They torture her sexually and physically. She manages to escape from there and on the way back home at 124 in Cincinnati , she gave birth to her fourth child a girl whom she named Denver, to her mother-in-law Baby Sugg. A month later after the reunion with her four children and mother-in-law she was tracked down by school teacher and in the attempt to save her children from being slave she tried to murdered them, all escaped but third child, a one year old girl was killed by her. This very incident haunts her for the rest of the novel and gave birth to main character named as "Beloved" after twenty years.
Beloved, the name used for a twenty year old girl who suddenly appeared on the footsteps of 124, it's also the only word written on the tombstone of Sethe third child's grave. This word reckons Sethe of her little crawling baby and all her motherly affections overwhelms her. Beloved is used in both forms in the novel, as a character and as a symbol. As a character in the sense that she depicts a year old child when author mention her characteristics like the name, baby skin, asking for sweet, fragile domination of language. She is used as a character of little baby coming back to life at the age she might had been if lived. The concept of reincarnation is employed here for the character Beloved. Author describes her appearance for the very first time to be coming out of the water as if she is coming out of the mother's womb. Her feeling is of a small child who is demanding and self-centered. Beloved as a character is very intense and passionate about her mother, she couldn't relate to anyone else except her mother just like a small child. Her obsession is shown by these lines:
"I am Beloved and she is mine." (p. 221)
She wanted to know the reason why her mother killed her and was unable to forgive her for such a brutal act. Beloved is a ghost of little girl who this time comes in the form of a human having flesh and blood. The ghost has also been mentioned earlier in the novel to be haunting the house, making two elder sons Bugler and Howard so much frightened that they ran away and even horrified Paul D, a person who was slave in Sweet Home as well, when he came to live with Sethe. Beloved also shows jealousy and hatred toward anyone else who captures Sethe's attention like Paul D. Her character also bears determination and compassion to go to any extreme in order to eliminate anyone and to gain sole attention of Sethe. Her character at the end of the novel, when her reality become clear to Sethe and Denver becomes more and more demanding, full of rage, irrepressible and vindictive toward her mother and toward her act of her assassination.
Beloved, is also used here as the symbol of past and it represent all the black dead wretched conditions when she reckon to be with dead bodies and rat infected place where all living and dead were pilled up together. It is the symbol of horrible treatment that was given to black people during slavery. According to a website
"She serves both as a character as well as a symbol for the past and the sixty-million slaves killed in the Middle Passage" (A Homework Online: Beloved by Toni Morrison).
She plays the role of a character and symbol beautifully and intermingled. Being a character is tries to gain attention of Sethe and at the same times ask