Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

by

Imbolo Mbue

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Vince Edwards Character Analysis

Clark and Cindy Edwards’s eldest son and Mighty’s older brother. He is a student at Columbia University School of Law. Previously, he attended the Dalton School and New York University. Jende notes that he strongly resembles his father—“bearing the same six-foot frame, slender build, and wavy hair.” Vince seeks to distance himself from his parents, whom he regards as shallow and materialistic. He refuses to follow the corporate path that his father has set and turns down the offer of an internship with Skadden, an international law firm. Instead, he plans to go live on a reservation in Arizona for a month. He confides in Jende regarding his disillusionment with American values and his desire to find truth. Vince tells Jende that he doesn’t plan to return to law school in the fall and will move to India instead. While in India, he considers building a retreat center for American executives. If this doesn’t work out, he plans to move to Bolivia.

Vince Edwards Quotes in Behold the Dreamers

The Behold the Dreamers quotes below are all either spoken by Vince Edwards or refer to Vince Edwards. 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:
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Behold the Dreamers published in 2016.
Chapter 21 Quotes

“First it was my father…he thought he had the right, you know?” Cindy said.

“Drag my mother into that abandoned house…force her… do it to her by force…don’t give a shit about…not care for a second about what would happen to the child…”

She sniffled, took another sip of wine, and wept.

“And the government…our government,” she moaned, slurring, tears running down her cheeks, snot running down her nose. “They had the right, too. Force my mother to carry the child of a stranger. Force her to give birth to the child because…because…I don’t know why!”

Related Characters: Cindy Edwards (speaker), Neni Jonga, Clark Edwards, Vince Edwards
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“At his age, all I wanted was the life that I have right now. This exact life, this was what I wanted.”

“It is a good life, sir. A very good life.”

“Sometimes. But I can understand why Vince doesn’t want it. Because these days I don’t want it, either. All this shit going on at Lehman, all this stuff we would never have done twenty years ago because we stood for something more, and now really dirty shit is becoming the norm. All over the Street. But try to show good sense, talk of consequences, have a far-long-term outlook, and they look at you as if you've lost your marbles […]”

“And I know Vince has got a point, but the problem is not some system. It is us. Each of us. We've got to fix ourselves before we can fix a whole damn country […]”

Related Characters: Jende Jonga (speaker), Clark Edwards (speaker), Vince Edwards
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Behold the Dreamers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Behold the Dreamers PDF

Vince Edwards Character Timeline in Behold the Dreamers

The timeline below shows where the character Vince Edwards appears in Behold the Dreamers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...Tuesday, after Jende’s been on the job for two weeks, Cindy visits her eldest son, Vince. Jende notices how much the young man resembles his father. Cindy is ecstatic to see... (full context)
Chapter 6
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...Jende goes on to say that Limbe “is the best town in Africa,” and that Vince once told him that “it’s the type of town he wants to live in.” Clark... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
...someone else going to Arizona and then hangs up and dials another number. He’s calling Vince to say that Cindy just called to tell Clark that Vince is turning down “the... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
...about how “unbelievable” his son is. Jende longs to tell him that he’s sorry about Vince and that “nothing could be harder than a disobedient son.” Clark then calls Frank, asking... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Jende has been waiting for Vince to come out of his apartment for fifteen minutes. He arrives and hops into the... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Jende assures Vince that his parents are “good people” and that Clark works very hard for his children.... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Jende tells Vince that he should finish school, become a lawyer, and then go to India on vacation.... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Vince tells Jende that his family’s never been close and that he’s always viewed his father... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Vince returns to the car in an hour, with an ice pack held to his cheek.... (full context)
Chapter 18
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...which they only occupy for a few months a year. The afternoon when she arrives, Vince gives her a big hug and tells her to make herself comfortable. She spends all... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...agreement. She then tells Neni that Clark won’t be coming home that night, and that Vince is leaving after he and Mighty return. Around seven o’clock Cindy starts the engine to... (full context)
Chapter 21
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
 Halfway into Neni’s stay in Southampton, Vince walks into his bedroom and jumps on his newly made bed while Neni fluffs the... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...to find out what’s going on. Mighty could only tell her that his parents and Vince are fighting and that Vince won’t say anything else to him about it until Mighty... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...thinks that he has the right to love her less than his work. And now, Vince thinks he has the right to abandon her. Cindy’s cries grow louder. She finishes her... (full context)
Chapter 23
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...watch the sun set over the Hudson River. Jende thinks about how both Clark and Vince love sunsets and wonders if Vince knows this about his father. (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Clark tells Jende about Vince’s plans to move to India and Jende pretends that he didn’t know about them. Jende... (full context)
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Jende tells Clark that he thinks that Vince will probably return from India after several months and then “run back to law school.”... (full context)
Chapter 25
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
On the day that Vince is supposed to come over for his farewell dinner, Neni spends the day cleaning the... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
At three o’clock, two hours before Vince is due to arrive, Jende’s phone rings. Vince asks if it would be all right... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...sleep in the same bedroom and goes to Liomi’s bedroom to see his toys, while Vince and Jende drink Malta, eat peanuts, and talk about America. (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Mighty wants to hear more stories, but Vince announces that it’s time for them to leave. Mighty sulks and Liomi tries to cheer... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Mighty keeps trying to convince Vince to let him stay longer and asks if Jende can take him home later. Neni... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...the meaning of his life and finds it strange that he’s beginning to sound like Vince. This prompts Jende to wonder how Vince is doing in India. He also thinks about... (full context)
Chapter 32
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...laughs a bit more, but she still looks unhealthily thin. She talks a lot about Vince, worrying that he hasn’t responded to her email. (full context)
Chapter 37
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...Christmas, which Mighty says he doesn’t want to talk about. He mentions that Cindy called Vince on Skype and that Vince now as “some funny-looking dreadlocks.” He then mentions that his... (full context)
Chapter 45
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...apartment. She was alone in bed because Clark was in London on a business trip, Vince was still in India, and Mighty was studying at the Dalton School, “being groomed to... (full context)
Chapter 46
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...a gray suit and plays “a beautifully imperfect” version of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” Vince delivers the eulogy, for which he speaks in anecdotes, talking about hiking with his mother... (full context)
Chapter 55
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...the way down in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The morning after, she listens to the voicemail; it’s Vince. She calls him back, much to his surprise. He asks her about how her family... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Vince says that, now that Mighty and Clark are okay, he’ll probably never return to the... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Vince asks Neni to take her time to think about it, but Neni knows that she... (full context)
Chapter 60
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...Jende that family is everything, which he’s sure Jende already understands. He also says that Vince is thinking of opening a retreat center for American execs visiting Mumbai. He told Clark... (full context)