The ending of Beloved addresses the theme of memories that is apparent throughout the rest of the novel. The phrase, “it was not a story to pass on,” is repeated twice and then again with a third slight variation of “this is not a story to pass on,” in the final section of the novel. This phrase is interesting given that the novel itself has done the deed of passing on this story to its readers. Beloved is filled with moments of passing on stories and looking back upon the past. However, the narrator of this section notes that although the characters may do this with all other stories of their pasts, no matter how painful, the story of Beloved is not one that should be repeated and shared to continue her memory. The narrator of this section notes that Sethe, Denver, and all the other people in the community reached a point where Beloved is barely remembered by even those that have interacted with her. They essentially forced out Beloved and her memory out of their minds. Beloved is “disremembered and unaccounted for, she cannot be lost because no one is looking for her.” It is interesting that the painful memories of slavery, assault, etc. were stories that Sethe passed on and recounted, but the story of her first daughter will be forever gone from her mind and the minds of others.
Additionally, this section talks about Beloved’s lack of name and how, “everybody knew what she was called, but nobody anywhere knew her name.” It made it easier to forget her for those who knew less and less about her, so her lack of name made this even easier. This section is interesting for many reasons. It really ties together all the ideas surrounding memory and time throughout the novel, it finally addresses Beloved’s real name not being told, and it gives a feeling of closure for readers at the end of the story.