Brown Girl Dreaming

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Grandma Grace Character Analysis

Grandma Grace is Jacqueline’s paternal grandmother. Grandma Grace, like Mama, is from the South, and the two bond over how much they miss their home. After Jack and Mama separate and the family moves to South Carolina, they fall out of contact with Jack’s side of the family, including Grandma Grace.

Grandma Grace Quotes in Brown Girl Dreaming

The Brown Girl Dreaming quotes below are all either spoken by Grandma Grace or refer to Grandma Grace . 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 1 Quotes

My time of birth wasn’t listed
on the certificate, then got lost again
amid other people’s bad memory.

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Mama, Jack, Grandma Grace
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

In the poem that this quote comes from, “other people’s memory,” Jacqueline listens to various members of her family describe the day of her birth. Each of them (her mother, father, and grandmother) describe the event differently, and through the lens of their own experience— Mama talks about being mad that Jack was not there, Jack insists he was present, etc.

Jacqueline’s birth takes place in the context of other people’s already complicated lives. This frustrates Jacqueline, because it prevents her from knowing some objective facts about her existence, such as her birth time. The discrepancy also initiates the reader into the frustrations of memory; Jacquelinemust rely on other people’s unreliable experience and perception to glean basic facts of her own identity, and she is upset that she cannot access these experiences in her own right.


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Grandma Grace Character Timeline in Brown Girl Dreaming

The timeline below shows where the character Grandma Grace appears in Brown Girl Dreaming. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: i am born
Memory Theme Icon another, suggesting that she was born at different times and in different conditions. Grandma Grace believes she was born in the morning, while Mama remembers her birth in the afternoon... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
my mother and grace. Jacqueline describes Mama’s relationship with her mother-in-law, Jacqueline’s paternal grandmother, Grace. Both hail from the same city in South Carolina, and they bond over this shared... (full context)
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Mama still mourns Odell’s death as she nurses her new baby, Odella. Grace tells Mama the baby is a gift from God to replace her brother, but both... (full context)