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...