Half the Sky


Nicholas Kristof

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Harper McConnell Character Analysis

Harper McConnell is a young white American woman whom Kristof met in war-torn Congo. She lives full time in Congo, speaks Swahili, and dedicates her time to projects with HEAL Africa, a hospital that gives exceptional care to Congolese women. Harper represents the type of dedication to combating global injustice that the authors wish to see in more young Americans.

Harper McConnell Quotes in Half the Sky

The Half the Sky quotes below are all either spoken by Harper McConnell or refer to Harper McConnell. 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:
The Oppression of Women  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Half the Sky published in 2010.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“Young people often ask us how they can help address issues like sex trafficking or international poverty. Our first recommendation to them is to get out and see the world. If you can’t do that, it’s great to raise money or attention at home. But to tackle an issue effectively, you need to understand it —and it’s impossible to understand an issue by simply reading about it. You need to see it firsthand, even live in its midst. One of the great failings of the American education system, in our view, is that young people can graduate from university without any understanding of poverty at home or abroad.” Chapter 5

Related Characters: Nicholas D. Kristof (speaker), Sheryl WuDunn (speaker), Harper McConnell
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
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Harper McConnell Character Timeline in Half the Sky

The timeline below shows where the character Harper McConnell appears in Half the Sky. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...WuDunn describe HEAL Africa as a “sanctuary of dignity” from the misogyny in Congo, where Harper McConnell, a young American women, among others, gives important help to patients. Using Harper as... (full context)
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
After Harper graduated from the University of Minnesota, unsure of what to do with her life, she... (full context)