Brown Girl Dreaming

Uncle Robert Character Analysis

Robert is Jacqueline’s uncle and Mama’s brother. Robert moves to New York while the family is living there. Robert is optimistic and generous, and he encourages Jacqueline’s storytelling tendencies. Unfortunately, Robert is also involved in criminal activity, and one day is taken to jail. When Robert is later released, he has converted to Islam.

Uncle Robert Quotes in Brown Girl Dreaming

The Brown Girl Dreaming quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Robert or refer to Uncle Robert. 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:
Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Nancy Paulsen Books edition of Brown Girl Dreaming published in 2014.
Part 3 Quotes

It’s hard to understand
the way my brain works— so different
from everybody around me.
How each new story
I’m told becomes a thing
that happens,
in some other way to me…!

Keep making up stories, my uncle says.
You’re lying, my mother says.

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Mama, Uncle Robert
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4 Quotes

What’s wrong with you?
Have you lost your mind?
Don’t you know people get arrested
for this?

They’re just words,
I whisper.
They’re not trying to hurt anybody!

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Uncle Robert (speaker), Maria
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt

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Part 5 Quotes

Some evenings, I kneel toward Mecca with my uncle.
Maybe Mecca
is the place Leftie goes to in his mind, when
the memory of losing his arm becomes too much. Maybe Mecca is
good memories,
presents and stories and poetry and arroz con pollo
and family and friends…

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Uncle Robert, Leftie
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Uncle Robert Character Timeline in Brown Girl Dreaming

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Robert appears in Brown Girl Dreaming. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3: followed the sky’s mirrored constellation to freedom
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
uncle robert. Jacqueline’s Uncle Robert moves to New York City. He arrives around midnight. The children are excited and Mama,... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
wishes. Robert takes the children to the park, and tells them that if they blow on a... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
believing. Jacqueline tells Robert made-up stories. Her uncle finds the stories amusing, and encourages them. Mama, however, accuses her... (full context)
Part 4: deep in my heart i do believe
Memory Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...her how to cook, but she didn’t want to learn. She tells Jacqueline about how Robert was stealing peaches while she and Kay stayed inside cooking, and how MaryAnn let them... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
end of summer. The Greenville summer ends and Robert takes the children back to New York. When Jacqueline hugs Gunnar, she notices he is... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
far rockaway. Robert doesn’t linger at the house when he arrives back at Madison Street with the children.... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
afros. Robert comes to the house sporting an afro, and afterward Jacqueline begs Mama to let her... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
graffiti. Jacqueline and Maria try graffiti, but are caught by Robert. Jacqueline does not know how to express that she tried graffiti out of a desire... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
rikers island. Mama gets a phone call in the middle of the night from Robert, who has been thrown in jail. The next morning, Mama tells the children Robert won’t... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
moving upstate. Robert is moved to a prison upstate, where the family hopes to visit him soon. When... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
on the bus to dannemora. The family boards a bus to visit Robert in prison. Jacqueline falls in and out of sleep listening to the radio, and then... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
...pat Hope down, and thinks how quickly he could become just an inmate number like Robert. (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
not robert. When the family sees Robert at last, he is not himself. His afro is shaved, and Jacqueline senses a sadness... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...she was writing about the mountains they pass on their trip. Jacqueline cries, thinking of Robert, Gunnar, and Greenville: things she perceives as already lost. Jacqueline thinks that if she can... (full context)
Part 5: ready to change the world
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
the promise land. Robert is freed from jail. During his time in prison, he converted to Islam, and he... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Religion and Spiritualism Theme Icon
...she particularly focuses on the sadness in his eyes. She thinks that the Mecca that Robert describes is what Leftie thinks of when the loss of his arm and the memories... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
the revolution. During a walk to the park, Robert encourages the children to learn about “the revolution” (i.e. the Black Power Movement) firsthand. Jacqueline... (full context)