A Visit from the Goon Squad

Charlene (Charlie) Character Analysis

Also known as Charlie, Charlene is Lou’s daughter. On a trip to Africa with her father, she misses her mother and tries to connect to her younger brother, Rolph. She is defiant in her youth, and as an adult, joins a cult in Mexico run by a charismatic leader who promotes a diet of raw eggs. After almost dying of Salmonella, Charlie returns to the U.S., struggles with a cocaine addiction, and becomes estranged from her father.

Charlene (Charlie) Quotes in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The A Visit from the Goon Squad quotes below are all either spoken by Charlene (Charlie) or refer to Charlene (Charlie). 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:
Time and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of A Visit from the Goon Squad published in 2011.
Chapter 4 Quotes

[Charlie] takes hold of his hands. As they move together, Rolph feels his self-consciousness miraculously fade, as if he is growing up right there on the dance floor, becoming a boy who dances with girls like his sister. Charlie feels it, too. In fact, this particular memory is one she'll return to again and again, for the rest of her life, long after Rolph has shot himself in the head in their father's house at twenty-eight: her brother as a boy, hair slicked flat, eyes sparkling, shyly learning to dance.

Related Characters: Charlene (Charlie) (speaker), Rolph (speaker)
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

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Charlene (Charlie) Character Timeline in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The timeline below shows where the character Charlene (Charlie) appears in A Visit from the Goon Squad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Safari
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Lou Kline, his girlfriend Mindy, and his two children, Rolph and Charlie, are on an African safari. Several other characters join them, including Chronos, the bassist of... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
A group of Samburu warriors arrives, and Charlie recognizes a young warrior who has scars on his chest. The warriors begin to sing... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
The young warrior smiles at Charlie. He has lived away from his village since he was ten, but he understands that... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
While Charlie watches the warriors perform, Lou takes Rolph for a walk. He tells Rolph that his... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
...that he will. They return to camp and Rolph goes into his tent. He expects Charlie to be asleep, but when she speaks he can tell she has been crying. She... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...notices. She believes Cora hates her because she is younger and dating a powerful man. Charlie, meanwhile, is experiencing structural resentment, in which the adolescent daughter of a twice-divorced man will... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...grass, and parks beside a pride of lions—two females, one male, and three cubs. Lou, Charlie, Rolph, Chronos, and Dean stand up, their upper bodies emerging through the sunroof. Mindy, effectively... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Fame, Art, and Popular Culture Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
Rolph and Charlie meet a group of other tourist children and sneak out back to look for animals... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
...The train does not stop, but slows down just enough for people to jump off. Charlie and Mindy share a laugh over Dean’s obvious statements. Lou moves in and asks what... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
Charlie and Rolph relax under a palm tree. Charlie says she never wants to go home,... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
That night at dinner, Rolph and Charlie drink wine. Rolph doesn’t like the taste, but likes the way it makes him feel.... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Rolph and Charlie go outside together. Rolph tells Charlie that this night reminds him of the vacation to... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
The narrative jumps forward, revealing that Charlie will join a cult in Mexico led by a man who promotes a diet of... (full context)
Time and Memory Theme Icon
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Connection, Disconnection, and Technology Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
Back in the present, Charlie and Rolph go back into the bar, and Charlie pulls Rolph onto the dance floor.... (full context)