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by Toni Morrison

Denver Timeline and Summary

  • Denver is born during Sethe's journey to freedom. She's named after Amy Denver, the white girl who helped save Sethe while she was pregnant with Denver.
  • After Sethe kills her first baby girl at 124, she tries to kill Denver, but Stamp Paid stops Sethe.
  • When Sethe gets sent to jail, she takes Denver with her.
  • Denver grows up at 124 Bluestone Road mostly alone.
  • For a short time, Denver goes to school at Lady Jones's. One day, a boy at school asks her if Sethe really killed her newborn baby.
  • Denver is so shocked that she stops hearing anything at all. Baby Suggs eventually takes her out of school.
  • Once Baby Suggs dies, Denver hangs out at 124 with Sethe and the ghost or in her secret hideaway in the woods.
  • When Paul D arrives, Denver's about 18. She's not happy with Paul D because he drives the ghost out, but he takes Sethe and her to the carnival, which makes Denver warm up to him.
  • That is, until Beloved shows up at 124.
  • Even though Denver sees Beloved seduce Paul D, that doesn't stop Denver from treating Beloved like she's everything. Denver does whatever she can, including story-telling, to keep Beloved entertained.
  • One day, when Denver sees Beloved (or something) try to choke Sethe out in the Clearing, she realizes not only who Beloved really is, but also how poisonous the relationship between Sethe and Beloved has become.
  • Soon, there's no food in the house because Sethe isn't doing anything except being at Beloved's beck and call. So Denver decides to leave the house and go into town—something she hasn't done in years.
  • She goes over to her old schoolteacher's house and begs for a job.
  • Lady Jones doesn't have a job for Denver, but she lets the community know about Denver's plight at 124. The women in town take pity on Denver and leave food at 124.
  • When Denver starts to return the plates on which the food came, she begins to meet these women.
  • Eventually, she gets a job as a servant at the Bodwins' house and becomes a part of the community even as she's taking care of Sethe.
  • She's even studying to get into college.
  • She and Paul D bump into each other on the street, and she tells Paul D about how well she's doing and how poorly Sethe's faring.
  • Their conversation ends when a young man Denver likes runs up and talks to her. And that's the last we hear of Denver.