Half Broke Horses


Jeannette Walls

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Minnie Hanagan Character Analysis

One of Lily’s roommates in Chicago whom she considers her first genuine friend. Minnie is a spunky, opinionated Irish girl with green eyes and beautiful black hair. She attends women’s suffrage rallies with Lily and loves to debate politics and religion. One day, however, her long hair gets caught in the machinery at the factory in which she works. She is pulled into the grinding gears and killed. Her death causes Lily to reflect upon the unpredictability and fragility of life. Lily cuts her own hair to just below her ears soon afterward.

Minnie Hanagan Quotes in Half Broke Horses

The Half Broke Horses quotes below are all either spoken by Minnie Hanagan or refer to Minnie Hanagan. 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:
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Chapter 3  Quotes

But no matter how much planning you do, one tiny miscalculation, one moment of distraction, can end it all in an instant. There was a lot of danger in this world, and you had to be smart about it. You had to do what you could to prevent disaster. That night at the boardinghouse, I got out a pair of scissors and a mirror, and although Mom always called my long brown hair my crowning glory, I cut it all off just below my ears.

Related Characters: Lily Casey Smith (speaker), Mom / Daisy Mae Peacock, Minnie Hanagan
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

I felt there was a lot more I could say about the subject of danger. I could have given her an entire lecture on it, talking about my dad getting his head staved in by a horse when he was three, about my Chicago friend Minnie getting killed when her hair got caught in machinery, about my sister, Helen, taking her own life after accidentally getting pregnant. Life came with as much adventure and danger as any one body needed. You didn't have to go chasing after them. But the fact of the matter was, Rosemary hadn't really listened to what I had to say ever since that time we visited the Havasupai and I gave her the whipping for swimming with Fidel Hanna.

Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:
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Minnie Hanagan Character Timeline in Half Broke Horses

The timeline below shows where the character Minnie Hanagan appears in Half Broke Horses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3 
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Fate vs. Self-Reliance  Theme Icon
...and grows close with her roommate, a spunky Irish girl with long black hair named Minnie Hagan . The two regularly discusses politics and religion and attend rallies for granting women the... (full context)