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Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Denver is hungry for company, having been alone for so many years and she loves Beloved's attention. In her conversations with Denver, Beloved recounts her memories: being snatched away, walking on a bridge and seeing one "man without skin" (a white man). Sethe has heard Beloved's stories and she tells Denver her suspicions. She believes that Beloved has probably suffered something similar to what Ella suffered, ("the lowest yet") that some white man probably locked Beloved away for his own purposes and having escaped, Beloved rinsed everything out of her head. Denver does not enlighten her mother about Beloved's true identity, nor does she discuss the visits to Paul D in the cold house.
In her conversations with Beloved, Denver is afraid to talk too much. She badly wants to ask Beloved about Sethe's earrings, but she is afraid that she will lose Beloved if she presses too hard. Denver engages in all sorts of plots to get personal times with Beloved - the most successful of these is offering to do the chores around the house. Beloved obliges because she wants to make Sethe happy, and Denver gets to spend time alone with Beloved. One of these chores takes the two young women to the (empty) cold house where Beloved plays "hide-and-seek" and leaves Denver crying because Beloved has disappeared. Denver looks inside and then outside the cold house, before frantically sobbing. After her brothers and grandmother and the baby ghost, this is "another leaving." When a laughing, teasing Beloved reappears to console Denver, she promises never to "go back."

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points To Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8 and 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17 and 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21 and 22
Chapter 23 and 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27 and 28


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