In Beloved, I feel the strongest character was Denver. She had to be the strong one especially when everyone one else seemed to be falling apart. The beginning of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Denver is hidden behind her mother, Sethe’s shadow. Denver is the only child Sethe has after she has murdered her older daughter when she was small and the boys she had, ran away. Because Sethe can not let her past go, Denver lives a life as a recluse with her mom at 124. She does not have any friends and does not socialize with anyone. At the beginning she had her grandmother, Baby Suggs, but she later dies. Her brothers had already ran away so it just left Denver and her mother, Sethe. Denver’s place away from death and sorrow was in the boxwoods behind her house. There were boxwoods in a circle and with the perfume she wore made it seem peaceful and safe. The light from the sun shining through the boxwoods caused and emerald appearance to her. This was her refuge. She grows up with her hiding place, “First a playroom (where the silence was softer), then a refuge (from her brothers’ fright), soon the place became the point. In that bower, closed off from the hurt of the hurt world, Denver’s imagination produced its own hunger and its own food” (Pgs. 31 and 32).
If she had not had her own place away from the hurt, pain and confusion, she would have likely went mad.
There was a ghost at 124, “Full of baby’s venom,” who wanted her self know to Sethe, Denver, Baby Suggs, and later, Paul D. The ghost throughout does things to let herself be known but not until Denver hears her crawling up the stairs does she know the ghost must be that of a baby climbing the stairs. After that takes place the ghost becomes mean. The ghost was something of a being that Denver could relate to. In the book it said Denver would take the ghost over Paul D. who she felt was trying to take her place with her mother. The ghost would later come out of the water as Sethe’s daughter, Beloved. Now, Denver knew it had to be Sethe’s murdered daughter and took her as a friend. It was easy for her to get close to Beloved since she really did not have anyone remotely close to her age to communicate with. Beloved begins to suck her mother dry by becoming so dependent on her, Denver sees that her mother is quickly losing ground and her mental capability is slipping, because of this Denver is forced to make a change within herself and become dependent enough to go out of her house to seek help. This is a major challenge for Denver since she had not ventured out and was going to have to communicate with others in order to save her family. So she goes to a school teacher and tells her story. That lady and others help with food. Denver is the strong hold of the family. She has to gather food, clean and do clothes. Her mother becomes unable to do the simiplist things and Beloved will not do because she knew she did not have to. This is basically what Sethe did when she killed her daughter and tried to kill her sons, she was trying to protect them from the hardships of slavery and to do that she had to step outside of herself. What Denver did really was not the same as Sethe but what I am talking about is, she had to make a decision to step out of what was comfortable to her to help her family. Her family was starving and needed help and Denver went to get help.
To me Denver is an example of those who kept the slaves moving to freedom. I think she was very strong and had her family’s best interest at heart, just the way someone on the Underground Railway would have.