Arc of Justice

Arc of Justice

by

Kevin Boyle

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Leon Breiner Character Analysis

Leon Breiner is a car factory foreman who lives in the Garland Avenue neighborhood. In the crowds on the night of September 9, 1925, he’s fatally shot by one of the defenders when the mob starts throwing stones at the house. He leaves behind a disabled wife and young daughters.

Leon Breiner Quotes in Arc of Justice

The Arc of Justice quotes below are all either spoken by Leon Breiner or refer to Leon Breiner. 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:
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
).
Chapter 7 Quotes

Ossian was quoted as saying in late September, “I am willing to stay indefinitely in the cell and be punished. I feel sure by the demonstration made by my people that they have confidence in me as a law-abiding citizen. I denounce the theory of Ku Kluxism and uphold the theory of manhood with a wife and tiny baby to protect.” Tough as nails on the night of the shooting, Gladys became in White’s hands a black Madonna, her arms aching for the child she could not hold. “Though I suffer and am torn loose from my fourteen-month-old baby,” she said, “I feel it is my duty to the womanhood of the race. If I am freed I shall return and live at my home on Garland Avenue.”

Related Characters: Ossian Sweet (speaker), Gladys Sweet (speaker), Iva Sweet, Walter White, Leon Breiner
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Why deny that the greatest asset that the State has in this case is prejudice and the greatest handicap that we have on this side of the table is prejudice […] I thought this case was fraught with nothing but disastrous things, and apart from the testimony, when I viewed here the sinister figure of prejudice, sitting before you twelve men in a dispensary of justice, but as I sat here this morning, and I saw an attempt made to arouse that prejudice, in order to becloud the issue here, so that you twelve men would not decide this case upon the testimony…I was amazed to think that a public prosecutor should go to the burial place of Leon Breiner and drag his helpless body before you in order that you might send Henry Sweet to jail because Leon Breiner is dead and Henry Sweet is black instead of white.”

Related Characters: Thomas Chawke (speaker), Henry Sweet, Arthur Garfield Hays, Leon Breiner
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 329
Explanation and Analysis:
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Leon Breiner Character Timeline in Arc of Justice

The timeline below shows where the character Leon Breiner appears in Arc of Justice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Where Death Waits
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...Kathleen Dove sit on their stoop as the street fills with curious adults and children. Leon Breiner arrives from his house (which is much more modest than the Black family’s) on the... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Self-Defense, Race, and Ownership Theme Icon
...neighborhood resident Eric Houghberg joins the mob. As the first shots ring out, he approaches  Leon Breiner , who is standing on the sidewalk. Almost immediately, a bullet tears through Breiner’s abdomen... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Outside, as Schuknecht learns about Leon Breiner ’s death, the crowd grows more volatile. The fearful flee, and those who remain clearly... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Letter of Your Law
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
...at the police station as confirmation arrives that, while doctors expect Eric Houghberg to survive, Leon Breiner has died. The architectural beauty of Detroit’s neoclassical police headquarters belies the corruption and malice—especially... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
...that the Sweets were spoiling for a fight and dwells with pathos and sympathy on Leon Breiner ’s senseless death and his family’s plight. Similar stories run in the middle-class Detroit Times... (full context)
Chapter 7: Freedmen, Sons of God, Americans
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
...testimony. But, despite this and Moll’s failure to explicitly tie any of the suspects to Leon Breiner ’s murder, the judge finds the evidence sufficient to proceed to trial. (full context)
Chapter 9: Prejudice
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
...their arrival. They reiterate the image of the sparsely furnished rooms. The officer who watched Leon Breiner bleed to death on the Doves’ front lawn, with a pipe in his mouth but... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Progress and Social Change Theme Icon
...keeps his closing argument brief, trying to pull the jury’s attention back to luckless victim Leon Breiner . Then, Frank Murphy instructs the jurors and sends them to their deliberations, which drag,... (full context)
Chapter 10: Judgement Day
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Progress and Social Change Theme Icon
...artists.” He excoriates Chawke and Darrow for their unwillingness to confront the specter of poor Leon Breiner bleeding out on the Doves’ front lawn and their preference to carry the jury on... (full context)
Prejudice, Segregation, and Society Theme Icon
Justice and Civil Rights Theme Icon
Progress and Social Change Theme Icon
...as long as Darrow’s, which tries yet again to pull the jury’s focus back to Leon Breiner , a “poor, insignificant American […] one man in thousands” who nevertheless had the right... (full context)