Brown Girl Dreaming

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Roman Character Analysis

Roman is Jacqueline’s younger brother, and the youngest child in the family. Roman has a different father than Odella, Hope, and Jacqueline, and has lighter skin and straight hair. When he is a toddler, Roman eats the paint off the walls of their apartment and gets lead poisoning, causing him to be in the hospital for a summer.
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Roman Character Timeline in Brown Girl Dreaming

The timeline below shows where the character Roman appears in Brown Girl Dreaming. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: the stories of south carolina run like rivers
The North and The South Theme Icon
roman. The next morning, Jacqueline meets her baby brother, Roman. Hope is happy to have another boy in the family. Jacqueline, however, resents the new... (full context)
Part 3: followed the sky’s mirrored constellation to freedom
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
...have the same gap in their front teeth. Jacqueline then goes on to ponder why Roman is much lighter skinned than she is. People remark on this difference, thinking that the... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
...and Odella have to iron their own dresses because Mama’s hands are full with baby Roman. Mama does not attend the meetings at Kingdom Hall; instead, she sits and reads. (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...outside, but Mama won’t let them. Instead, Mama brings home a bag of board games. Roman and Jacqueline want to play chess with Hope and Odella, but they are too little... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
the paint eater. Roman eats the paint off the walls in the children’s bedroom. (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
baby in the house. One day, Roman does not get up. He refuses to eat, and cries profusely. Mama takes him to... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
going home again. Jacqueline, Odella, and Hope kiss Roman goodbye in the hospital before taking the train to Greenville for the summer. Roman must... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
...house and she will rub his sore hands with Epsom salts. Meanwhile, Jacqueline prays that Roman will be well soon, and that they will always have their life in Greenville with... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
...in Greenville is ending. Mama calls MaryAnn to plan the children’s return. The children miss Roman, and Jacqueline thinks of him running to them when they return from school. The children... (full context)
Part 4: deep in my heart i do believe
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...happy ending. When Jacqueline and her siblings return to Brooklyn from Greenville, their reunion with Roman and Mama is an “almost happy ending,” because Roman still has a hospital band on... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
one place. Roman travels between the apartment and the hospital until his treatment is done. Mama moves Roman’s... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
daddy this time. When the children return to Greenville for the summer, Roman comes with them, and he swings on the swing set that Gunnar cemented down. Gunnar... (full context)