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Chapter 3

Denver is nearly 18 years old but, in many ways, she is still a child. Denver is extremely lonely and has been for most of her life, living in a haunted house with a mother who is trapped in her own memories. Denver often strays away from 124 Bluestone Road and spends lots of time across the field in the backyard, past a forest and then across another stream and through another forest. In this forest, there is a ring of bushes - a green room in which Denver combats her loneliness with imaginative play. She thinks about the times when she played with her brothers; she remembers when her grandmother Baby Suggs was alive. And now she sees that Paul D has come from Sweet Home and is going to take her mother away from her, having already run her ghost of a sister out of the house.
Denver never enjoyed her mother's stories about Sweet Home, but the one story that Denver did like was the story of her own birth. When a pregnant Sethe made a run for Ohio, she had already sent her three children (Howard, Buglar, and "Beloved") ahead of her. Six months pregnant, the fugitive slave walked many miles and thought she was going to die. Help came from an unlikely source - a white girl named Amy Denver. She was a young orphan, walking to Boston in search of red velvet. Despite her simple mind, Amy helped Sethe get to safety. Just when Amy and Sethe reached the banks of the Ohio River, Sethe's water broke and that is where she gave birth to her fourth and final child. Amy assisted in the delivery and told Sethe to be sure to remember the story and pass it on to her child. When she told Sethe her name, "Amy Denver of Boston," Sethe decided that it was such a pretty name that she would pass the name on to her child.
Paul D did not expect to stay at 124 Bluestone Road for very long, but Sethe welcomed him. After Sweet Home, there had been Alfred, Georgia, where Paul D worked in a chain gang; after that he stayed in Delaware, journeying up and down the eastern part of the country. Now he found himself in Ohio, in a house that was haunted by a ghost and flickering red lights. While 124 Bluestone Road did not seem all that pleasant, Paul D saw an opportunity to start a new family. Sethe appreciates Paul D but she is wary of depending on others or on any suspicions of good luck. She remembers that even after crossing the Ohio River and entering the "free state of Ohio," she enjoyed only 28 days before Schoolteacher caught up with her and tried to bring her and her children back to Sweet Home. Sethe tells Paul D that she spent some time in jail, concluding that Schoolteacher was ultimately unsuccessful in taking her or her children back his home, Sweet Home.

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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