When made to sleep outside in a shed, Paul D is cornered by Beloved.While they have sex, his mind is filled with horrific memories from his past.Sethe begins to spend carelessly and spoil Beloved out of guilt.
Without him, sense of reality and time moving forward disappears.
Sethe comes to believe that Beloved is the two-year-old daughter she murdered, whose tombstone reads only "Beloved".
At the same time, a white man comes into view, the same man that helped Halle's mother, Baby Suggs, by offering her the house as a place to stay after Halle bought her from their owner.
He has come for Denver, who asked him for a job, but Denver has not shared this information with Sethe.
Morrison had come across the story "A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed Her Child" in an 1856 newspaper article published in the American Advocate and reproduced in The Black Book, a miscellaneous compilation of black history and culture that Morrison edited in 1974.
In the novel, the protagonist Sethe is also a slave who escapes slavery, running to Cincinnati, Ohio.Because of the haunting—which often involves objects being thrown around the room—Sethe's youngest daughter Denver is shy, friendless, and housebound, and her sons, Howard and Buglar, have run away from home by the age of 13.Baby Suggs, the mother of Sethe's husband Halle, dies in her bed soon afterwards.Beloved's presence consumes Sethe's life to the point where she becomes depleted and sacrifices her own need for eating, while Beloved grows bigger and bigger.In the novel's climax, youngest daughter Denver reaches out and searches for help from the black community, and some of the village women arrive at the house to exorcise Beloved.He seems successful at first; he even brings housebound Denver out of the house for the first time in years.