Breaking Night


Liz Murray

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Grandma Character Analysis

Jean Murray’s mother and Liz’s Grandma, she is a notable influence in Liz’s early life. Though Liz only meets her grandmother a handful of times, she’s struck by Grandma’s gentleness and attentiveness: unlike Liz’s own parents, Grandma listens patiently to everything Liz says, and answers every one of her questions. By this point in her life, Grandma is suffering from serious mental health problems, and exhibits symptoms of schizophrenia as well as senility. From Liz’s perspective, however, she’s just a gentle old woman.
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Grandma Character Timeline in Breaking Night

The timeline below shows where the character Grandma appears in Breaking Night. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: University Avenue
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
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Ma’s mother lives in Riverdale, and Liz sometimes visits her. Otherwise, Grandma would visit Liz and her family in the Bronx. She’s deeply Christian, and is also... (full context)
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
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Ma often tells Liz about how, when Ma was a child, Grandma would beat her for being even a few seconds late. Ma claims that she and... (full context)
Chapter 5: Stuck
Willpower and Independence Theme Icon
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...on her foot. Liz begins to see the truth: Brick is almost as crazy as Grandma. He becomes furious over minuscule things like dirty forks. (full context)
Chapter 8: The Motels
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...grandmother walk into the café. Frantic, she tells everyone at the table to duck down—if Grandma sees Liz, she’ll report her as a runaway. But as Liz peeks at Grandma, she... (full context)