Evicted

by

Matthew Desmond

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Crystal Mayberry Character Analysis

Crystal Mayberry is a young black woman who moves into Arleen’s apartment after Arleen is evicted. Crystal suggests that Arleen and the boys stay in the apartment, and the two women live together until they are both evicted. Crystal has severe mental health problems and regularly seeks out women to serve as mother figures to her. She also befriends Vanetta and Patricia, but neither friendship lasts. Deeply religious, Crystal ends up sleeping on the streets and pursuing sex work after being kicked out of the Lodge.

Crystal Mayberry Quotes in Evicted

The Evicted quotes below are all either spoken by Crystal Mayberry or refer to Crystal Mayberry. 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:
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Broadway Books edition of Evicted published in 2016.
Chapter 12 Quotes

In the 1960s and 1970s, destitute families often relied on extended kin networks to get by. Poor black families were "immersed in a domestic web of a large number of kin and friends whom they [could] count on," wrote the anthropologist Carol Stack in All Our Kin. Those entwined in such a web swapped goods and services on a daily basis. This did little to lift families out of poverty, but it was enough to keep them afloat. But large-scale social transformations—the crack epidemic, the rise of the black middle class, and the prison boom among them—had frayed the family safety net in poor communities. So had state policies like Aid to Families with Dependent Children that sought to limit "kin dependence" by giving mothers who lived alone or with unrelated roommates a larger stipend than those who lived with relatives.

Related Characters: Arleen Bell (speaker), Crystal Mayberry (speaker), Sherenna Tarver
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

It was next to impossible for people to survive deep poverty on their own. If you could not rely on your family, you could reach out to strangers, make disposable ties. But it was a lot to ask of someone you barely knew.

Related Characters: Arleen Bell (speaker), Crystal Mayberry (speaker)
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Evicted LitChart as a printable PDF.
Evicted PDF

Crystal Mayberry Character Timeline in Evicted

The timeline below shows where the character Crystal Mayberry appears in Evicted. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12: Disposable Ties
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Alreen thanks her and hugs her, and both women cry. The new tenant’s name is Crystal Mayberry. She doesn’t own any furniture, which is perhaps why she let Arleen—and her furniture—stay.... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...family members, they make “disposable ties” with acquaintances and strangers. One day, a week after Crystal moves in, Arleen sits at the kitchen table circling apartment listings. Jori comes in from... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...out looking for apartments, and while she is out she gets a screaming call from Crystal demanding that she move out immediately. Arleen believes Crystal is really angry because she is... (full context)
Chapter 15: A Nuisance
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Trisha and Crystal have become friends. Arleen is still trying to find an apartment and is beginning to... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...tenants are out of control. Arleen, meanwhile, calls Sherenna and tells her that it is Crystal, not her, who keeps calling the police. (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Arleen is furious with Crystal. She cries out that now she and her kids are homeless. She talks about her... (full context)
Chapter 17: This is America
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Sherenna decides to evict Crystal as well as Arleen. Arleen finds a new apartment, a one-bedroom at the top of... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Arleen cries while getting the apartment ready, and Crystal hugs her. Carol arrives and announces that the apartment “does not look good.” She adds... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...Red Cross funds that will allow her to pay her security deposit. When she and Crystal say goodbye, they say that they can’t live without each other now. Arleen takes her... (full context)
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
As Arleen and the boys leave Crystal’s again, the two women get into a screaming fight. Under better circumstances, they probably would... (full context)
Chapter 20: Nobody Wants the North Side
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
After being evicted, Crystal moves into the Lodge. She didn’t attend her eviction hearing, mistakenly believing this would help... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...facing a fine of up to $100,000 or forty years imprisonment. Looking for an apartment, Crystal and Vanetta are desperate to avoid the North Side. They try a company called Affordable... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Vanetta is determined to find somewhere for under $550 because she doesn’t trust that Crystal will be able to reliably contribute to anything higher. Crystal spends money on clothes, fast... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
After another disappointing episode in their housing search, Vanetta begins to cry, while Crystal comforts her by singing. Vanetta comments that they were probably turned away because they were... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
After lashing out at an employee at the Lodge, Crystal is kicked out and is forced to turn to Minister Barber from church for help.... (full context)
Chapter 22: If They Give Momma the Punishment
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...ordered to move out by the next day. She immediately begins calling every apartment available. Crystal, meanwhile, has made a new connection with a woman called Patricia, whom she has started... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Crystal’s friendship with Patricia does not last long; it ends explosively when Crystal gets into a... (full context)
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
Crystal keeps getting into fights with people at her church and thus switches to a new... (full context)