Brown Girl Dreaming

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Diana Character Analysis

Diana is a girl of Puerto Rican descent who moves into an apartment on Madison Street and becomes friends with Maria and Jacqueline. Jacqueline becomes jealous of Diana and worries that she is taking her place as Maria’s best friend, but Maria dispels these fears during her brother Carlos’s baptism, when Maria invites Jacqueline, not Diana, to the family-only pre-party.

Diana Quotes in Brown Girl Dreaming

The Brown Girl Dreaming quotes below are all either spoken by Diana or refer to Diana. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Nancy Paulsen Books edition of Brown Girl Dreaming published in 2014.
Part 4 Quotes

We take our food out to her stoop just as the grown-ups
start dancing merengue, the women lifting their long dresses
to show off their fast-moving feet,
the men clapping and yelling,
Baila! Baila! until the living room floor disappears.
When I ask Maria where Diana is she says,
They’re coming later. This part is just for my family.

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Maria (speaker), Diana
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

This quotefrom “pasteles & pernil” takes place during Maria’s brother’s baptism. Maria and Jacqueline eat on the stoop while her family dances inside. Recently, Maria’s friend Diana has been making Jacqueline jealous because Diana shares Puerto Rican heritage with Maria, and Jacqueline is afraid that, consequently, Diana will surpass her as Maria’s best friend. When, in this quote, Maria tells Jacqueline that Diana is coming later because “this part is just for my family,” she affirms Jacqueline’s place as her best friend.

Moreover, by calling Jacqueline “family,” Maria dispels Jacqueline’s notion that Diana and Maria’s shared racial and cultural identities will create a bond between them that Jacqueline, with her different racial and cultural identity, could not match. This quote shows Jacqueline how differences in racial and cultural identities do not have to mean emotional distance. Moreover, Maria’s implication that Jacqueline is “family” undoes genetic notions of family and closeness. For Maria and Jacqueline’s friendship, racial and cultural differences are not impediments, and, in fact, their bond is formed in part by sharing their differences with each other.

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Diana Character Timeline in Brown Girl Dreaming

The timeline below shows where the character Diana appears in Brown Girl Dreaming. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 4: deep in my heart i do believe
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
new girl. A new girl named Diana moves in next door and becomes friends with Maria and Jacqueline. Like Maria’s mother, Diana’s... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
...while the girls eat on the stoop, the adults dance merengue. When Jacqueline asks where Diana is, Maria says that she is coming later because “this part is just for my... (full context)