Beloved is so much more than just the spirit of Sethe’s dead child. She represents the spirits of all the slaves who died on their forced voyage to America. Beloved possesses memories that are unique to the trauma that slaves went through during their time on the Middle Passage. Beloved shares this memory with Sethe’s mother and therefore raises questions about Beloved also representing Sethe’s mom.
Because of Beloved’s unique supernatural characteristic and portrayal of so many forgotten slaves, she is individually underdeveloped in the story. Sethe’s actions and experiences shape Beloved and she proves to a beneficial part of Sethe’s life, until she isn’t. She assists Sethe by asking her to reveal stories of her past but later turns too needy. Her role as more of a force than a person helps this idea become clearer. While Beloved represents Sethe’s unnamed child, she is also a character for the masses that died during America’s most shameful period.