Homegoing

by

Yaa Gyasi

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Marjorie Character Analysis

Marjorie is Yaw and Esther’s daughter and the final descendant of Effia in the novel. Though born in Ghana, she grows up in Alabama and feels she doesn’t fit in with either the white students or the black students at her school. She loves reading and looks up to her African-American high school English teacher, Mrs. Pinkston. She also dates a white boy named Graham before both his father and the school find out and deem their relationship inappropriate. Eventually, she meets Marcus, who is the descendant of Esi, while at graduate school at Stanford together. She helps him come to terms with his own identity when the two travel back to Ghana together.

Marjorie Quotes in Homegoing

The Homegoing quotes below are all either spoken by Marjorie or refer to Marjorie. 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:
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Homegoing published in 2017.
Part 1: Quey Quotes

Quey had wanted to cry but that desire embarrassed him. He knew that he was one of the half-caste children of the Castle, and, like the other half-caste children, he could not fully claim either half of himself, neither his father's whiteness nor his mother’s blackness. Neither England nor the Gold Coast.

Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Yaw Quotes

“What I know now my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home. I'm sorry you have suffered.”

Related Characters: Akua / Crazy Woman (speaker), Yaw, Marjorie, Marcus
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Marjorie Quotes

Her father had told her that the necklace was a part of their family history and she was to never take it off, never give it away. Now it reflected the ocean water before them, gold waves shimmering in the black stone.

Related Characters: Effia, Akua / Crazy Woman , Yaw, Marjorie, Maame
Related Symbols: Black Stones, Water and Boats
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:

As a last defense, Marjorie had heard him tell the principal that she was “not like other black girls.” And, somehow, that had been worse. She had already given him up.

Related Characters: Marjorie, Graham
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Marcus Quotes

How could he explain to Marjorie that he wasn’t supposed to be here? Alive. Free. That the fact that he had been born, that he wasn’t in a jail cell somewhere, was not by dint of his pulling himself up by the bootstraps, not by hard work or belief in the American Dream, but by mere chance.

Related Characters: Effia, Esi, Marjorie, Marcus
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:

“Here,” Marjorie said. “Have it.” She lifted the stone from her neck, and placed it around Marcus’s. “Welcome home.”

Related Characters: Marjorie (speaker), Marcus
Related Symbols: Black Stones, Water and Boats
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Homegoing LitChart as a printable PDF.
Homegoing PDF

Marjorie Character Timeline in Homegoing

The timeline below shows where the character Marjorie appears in Homegoing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Marjorie
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Marjorie is in Ghana visiting her grandmother Akua when a boy asks her in English if... (full context)
Colonization Theme Icon
Marjorie arrives at Akua’s house. Akua had moved to a bungalow on the beach to be... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Marjorie and Akua go to the beach together, and Akua notes that Marjorie is wearing Effia’s... (full context)
Colonization Theme Icon
Marjorie returns to Alabama, just about to enter high school. There are more black students there... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marjorie realizes that in America, “white” could be the way someone spoke; “black” could be the... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marjorie befriends Mrs. Pinkston, one of two black teachers in the school. Mrs. Pinkston tells her... (full context)
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Graham and Marjorie quickly become friends, reading in the library while everyone else eats lunch. Sometimes Graham leaves... (full context)
Gender Stereotypes, Sexism, and Violence Theme Icon
Marjorie goes home and asks Yaw when he knew he liked Esther. Esther asks if she... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Mrs. Pinkston is putting on a black cultural event for the school, and asks Marjorie if she would read a poem about what being African American means to her. Marjorie... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
That night, Marjorie goes to see a movie with Graham. After the movie, they drive to a clearing... (full context)
Gender Stereotypes, Sexism, and Violence Theme Icon
Graham asks Marjorie if she liked the movie, but she had only been focused on him. She wonders... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Marjorie is working on her poem when Yaw gets a call from Ghana, saying that Akua... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marjorie and Graham go on another date to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Graham says... (full context)
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
For weeks, Marjorie waits for news about Akua. At school, she is quiet. She eats lunch one day... (full context)
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Gender Stereotypes, Sexism, and Violence Theme Icon
The theme for prom is The Great Gatsby. That night, Marjorie watches a movie with her parents. The phone rings, and Graham tells her that he’s... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Family and Progress Theme Icon
At the school assembly, Marjorie gets very nervous. Mrs. Pinkston introduces her, and she reads a poem that refers to... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Family and Progress Theme Icon
Akua dies in her sleep before summer. Marjorie takes the rest of the year off; her grades are so good it doesn’t make... (full context)
Part 2: Marcus
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
...women, and the girl Diante had met introduces herself as Ki and her friend as Marjorie. Marcus introduces himself. (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
When Marcus sees Marjorie, he feels as though he has been found. Months pass, and their friendship grows stronger... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marcus asks if she goes back to Ghana often. Marjorie admits that she hasn’t been back since her grandmother, Akua, passed away. She then touches... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Marcus spends the rest of the year avoiding his research. He and Marjorie had gone to Pratt City to try to find some more information on his great-grandfather,... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Racism, Slavery, and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
...explains that he’s afraid of the ocean because he has no idea where it begins. Marjorie says he would like the beaches in Ghana and suggests that they go together. He... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Marjorie and Marcus go to the Cape Coast Castle. The tour guide shows them the church,... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
...He sees two men building a large fire, cooking fish, and beyond that the ocean. Marjorie catches up to him, asking what’s wrong. She hesitates to come so close to fire,... (full context)
Heritage and Identity Theme Icon
Then Marjorie runs into the water, and asks Marcus to join her. He does, water crashing all... (full context)