Hidden Figures

by

Margot Lee Shetterly

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Christine (Mann) Darden Character Analysis

Christine Darden (Also Christine Mann) is a black female aeronautical engineer who worked at the Langley Research Center for many years as a data analyst before rising to the top level in her field. She is from a large family and is renowned for her strong work ethic and intellectual curiosity. As a high school senior in 1957, she follows the news of Little Rock and Sputnik closely, and these events help galvanize her dedication to American scientific and technological progress and to civil rights. She graduates from a master’s program at Virginia State University with a plan to apply for professorships at Hampton Institute and Norfolk State, but when she goes to the placement office, they steer her towards NASA instead. Katherine Johnson takes Christine under her wing and introduces her to the black community in Hampton and Newport News. When, after several years in the same position, Christine feels stuck in her job as a data analyst, she complains to the head of her department, asking why men tend to be promoted while many women have been let go due to budget cuts. He tells her that no one has ever brought the issue up with him before, and he promotes her. She ultimately receives a PhD in engineering. Some of the code she writes while at the NACA is still at the core of sonic boom minimization programs in use today. Christine is younger than the other women featured in Hidden Figures and she represents the generation of women after Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who grow up in a time of more freedom and opportunity for black people.

Christine (Mann) Darden Quotes in Hidden Figures

The Hidden Figures quotes below are all either spoken by Christine (Mann) Darden or refer to Christine (Mann) Darden. 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:
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow Paperbacks edition of Hidden Figures published in 2016.
Chapter 15 Quotes

The morning of October 5 was the official dawn of the space age, the public debut of man's competition to break free of the bonds of terrestrial gravity and travel, along with all his belligerent tendencies, beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Related Characters: Christine (Mann) Darden
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Hidden Figures LitChart as a printable PDF.
Hidden Figures PDF

Christine (Mann) Darden Character Timeline in Hidden Figures

The timeline below shows where the character Christine (Mann) Darden appears in Hidden Figures. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Young, Gifted and Black
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
In 1957, Christine Mann, a rising senior at the Allen School for girls in Asheville, North Carolina, starts... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
...become the first people to send an object—the Sputnik satellite—into space and control its trajectory. Christine lives through a massive shift in American history, the official start of the Space Age.... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
Three years before, Christine had witnessed the desegregation of the schools after the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v.... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
Christine matriculates at the Hampton Institute on a scholarship covered by the United Negro College Fund... (full context)
Chapter 20: Degrees of Freedom
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Community  Theme Icon
Luck, Persistent Action, and Hard Work  Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
Christine Mann, an 18-year-old Hampton junior is earning a teaching certificate and a degree in the... (full context)
Chapter 22: America is for Everybody
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Community  Theme Icon
Luck, Persistent Action, and Hard Work  Theme Icon
Scientific Progress vs. Social and Political Progress Theme Icon
...Mary Jackson and the others help make sure new black employees feel welcome. In 1967, Christine Mann takes a job at Langley and meets Katherine Johnson. Katherine continues to be very... (full context)
Epilogue
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Community  Theme Icon
Luck, Persistent Action, and Hard Work  Theme Icon
...of women at NASA, making sure they advance according to their qualifications and talents. When Christine Mann (now Darden) discovers that she is going to be laid off because of budget... (full context)