Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Francine Character Analysis

A black woman in her thirties. She is married to Albert, with whom she has three children. Francine works as a maid for Bev and Russ Stoller, and although she doesn’t seem to particularly like the couple, she is kind to Bev, whom she recognizes is often trying to connect with her. Francine is aware that she must remain quiet and respectful around the Stollers and their white neighbors if she wants to keep her job, but by the end of the first act she is clearly fed up with politely tolerating their racism, which is subtle just as often as it is overt. Francine is played by the same actor who plays Lena in Act II.

Francine Quotes in Clybourne Park

The Clybourne Park quotes below are all either spoken by Francine or refer to Francine. 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:
Race and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Clybourne Park published in 2011.
Act 1 Quotes

I tell you, I don’t know what I would do without a friend like Francine here, and on a Saturday, I mean she is just a treasure. What on earth are we going to do up there without her?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Francine, Albert
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: Francine and I have, over the years, the two of us have shared so many wonderful—remember that time the squirrel came through the window?
Francine: Yes, I do.
Bev: That was just the silliest—the two of us were just hysterical weren’t we?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Francine (speaker), Karl Linder, Jim, Albert
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: I think that you’d agree, I’m assuming, that in the world, there exist certain differences. Agreed?
Francine: What sort of difference?
Karl: That people live differently.
Francine: …Yes?
Karl: From one another.
Francine: I agree with that.
Karl: Different customs, different…well, different foods, even. And those diff—here’s a funny—my wife, Betsy, now, Betsy’s family happens to be Scandinavian, and on holidays they eat a thing known as lutefisk. And this is a dish, which I can tell you...is not to my liking at all. It’s...oh my goodness, let’s just say it’s gelatinous.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Francine (speaker), Betsy Linder
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

And Francine walking in at nine in the morning to find him there. You be my guest, Karl. You go ahead and tell those people what kind of house they’re moving into and see if that stops ‘em, because I’ll tell you what, I don’t care if a hundred Ubangi tribesman with a bone through the nose overrun this goddamn place, ‘cause I’m through with all of you, ya motherfucking sons of bitches. Every one of you.

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Francine, Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

I think they’re all a buncha idiots. And who’s the biggest idiot of all to let yourself get dragged into the middle of it? Whatcha gonna be now, the big peacemaker come to save the day?...Let ‘em knock each other’s brains out, for all I care. I’m done working for these people two days from now, and you never worked for ‘em at all, so what the hell do you care what they do? And now I am going to the goddamn car.

Related Characters: Francine (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Albert
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: What about this chafing dish? Did you see this dish?
Albert: Well, we got plenty of dish—
Bev: Not one of these. Francine told me.
Albert: Well, that’s very kind of you, but—
Bev: She said you didn’t have one and somebody should take it and—
Albert: But we don’t need it, ma’am.
Bev: —make use of it, so if you let me just wrap it for you.
Albert: Ma’am, we don’t want your things. Please. We got our own things.
Bev: Well.
Albert: Trying to explain to you.
Bev: Well, if that’s the attitude, then I just don’t know what to say anymore. I really don’t. If that’s what we’re coming to.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Albert (speaker), Francine
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

Steve:… Are you “offended”?
Kevin: Nope.
Steve: Neither am I.
Lindsey: You can’t be offended, you moron —
Steve:…I can’t?
Lindsey: — because you’ve never been politically marginalized, unlike the majority of people in the world —
Steve: How can a majority be marginal?
Lindsey: — and, by the way, all women, everywhere, and it’s your classic white male myopia that you’re blind to that basic fact.
Lena: Why is a white woman like a tampon?
Lindsey: Why is what?
Lena: It’s a joke.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Francine, Kathy, Kevin
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Clybourne Park LitChart as a printable PDF.
Clybourne Park PDF

Francine Character Timeline in Clybourne Park

The timeline below shows where the character Francine appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Francine, a black woman dressed in a maid’s uniform, enters from the kitchen to talk to... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
The phone rings and Francine answers. Her conversation with the man on the phone, who announces himself as Karl Linder,... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev takes the phone from Francine and tries to convince Karl not to come visit, explaining that the house is in... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Francine, who had entered from the kitchen and waited patiently for a break in the conversation,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Jim goes to open the door for Albert, Francine’s husband, who has come to pick her up. Russ exits upstairs. Jim doesn’t know whether... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Albert gets up to wait outside. Bev doesn’t understand why he’s leaving and calls for Francine, who eventually comes out dressed in street clothes and carrying bags of hand-me-downs. Bev jokes... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
As Bev says goodbye to Francine she mentions the footlocker, which still needs to be taken care of. Albert offers to... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Once again, Bev asks Francine if she wants the chafing dish, and once again she declines. As Albert and Francine... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...him. He acknowledges Betsy because she says hello to him, but ignores Karl. Albert and Francine enter through the front door and go upstairs to deal with the footlocker. Bev invites... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...the conversation but is ignored until a large Army footlocker comes crashing down the stairs. Francine, who had been holding on to it, has lost her grip. She comes running down... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
As Albert and Francine prepare to leave, Jim intercepts them. He wants to know how they would feel moving... (full context)
Francine doesn’t want to offend anyone, and keeps repeating how nice the neighborhood is. Bev keeps... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
...Betsy is Scandinavian, and eats a dish called lutefisk that he dislikes. Karl wonders if Francine would even find food she enjoyed at the local grocery store. Albert jokes he couldn’t... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Karl then asks Francine and Albert how they would feel, if white people moved into their neighborhood, reflecting, “that... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Jim rises to leave, and Francine asks Bev if it’s okay to go, but before anyone can move Karl bursts back... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...of which he was accused, and remembers how he was a gentle boy, calling on Francine to corroborate. Karl begins to apologize for bringing up this fraught family history, but Bev... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Albert goes to intervene. Francine tries to make him stay out of it, but he puts his hand on Russ’s... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...As he leaves she tells him she would be “proud” and “honored” to have Albert, Francine, and their two children as neighbors. Albert corrects her: they have three children. Bev continues... (full context)
Act 2
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...wonders why he’s dressed up and he lies that it is for a job interview. Francine comes in through the front door, greets Bev and Kenneth, and disappears down the hallway.... (full context)