• the symbolic role of nature, which forms a sheltering chancel over Denver and reconnects her with Baby Suggs, the stable "parent" whose passing left Denver no anchor in rough seas. Water images, psychologically and rhetorically projecting life and motherhood, form a wavy, indistinct cover over Beloved's interment. The terrifying hot/cold, clear/murky figures express the ghost-child's great yearning to reunite with her mother and to complete the growth process cut short by a stroke of a handsaw. The suggestion that Beloved experienced the wretched sea voyage bearing slaves from Africa to America links all blacks with a trial by water, an unholy baptism for aborted infants, a watery grave for those who expired along the way. Beloved's mission is ended by the redeeming love of women, who intervene in Sethe's demented attack on yet another white buggy driver.
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