The Characters of Beloved In the novel, Beloved, each of the characters plays an important role in the story line. Among them are Sethe, Beloved, Denver, and Baby Suggs. Each character is embodied with a certain unique characteristic. Sethe is a strong woman who had endured much, yet remained brave throughout her life.
Denver, originally shy and weak, builds confidence and experiences a transformation. Baby Suggs serves a spiritual mentor, who ultimately passed on her guidance and courage to Denver. Sethe was the novel's protagonist. She was, in her past, a slave in Kentucky, where she was repeatedly raped and abused.
It is on the plantation she worked on that she met Halle, her now deceased husband. Sethe ran away from her master with her four children, and was eventually caught. Desiring nothing more than to keep her children out of slavery, or anything close to what she had endured, Sethe made the decision to murder one of her children. This act, in Sethe's mind, was one of love and protection.
Sethe continued to live with these haunting memories that were a part of her. She explained to Denver, " The past will always be there waiting for you." Beloved's arrival confirmed Sethe's theory. Sethe's fear of the past is what allowed her to disregard the striking evidence that Beloved, who was found cold and wet on the doorstep of 124, was indeed her dead daughter. After realizing Beloved's identity, Sethe succumbs to Beloved, and is in a way completely consumed by her. Only when Sethe finally confronted her past, could she finally escape its oppressiveness and begin to live a peaceful and free life.
Denver was a more dynamic character. She possessed both shyness and sensitivity, yet transformed later on in the story. Denver spent a lot of time in her "emerald closet." Sethe believed her child was charmed, due to her miraculous survival of the infanticide. Denver had a gift of keeping in contact with the supernatural, and did so throughout the novel. Denver's shyness came from a lack of social activity, and years of isolation.
She showed signs of immaturity, and although eighteen years old, resembled a much younger child, considering her childish mental qualities. Denver held a fear of the world outside of where she lived, and was bothered by the idea of a world that did not fully include her. Denver was in contact with a "baby ghost" which later turned out to be Beloved, her dead sister. Denver was hurt and angry by the fact she was often excluded from family attentions, and began to treat Paul D coldly. Against anything she had ever known, Denver at last stepped out into the world, in search of help from the community, and became a mother to Sethe and Beloved.
Miss Bod win offered her lessons, hoping that Denver would someday attend a renowned school called "Oberlin College." Beloved served as a turning point in the novel, bringing the past to Sethe in a large dose. She was only one year old when murdered by Sethe, and lived as a ghost in 124. She comes back at twenty-one, with the same mentality. Not being able to understand the reasons for her death, she sought vengeance and affection from Sethe, almost taking the life out of her. She served as a symbol of Sethe's horrible past, but disappeared at the end and surprisingly, was soon forgotten. Baby Suggs, Halle's mother, is an inspirational character.
She has been dead eight years when Beloved returns. During her earlier years Baby Suggs isa slave, and when she is freed, returns to Cincinnati. Baby Suggs holds spiritual gatherings at a place called "the clearing" and is venerated by the townspeople. Denver is able to keep in touch with Baby Suggs " ghost, and is her source of inspiration to go out into the world to seek aid from the town. The longtime respect the community holds for her is one of the major components in their decision to help Denver..