Character Guide: Paul D
Paul D is a black man marked by his past as a slave. The memories of his physical and mental suffering at Sweet Home buried his emotions deep within him and have sealed them shut from everyone, and even from himself. He represses his memories and emotions and believes that the key to survival is not to get attached to anything or anyone. Paul D incites the opening up of others’ hearts, in specific of Sethe’s as they share some of the experiences that haunt them and therefore can share the burden of their memories. Paul D comes to live to 124 as Sethe’s lover and Sethe provokes a small opening of Paul D’s heart and emotions. Paul D is also the source of Denver’s and Beloved’s jealousy, but he’s seen by Sethe as the potential for a happier future for her and for Denver. While Sethe provides him with stability and allows him to come to terms with his past, Paul D continues to doubt fundamental aspects of his identity, such as his values as a person. At the end we can see that Paul D has begun to move beyond his past and to envision a future hope. He also aims to help Sethe heal physically and mentally from her past to provide her and Denver with brighter futures.
Word bank For Paul D