Beloved by Toni Morrison

Summary of Part 3 (Chapters 5 - 7)

Chapter 5 opens with the disturbing image of a woman, 19 or 20 years old, coming out of the marsh, fully dressed. She is tired and thirsty, but her shoes are new and her skin is flawless except for three scratches on her forehead. It takes her more than two days to drag herself to 124, where she arrives just as Sethe, Denver, and Paul D come back from the carnival. With a harsh voice, she pronounces that her name is "Beloved."

It takes weeks for Beloved to build up strength, and in the mean time Denver cares for her. However, despite Denver's constant attendance, Beloved begins to show a devotion towards Sethe. She begins inquiring about Sethe's past, asking questions that trigger old memories. "Where your diamonds?" Beloved asks, and Sethe reveals that at one point in her life she had been given crystal earrings by Mrs. Garner as a wedding gift. At another point, Beloved asks about Sethe's mother. Sethe remembers being told by her nurse that she was the only baby whom her mother had kept from the slave ship.

Despite Sethe's and Denver's affections for the girl, Paul D begins to grow suspicious of Beloved. He begins to question her about her past, but Beloved evades his questions. He notes that before her arrival Sethe, Denver, and him were just beginning to build a future. In an argument over Beloved, Paul D tells Sethe that Halle never followed her to freedom because he had seen schoolteacher's two nephews drink up her milk and was broken by the sight.

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