Into the Beautiful North


Luis Alberto Urrea

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Ma Johnston Character Analysis

Ma Johnston is Matt's mother. She dies several weeks before the novel begins and is described as having been an invisible but good woman who had unending hard luck in life. She lived in a duplex on Clairemont Drive in San Diego and allowed Matt to get away with smoking and watching porn when he was in high school. She generally adored her son and supported him through his missionary phase. After her death, Matt returns to her duplex to handle her affairs.
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Ma Johnston Character Timeline in Into the Beautiful North

The timeline below shows where the character Ma Johnston appears in Into the Beautiful North. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 20
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
The narrator introduces Ma Johnston , Matt's mother. She lives in a duplex, and after leaving her garbage cans out... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Female Friendship vs. Romance Theme Icon
Matt pulls into the Jack in the Box parking lot in Ma Johnston 's minivan. Nayeli, Yolo, and Vampi rush to him and hug him, and Matt is... (full context)
Borders and Ownership Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Matt is prepared to apologize for Ma Johnston 's home, but Atómiko whistles and the girls declare the place a palace. Atómiko makes... (full context)
Chapter 22
Racism Theme Icon
...a woman named Velma shows Matt and the girls to a booth, offering condolences for Ma Johnston . When Matt tells Velma that his friends are Mexicans, Velma yells "welcome to the... (full context)
Disillusionment and Idealization Theme Icon
Back at Ma Johnston 's house, Matt and Yolo search the phone book for Chavarín. They find a Salvador... (full context)