Beloved Summary of Part 2 (Chapters 2 - 4)
Chapter 2 begins with Paul D and Sethe rushing upstairs to have sex, but "it was over before they could get their clothes off." Instead, the past rushes over them and both are caught in flashbacks of Sweet Home. Sethe recalls how Baby Suggs lost all her children to slavery-how Halle sold himself for her freedom "when it didn't mean a thing."
Chapter 3 begins the series of flashbacks regarding Denver's birth. Denver tells the tale of how a "whitegirl" named Amy discovered Sethe, six-months pregnant and running from Sweet Home. An unlikely savior, Amy managed to coax a fallen Sethe back onto her hands and feet and to a nearby lean-to.
Sethe continues thinking about "schoolteacher," and we learn that he had two nephews with "pretty manners" whom he also brought with him to Sweet Home. She mentions how he went around asking the slaves questions and writing down what they said.
Sharing their pasts, Sethe and Paul D start to plan out a future together with each other. Paul D promises to be there for Sethe, and she reluctantly agrees to let him take hold of her life. Under Paul D's urging, Sethe and Denver go with him to a carnival on Colored Thursday, where excitement and cheerfulness abounds. Many Negroes smile at the two women for the first time, and Denver is delighted. Her feelings about Paul D begin to change, and their shadows hold hands.