An American Marriage

by

Tayari Jones

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An American Marriage: Part 3, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Celestial knows her house so well that she can tell something is different about it even before she opens the door. She calls out when she enters, and a voice replies from the dining room. Roy tells her that she didn’t change the locks. He helps her with her groceries and she tells him Andre is on his way to pick Roy up. Roy says that Dre isn’t who he wants to talk to. Roy hugs Celestial and Celestial feels dizzy. He tells her that he missed her and has a lot of questions.
Roy interprets being able to enter the house has a sign that he still stands a chance of reconciling with Celestial, because she, like the door, is still open to him.
Themes
Love and Marriage in Crisis Theme Icon
The Effects of Incarceration Theme Icon
Roy leads Celestial to the living room, noting the different wall color and the African artifacts that Celestial’s parents bought her as gifts from their travels. Roy asks Celestial to tell him whatever she needs to say. He asks if she loves him and she can’t speak, so he says that she must love him because she didn’t divorce him. He wants to hear the truth from her and he asks her if she is with Andre. Celestial replies that it isn’t yes or no. Roy lays his head in her lap.
While Big Roy’s house went virtually unchanged in the time that Roy was in prison, Celestial’s has changed quite a bit, suggesting that their marriage is not as steadfast as is Roy’s relationship with Big Roy. When Celestial is unable to verbally confirm her love for Roy, he optimistically fills in what he hopes she feels. Celestial refuses to tell him if she’s with Andre because she knows the situation is more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Themes
Love and Marriage in Crisis Theme Icon
Parenthood as a Choice Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
The Effects of Incarceration Theme Icon