Character Analysis Denver


Denver experiences the most positive personal growth in Beloved and represents the African American hope for the future. Sethe comments that Denver is a charmed child, and indeed Denver seems to survive impossible circumstances. However, physical survival is not enough. Denver displays intelligence and promise as a child, but her innocence is destroyed when she discovers what Sethe did to her sister and planned to do to her as well.

With the loss of her brothers and grandmother, Denver becomes increasingly isolated and self-centered. Even as a young adult, her attitude is still very childlike; for instance, she behaves rudely when Paul D arrives and wants only to hear stories about herself. Denver's initial immaturity demonstrates how Sethe's inability to escape her past has also trapped her daughters. One daughter, Beloved, is dead and remains forever a child haunting their house, and the other daughter, Denver, lives as a child, never venturing beyond her own yard.

Beloved's arrival at 124 marks the beginning of Denver's transformation. She finally has someone to devote herself to — someone to love. Note how Denver becomes industrious after Beloved arrives, whereas before she was lazy. As Beloved gradually takes over the house and weakens Sethe, Denver recognizes that the family's survival rests upon her shoulders. Denver is finally able to step out of Sethe's world into the outside world and begin her own life. By the end of the novel, Denver is a mature young woman who has become a part of a larger community and who appears to have a future of love and family ahead of her.