With Amy Denver

We can go into the end of time searching for that one moment that could’ve changed a life’s path. In “Beloved” by Toni Morrison one moment that could’ve changed the story was when Sethe met Amy Denver in the woods. If that moment didn’t happen, if those two women didn’t cross paths than 124 would’ve been haunted by different ghosts. Amy’s arrival was pivotal to Sethe and her unborn child’s survival. Without her who knows what could’ve happened to Sethe in the dark woods, they could’ve been captured by hunters and eaten by snakes. It’s not safe to be without protection in the woods. Amy brought Sethe back to life, she helped her in the most crucial time and helped her get stronger when Sethe needed to the most.

Sethe was tired and weak, she was knocking on deaths door. At the verge of having her child, she screamed and fortunately someone heard her. The scream stopped Amy Denver in her tracks, she heard the painful cry coming from a human. Being a white servant she knew the dangers and risks of helping a Negro. But that didn’t stop her, she was loving and compassionate, we knew this from the way she spoke with her desired velvet and didn’t once intend to report Sethe to the hunters for a reward. Sethe trusted her. (P 91. “Said this girl talked a storm, but there wasn’t no meanness around her mouth”.) Even though she told her that she goes by the name Lu. Sethe had no idea what Amy spoke of, yet she liked hearing about the velvet it texture and different colors. It allowed Sethe to briefly forget the pain and imagine something else.

Amy Kept Sethe breathing and speaking as they continued to walk as far away from danger as they could. Sethe couldn’t go much further (P93. “the fire in her feet and fire on her back made her sweat”) Amy wasn’t going to let her die on her watch so she rubbed Sethe’s swollen feet and aided her wounded back. Amy described the scar as a tree (P 93 “a chokecherry tree”), Amy did the best she could to help soothe Sethe’s pain.

Sethe knew it was time she couldn’t go any further, she knew she was lucky that she had even made it as far as she already did. Sethe pushed out her baby, Amy grabbed the child wrapped her up in her skirt and the three had to move on to a somewhat safe place. Amy eventually departed she had to continue on her originally journey to Boston for her velvet. But before she left she told Sethe to remember her and tell her child the story of Amy Denver. Sethe was so grateful for Miss Amy Denver (P 100 “that’s pretty. Denver. Real pretty.”) The name was so beautiful to Sethe that she named her daughter Denver after her. Sethe will never forget Amy’s sacrifice. She owes Amy her life.

Sethe finally made it safely to her destination with baby Denver. She was so filthy almost unrecognizable. Some time has passed since she last saw her family her 2 boys were growing and her baby girl was already crawling. She was happy and appreciative she was finally complete and a free slave. That young velvet loving white girl risked her own life to keep Sethe and her child alive even if it would’ve been for one more day.

In conclusion without Amy Denver Sethe’s survival wasn’t guaranteed. Amy put her own life in danger helping a runaway slave. They could’ve been hunted and killed, Amy’s compassion kept them going. If Amy would’ve ignored Sethe’s cries or reported her for a reward, the ghost of 124 would’ve been another. Some characters would’ve died and others would’ve survived with Miss Amy Denver. That’s just one moment we could continue looking for other moments that would’ve or could’ve changed the story of “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. The moment of Amy Denver created a balance and kept a mother and child alive.

2 thoughts on “With Amy Denver”

  1. Hi Tary, I understand your pivotal moment in “Beloved,” is when Amy Denver helped Sethe deliver her baby, whom Sethe named Denver in remembrance of Amy’s kindness. I understand your argument that if Amy Denver had not helped Sethe its possible she would not have made it to the house at 124 Bluestone road to reunite with her children. I agree with you that without Amy Denver’s helped Sethe could have died, bitten by deadly snakes or recaptured by slave catchers. If these events had taken place the author, Toni Morrison would have a different plot with a different title because the crawling already baby killed by Sethe weeks after her arrival at Bluestone Road would have remained alive. There would have been no need for a headstone with the word “Beloved,” inscribed. Your pivotal moment is indicated in your in paragraph 4. I do not recognize a quote to support this pivotal moment, but your paraphrasing of the events offer some clarity to the pivotal moment you are emphasizing. More extensive quotes along with use of the five step method would give your pivotal moment more emphasis.

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