Beloved Chapter 12
Denver remains grateful for the scraps of attention Beloved gives her, although most of Beloved's attention is reserved for Sethe. Sethe speculates that Beloved was locked away by a white man who sexually abused her. Sethe thinks this theory explains why Beloved hates Paul D and doesn't remember anything. Denver believes Beloved is the ghost, but says nothing to Sethe about it. Denver becomes manipulative in finding ways to keep Beloved's attention while Sethe is at work. One day they go to the cold house to get the cider jug, and in the darkness, Beloved playfully seems to disappear. Denver thinks she has lost her own self because Beloved is gone, and she panics.
"This is worse than when Paul D came to 124 and she cried helplessly into the stove. This is worse. Then it was for herself. Now she is crying because she has no self . . . She doesn't move to open the door because there is no world out there. She decides to stay in the cold house and let the dark swallow her like the minnows of light above. She won't put up with another leaving, another trick. Waking up to find one brother then another not at the bottom of the bed, his foot jabbing her spine. Sitting at the table eating turnips and saving the liQUOr for her grandmother to drink; her mother's hand on the keeping-room door and her voice saying, 'Baby Suggs is gone, Denver.' And when she got around to worrying about what would be the case if Sethe died or Paul D took her away, a dream-come-true comes true just to leave her on a pile of newspaper in the dark." Chapter 12, pg. 123
Suddenly Beloved reappears, still playful, and Denver feels better until Beloved curls up on the floor, rocking back and forth and moaning. Beloved points into the darkness to a face only she can see, saying it is her own face. Then, as suddenly as she was sad, she is happy again.