When Paul D, Denver and Sethe first come upon Precious resting against a tree after emerging from the water, the three can not understand the past or present of the woman in front of them. Instead of interpret her odd actions, each of them seeks to a physical element of Cherished to act as a key to her soul. Even as Cherished comes home to remain within the first chapter of her appearance, the household keeps in mind of her personality through her unclear actions and her own fascination in little items. Her background and her future is incomprehensible to them; for that reason, small forays into her being should be obtained by observation and small questioning of her sickly movements. Morrison, by providing the reader inklings of Beloved’s real person, makes her all the more appealing and mystical through the unusual undertones of the lady’s associated items.
When Sethe, Denver and Paul D first saw Beloved, the only things they noticed were the items surrounding her: “a black gown, two unlaced shoes below it” (51 ). As Paul D offers her water, Beloved drinks from the tin cup 4 times and leaves droplets on her chin the cup and the drops functioning as the two most noticeable elements of her individual. Sethe then notices her slender, under-fed body and the “excellent lace” (51) at her throat. She wears the hat of a “abundant lady” and her skin was “flawless other than for three vertical scratches on her forehead” (51 ), which are just the bare marks on the outside representing absolutely nothing exceptional about her character. For Sethe, the most notable things about Beloved are her shoes and the lace at her throat it is truly Denver who tries to dive much deeper into the soul of this odd, homeless female.
When Sethe thinks to herself of Beloved’s background, she associates her with all the other blacks roaming, searching for cousins and pointers of house in a labyrinth of streets and highways and nation lanes. After this musing, Morrison has Sethe refer to her as “the woman with the damaged hat” (53 ), another suggestion of her association with inanimate items rather than prescient feelings. Sickly, Beloved drops off to sleep for days and days upon Baby Suggs bed while Denver monitors her diligently. She will consume absolutely nothing till the expected bout of cholera breaks and she stays up, gesturing for the sweet bread. From then on, Beloved is related to the sugar she consumes, instead of the words she speaks or the history she radiates. While she was ailing, “It took 3 days for Cherished to see the orange spots in the darkness of the quilt” (54 ). At that point, Denver folds the quilt so that the orange bits are in Beloved’s line of sight. In this instance, the lady and her caretaker enjoy spots of fabric unmoving things rather than a coherent example of character or past.
After Denver hands her the sweet bread, Morrison composes, “It was as though sweet things were what she was born for” (55) and then includes a litany of sugary items that mark Beloved’s unnatural pleasure for sweets. This fascination with the taste of sugar once again does not open doors into Beloved’s previous or present. Rather, the observation of this love of specific objects merely contributes to her mystery and trick. Even towards completion of the chapter, Paul D associates Beloved with the weird effect of getting a rocking chair an object though Denver denies it with her lying eyes. Her shoes, her hat, her taste for sugar and Paul D’s odd observation do not shed much light upon the weird character that is Cherished. Morrison’s venture into her character’s mind leads the reader and the surrounding characters into the dark her association with unmoving things only strengthens her currently weird presence.