A Hope in the Unseen

by

Ron Suskind

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Leon Trilling Character Analysis

A professor at the MIT summer program for talented high school students of color, Leon Trilling is the one who tells Cedric that he is not cut out for MIT. Citing Cedric’s lousy SAT scores and his struggles during the summer program, Trilling informs the boy that he is simply not on the level of MIT students academically, and he discourages Cedric from applying altogether. He suggests that Cedric consider applying to lower-tier colleges, and even mentions Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. Cedric finds this extremely offensive and racist, and uses his anger to focus on getting into a different top-tier school: Brown University.
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Leon Trilling Character Timeline in A Hope in the Unseen

The timeline below shows where the character Leon Trilling appears in A Hope in the Unseen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Skin Deep
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
...suddenly feels less alone in his academic climb. At their introduction, the students hear from Leon Trilling , the distinguished professor who will be reviewing their progress and meeting with each student... (full context)
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
...the middle ranks of his calculus class. His confidence dissolves, however, when he meets with Leon Trilling . (full context)
Race, Racism, and Identity Theme Icon
Class vs. Wealth Theme Icon
Academic Support Systems Theme Icon
Anger Theme Icon
Professor Trilling has been monitoring the students’ work for the previous six weeks, and is meeting with... (full context)