A Hope in the Unseen

by

Ron Suskind

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Cedric, Sr. / Cedric Gilliam Character Analysis

Cedric’s father did not want a child in the first place, and when he found out that his girlfriend Barbara was pregnant, he pressured her to have an abortion, and deserted her when she chose to keep the child. He subsequently spent years in and out of prison for taking and dealing drugs. Although he earned two college degrees in prison, he struggled to find work when he was out, leading him back to a life of drugs. He has a difficult time relating to his son, who is focused on academic goals that Cedric Gilliam can hardly understand; the father and son are estranged for most of Cedric’s adolescence, and are only able to begin to connect as father and son once Cedric Gilliam completes a drug treatment program.
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Cedric, Sr. / Cedric Gilliam Character Timeline in A Hope in the Unseen

The timeline below shows where the character Cedric, Sr. / Cedric Gilliam appears in A Hope in the Unseen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Rise and Shine
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
Anger Theme Icon
When Cedric, Sr. , wakes the next morning, however, one of the guards informs him that he will... (full context)
Anger Theme Icon
...that the incident happened a handful of years earlier. Cedric responded by claiming that his father has been disrespecting the woman by getting into trouble and going to jail. The two... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Pretender
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
...for the upcoming Million Man March, a national protest march focused on African American rights. Cedric, Sr. , is enjoying one of his last days of freedom, as he has failed his... (full context)
Chapter 10: A Bursting Heart
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
...higher education when she had her daughter at a young age. He also discusses his father’s past, as both a college graduate and a convict. She is taken aback by his... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Religion and Hope Theme Icon
Cedric has confided in Zayd about his background, including his father’s incarceration, and while many of their classmates long to know more about Cedric, Zayd keeps... (full context)
Chapter 14: Meeting the Man
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
Anger Theme Icon
...he must find his own way from now on. He first goes to visit his father, whom he has not seen in two years. He feels different about their relationship—less intimidated,... (full context)
Epilogue
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Religion and Hope Theme Icon
...later quitting her job to sell candy on the sidewalk to support the church. Cedric’s father successfully completed his drug treatment program and has stayed clean, and he is trying to... (full context)