Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers

by

Imbolo Mbue

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Behold the Dreamers can help.

Winston Avera Character Analysis

Jende’s cousin. His late father came from “a wealthy Banso clan,” which afforded him the ability to send Winston to Baptist High School in Buea, a boarding school. He gained American citizenship by joining the army, and also once worked as a grocery store cashier in Chicago. After going to law school and training to become a corporate lawyer, Winston now works as an associate at Dustin, Connors, and Solomon—a firm on Wall Street. Jende lived with him for a month after his arrival in New York, and it is Winston who recommends Jende for his job as Clark Edwards’s chauffeur. He has a girlfriend named Jenny, but he has earned a reputation among his relatives as a playboy. Later in the novel, he begins pursuing a romance with Maami, whom he convinces to move to New York then impregnates. Until Maami moves in with him, Winston lives alone “in a seven-hundred-square-foot one bedroom apartment in a building with a doorman.” He has younger sisters at Buea University whom he will probably help come to the U.S.

Winston Avera Quotes in Behold the Dreamers

The Behold the Dreamers quotes below are all either spoken by Winston Avera or refer to Winston Avera. 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 14 Quotes

Winston had friends of all races, she knew, but she had no idea he had so many white friends […] It was one thing to be in the same class with them, work for them, smile at them on the bus; it was a whole other thing to laugh and chat with them for hours, making sure she enunciated every word so they wouldn't say her accent was too difficult to understand. No way could she spend time with a white woman and be herself the way she was with Betty or Fatou […] And the people in the bar […] they were mostly associates at the firm where Winston worked, so she had to be careful not to embarrass him. Nothing shamed her more than black people embarrassing themselves in front of white people by behaving the way white people expect them to behave.

Related Characters: Neni Jonga, Winston Avera, Fatou, Betty
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:

She was noticing something for the first time […] On both sides of the street […] she saw people walking with their kind: a white man holding hands with a white woman; a black teenager giggling with other black (or Latino) teenagers; a white mother pushing a stroller alongside another white mother; a black woman chatting with a black woman […] Even in New York City […] men and women, young and old, rich and poor, preferred their kind when it came to those they kept closest. And why shouldn't they? It was far easier to do so than to spend one’s limited energy trying to blend into a world one was never meant to be a part of […] She had her world in Harlem and never again would she try to wriggle her way into a world in midtown, not even for just an hour.

Related Characters: Jende Jonga, Neni Jonga, Winston Avera
Page Number: 94-95
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 52 Quotes

When he had told her of his plan to return home, she had wondered why he was coming back when others were running out of Limbe, when many in his age group were fleeing to Bahrain and Qatar, or trekking and taking a succession of crowded buses to get from Cameroon to Libya so they could cross to Italy on leaky boats and arrive there with dreams of a happier life if the Mediterranean didn’t swallow them alive.

Related Characters: Jende Jonga, Winston Avera, Ma Jonga
Page Number: 323-324
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 62 Quotes

“One can never trust any government—I don’t trust the American government and I definitely don't trust the Cameroon government.”

“No, but it's our government and it's our country. We love it, we hate it, it's still our country. How man go do?”

“It's our country,” Winston agreed. “We can never disown it.”

Related Characters: Jende Jonga (speaker), Winston Avera (speaker)
Page Number: 380
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Behold the Dreamers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Behold the Dreamers PDF

Winston Avera Character Timeline in Behold the Dreamers

The timeline below shows where the character Winston Avera appears in Behold the Dreamers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...at a salary of thirty-five thousand per year. After calling Neni, he calls his cousin, Winston, to thank him for putting a good word in to Clark’s friend, Frank Dawson. Neni... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...become documented for three years. He was in the country for only four weeks when Winston took him to meet an immigration lawyer to find a way for Jende to stay... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...in Cameroon. He would succeed in America and return to his home country a “conqueror.” Winston tells him that, second to marrying an American citizen, applying for asylum is the easiest... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
When Winston expresses skepticism, Bubakar insists that he knows more about how to handle immigration judges and... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...When Clark says that he originally comes from Evanston, Illinois, Jende recalls that his cousin, Winston, lived in Illinois for a few months, but he called home all the time complaining... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...buy a plane ticket to the U.S. if he was so poor. Jende explains that Winston helped with that. Clark recalls that Winston is an associate at Dustin, Connors, and Solomon—a... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
When Neni enters the Hudson Hotel bar, where Winston is having his birthday party, she wonders why people like hanging out in bars, where... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...mirror and notices that she’s sweating. She doesn’t know what she’s going to say to Winston’s guests for the next two hours. She’s never been to a party with mostly white... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
A minute after reentering the bar, Neni doesn’t see Jende or Winston and ends up standing by herself. Then, she sees Jende standing by the door, chatting... (full context)
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...thirty more minutes, and she tells him that he can stay; she’ll leave and wish Winston a happy birthday on the phone tomorrow. She feels better in the cool air but... (full context)
Chapter 16
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...lawyers are miserable, and he doesn’t want to be miserable. Jende notes that his cousin, Winston, is a lawyer. When Vince asks if he’s happy, Jende says that sometimes he is... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Parental Expectations vs. Personal Ambitions Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...a swim at the public pool in East Harlem. Jende shows Liomi how he and Winston used to swim at Down Beach back in Limbe. That night, they sleep in the... (full context)
Chapter 25
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...and eat while Jende tells stories from his boyhood. He talks about how he and Winston used to steal mangoes, and that he once got his foot caught in an animal... (full context)
Chapter 30
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Jende returns home early that evening and finds Winston eating kwacoco and banga soup at his table. He announces that he’s going to see... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Jende tells Neni and Winston about his meeting with Cindy. They insist that Jende tell Cindy what she wants to... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...think that Clark would ever fire him because of his wife and assures Neni and Winston that he’ll handle the matter right and will not lose his job. Neni is skeptical... (full context)
Chapter 33
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...résumés. Today she sounds cheerful, reveling in the sordid details about others’ lives. Jende calls Winston, hoping that he’s read the story and can advise Jende about what to do, but... (full context)
Chapter 35
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...have a gathering in their apartment two days later, when they return from the hospital. Winston is in Houston, wooing back Maami, but nine friends gather with the Jongas “to eat... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...how much this will cost, and Bubakar admits that it’ll be expensive. Jende then calls Winston, who thinks that Bubakar is taking Jende “down a bad road.” He calls Bubakar “a... (full context)
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Jende asks Winston if his former colleague can take him on as a client, but the colleague replies... (full context)
Chapter 37
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...all alone on his upper-level bunk in the apartment he shared in the Bronx because Winston had gone to Aruba with a woman he was dating. He imagined Neni taking Liomi... (full context)
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...boy leaves the car to meet Stacy and go to his piano lesson, Jende calls Winston, who assures Jende not to worry. Jende is sure that Cindy was talking about him,... (full context)
Chapter 45
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...School, “being groomed to be a man like his father.” Neni can’t believe it when Winston tells her the news, based on the story Frank told him that evening, a day... (full context)
Chapter 47
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
...He then wonders about the point of going to the honor society’s ceremony. She asks Winston to go with her instead and he delightedly agrees. He leaves work early to join... (full context)
Chapter 49
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
...job like that, and he only got lucky with Clark Edwards because Frank Dawson likes Winston and trusted him to recommend a good driver for his friend. (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...tells Neni that much of what happened to get them to America happened because of Winston, who’s offered to pay the rest of Bubakar’s fees, allowing them to keep the money... (full context)
Chapter 50
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...her father’s house and moving to America. On the day that Jende told her that Winston was buying him a ticket to New York so that he could move there and... (full context)
Chapter 52
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
The Modern Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
When Jende reports this to Winston, he tells Jende that it makes no sense to remain in America if things aren’t... (full context)
Chapter 56
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
On a Sunday evening, Jende takes Neni to dinner at Red Lobster, while Winston and Maami watch their children, and tells Neni that she’ll live like a queen in... (full context)
Chapter 57
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
...and, someday, build a large brick house. He’d send Liomi to the boarding school that Winston attended. Winston encourages his idea to hire people to farm the eight acres of land... (full context)
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Family and Belonging Theme Icon
Winston asks that Jende not become “an American wonder” when he goes back—one of those Cameroonians... (full context)
Chapter 61
The Sustainability of the American Dream Theme Icon
Class and Interdependency Theme Icon
...except for their luggage in a corner of the bedroom. Neni has given Betty, Fatou, Winston, and Maami her household items. She gave Natasha her unworn kabas. The new tenants arrive... (full context)