Pages 86–113: Summary and Analysis
Stamp Paid: an older, ex-slave who is part of the Underground Railroad and ferries Sethe, with the new-born Denver, over the river to freedom
Ella: another freed slave, a contemporary of Stamp Paid’s, who helps Sethe and Denver once they’ve crossed the river to freedom and arrive at Baby Suggs’ home in Ohio
Lady Jones: a light-skinned, free black who runs the children’s school that the then seven-year-old Denver attends for a year
Nelson Lord: Denver’s classmate, who innocently asks her about the murder, Sethe’s imprisonment, and Denver’s accompanying her mother to jail
Sethe feels she needs a ceremony to lay down her burdens and so takes Beloved and Denver with her to The Clearing, where Baby Suggs formerly led her spiritual community. She feels fingers massaging her neck and then choking her. She thinks it is the spirit of the nine-years-dead Baby Suggs, but Denver quietly tells Beloved she knows Beloved did this. While in The Clearing, Sethe remembers her 28 days of freedom (before the murder and after her escape from slavery), acknowledges Halle is gone forever, and realizes she does want Paul D in her life.
We learn of Denver’s two years of deafness after her classmate, Nelson Lord, innocently asked her about the murder and she, in turn, asked her mother but could not abide to hear the answers. Paul D remembers his imprisonment for the attempted murder of Brandywine, the man to whom schoolteacher sold him, and his escape. He thinks of the 46 men chained together, escaping from a mud slide during the rains and running until they found the Cherokee, who freed them of their shackles. He was the last prisoner to leave them. The Cherokee showed him how to follow the tree blossoms north. He laments “the tobacco tin lodged in his chest” that used to be his heart, and relives the trembling of his body caused by being locked in an underground box each of the 86...
(The entire section is 522 words.)