Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

by

Imbolo Mbue

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Jerry Character Analysis

Neni’s precalculus instructor at Borough of Manhattan Community College. He is described as tall and handsome with long hair. He is nearly forty years old and a PhD student in mathematics at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is teaching for both the additional income and the career-related experience. His father was in the military, causing Jerry’s family to move all over the United States and Europe. Jerry says that he enjoyed Germany the most because the Germans seemed to love Americans. Jerry is gay and has a boyfriend with whom he is trying to adopt a child. During a moment of desperation, Neni confides in Natasha about an idea that she has to get Jerry to adopt Liomi so that the boy can remain in the United States.
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Jerry Character Timeline in Behold the Dreamers

The timeline below shows where the character Jerry appears in Behold the Dreamers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...public library in midtown Manhattan to meet her instructor, who tells her to call him Jerry. They’ve met at this same place twice already. This time, she brings along Liomi and... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
This meeting is more comfortable than Neni’s first with Jerry. She spent the whole hour just nodding while he spoke, afraid of asking a silly... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Fatou tells Jerry all about her and Neni’s plans for Mother’s Day, which reminds Jerry to call his... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Neni timidly asks Jerry how he can like children if he’s gay. Jerry says that, once he’s done with... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
When Neni leaves her meeting with Jerry, she still registers her surprise to Fatou about him being gay. Fatou says that Neni’s... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...together on a stool that they look as though they might kiss reminds her of Jerry, whose help earned her an A-minus final grade in precalculus. She will end the semester... (full context)
Chapter 47
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
...that, to get a scholarship, she’ll need to be nominated by a dean. She emails Jerry for the name and office number of the nominator, Dean Flipkins. (full context)
Chapter 53
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Neni tells Natasha about her idea to offer Jerry the opportunity to adopt Liomi so that her son can have the best possible future.... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Natasha asks if Neni is sure that Liomi will become a citizen if Jerry and his partner adopt him, particularly considering that the couple is gay, which makes it... (full context)