sethe tells her stories about Sethe’s earlier life; since they do not include the baby, Beloved does not like them.

Denver, acting much younger than her years, tries to protect the exclusive relationship she has with Sethe since she feels that is all she has left because Paul D has sent the spirit away. She is easily, childishly, won over by a good time. Sethe, nursing her own doubts, sees the shadow that Paul D, Denver, and she cast—which looks as if they were holding hands—as a sign that there is...

(The entire section is 636 words.)