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Free Study Guide-Beloved by Toni Morrison-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 21

Summary

Because she and her mother are ostracized by the community, Denver has lived an isolated existence. She never leaves the house at 124 Bluestone, staying alone there while her mother works. In addition, she never knew her father except for what Baby Suggs had told her. She believes, however, that Halle was “an angel man” who could sense the pain of others.

It is not surprising that Denver welcomed the company of the infant ghost in the house. Baby Suggs had told her not to be afraid of the ghost, for it would not hurt her; she also warned that the ghost needed a lot of love, which Denver tried to give it. When the ghost departed, Denver was more lonely than ever. As a result, she feels a great sense of relief when Beloved arrives at the house. Denver enjoys her company, even though she knows and accepts that Beloved is the reincarnation of her sister. She also understands that Beloved was murdered by her mother. She feels like there is something in Sethe "that makes it all right to kill her own." Although Denver loves Sethe, she is fearful that she may murder again. She wonders how to keep herself and Beloved safe from Sethe’s rage.


Notes

This chapter is devoted entirely to Denver's thoughts and feelings, which are again narrated in a stream of consciousness style. It is amazing that Denver still loves Sethe, for she understands that she murdered Beloved and also tried to kill her. Even though she claims to love her mother, Denver is also afraid of her. She feels she has the power to murder again; as a result, she never really feels safe.

Because the community has always ostracized her and her mother, Denver has known very few people. As a result, she hangs on to the memory of Baby Suggs, one of the few people she has been able to love in her life. One of the most important things that Denver remembers is that Baby Suggs painted a mental picture of Halle for her. As a result, Denver thinks of her father as an angel, just as Baby Suggs described him. Baby Suggs also taught her not to be afraid of the baby ghost that lived in the house. As a result, Denver was able to befriend it. She was also able to accept Beloved as soon as she arrived at 124 Bluestone. It did not take Denver long to realize that this newly arrived stranger was really her dead sister, come to life again. Like Sethe, Denver feels that Beloved belongs to her, since they are siblings.

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