Literature Study GuidesBelovedPart 2 Chapter 21 Summary

Beloved | Study Guide

Toni Morrison

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Beloved Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Beloved Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Beloved Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed September 22, 2023.


Course Hero, "Beloved Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed September 22, 2023,

Part 2: Chapter 21

Kristen Over, Associate Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Part 2: Chapter 21 of Toni Morrison's book Beloved.

Beloved | Part 2, Chapter 21 | Summary



In this chapter Denver takes her turn at sharing her thoughts and feelings with the reader. Denver begins by acknowledging that Beloved is her sister and that she swallowed her sister's blood along with her mother's milk. The first thing she heard after her deafness was the ghost of the baby crawling up the stairs. From that day forward, a special bond has grown between them.

Denver confesses that she is afraid of her mother. She watches over the yard for whatever it is that comes from outside that made her mother kill her sister. That way her mother won't have to kill her too. Denver fears losing Beloved; she must keep her mother away from her. She wants to warn Beloved not to love their mother too much.

Denver remembers all the things Baby Suggs told her about her father, Halle. He "was an angel man," she was told, because he was always helping people. Now Denver is waiting for her father so they can all be together: her, Beloved, and her father. Her mother can leave with Paul D, if she wants. She really doesn't care, but she is glad Paul D is gone.


This chapter provides a look into Denver's mental state. Readers learn that her life is guided by four things: loneliness, fear, her love for Beloved, and her longing for her father. But they all have a single origin: the Misery. Although Denver can't remember that event, she has learned about it from her brothers and from the question posed by Nelson Lord about her mother being in jail for murder. So she knows her mother is capable of killing her. She is likewise afraid of the outside world because she knows something from out there caused her mother to kill her sister and try to kill her. All these events have conspired to isolate Denver from the world. She lives with just Beloved and the mother she fears while she waits for her father, the "angel," to come and make life safe.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Beloved? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!