A Hope in the Unseen

by

Ron Suskind

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Bernadine Dohrn Character Analysis

Zayd Dohrn’s mother. She is disappointed in her son for his lack of motivation to change the world and the way he sees women as sexual conquests. She was a radical activist as a young woman—even earning herself a spot on the FBI’s Most Wanted list—and has raised Zayd to see the world from her very progressive perspective. She is proud of her son for befriending Cedric, and is very excited to meet him and his mother. However, at the end of a long and overwhelming day, Barbara is uninterested in talking to Bernadine, and Cedric is uncomfortable being placed on a pedestal for his race, foreshadowing some of the tensions that will fester between Cedric and Zayd throughout the year.
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Bernadine Dohrn Character Timeline in A Hope in the Unseen

The timeline below shows where the character Bernadine Dohrn appears in A Hope in the Unseen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: Bill Payers on Parade
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
Bernadine and Bill Dohrn are on the Brown campus, talking with a friend about what it... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
...Barbara greets them all and then purposely moves past them to get to Cedric’s room. Bernadine is disappointed that she doesn’t get to spend any more time with them, but Barbara... (full context)
Chapter 10: A Bursting Heart
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
...hiding. They were suspected of being involved in the robbery of an armored truck, and Zayn’s mother spent a year in jail without being charged for the crime. In the meantime, Zayd... (full context)