Thesis: Within the novel, Beloved, there is an assertion that human love, and in particular, mother-love, is an equivalent to Divine Love. Although the love of God, in the western, patriarchal tradition is considered ultimate and unspeakable, the novel asserts in many passages that mother-love is its equal because it will sacrifice the most precious object of its affection: its offspring, in order to protect the life and future of the offspring from a perpetual death-like existence. This premise challenges the supremacy of the Patriarchal imagery of God, or his anthropomorphism, which is the first edict of the concept of God in literary interpretation according to Bennett and Royle. (150).
The novel is sectioned into three parts. The first part functions in pieces, shadows and half-memories. The second part serves to clarify and interpret the first, much as the "New Testament- is seen as an "unveiling- of the "Old Testament."" The third part could be seen as "Revelation- for the novel in its entirety. .
Close to the beginning of the second "testament- of the novel, shortly after Stamp Paid's realization of the debt he owes to Baby Suggs, is a rather lengthy passage describing Baby Suggs' loss of faith and her subsequent retirement to her bed. (176 bottom to 180 top) The passage begins with Stamp Paid fingering the ribbon he has found and smelling the burned skin as he tries to approach 124 for a second time. Having realized his indebtedness, he now is free to move past the barrier of his pride which kept him away from 124, but also he is able to move past himself and truly enter into the experience of someone other than himself. He realizes what it is to be "marrow- tired. The significance of the word marrow is interesting: it is the marrow that generates the red blood cells that produce fresh blood. If, as the scriptures tell us, "the life of the flesh is in the blood- and the factory for making this life is breaking down, then the whole "body- as it were is at risk.