Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

by

August Wilson

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Molly Cunningham Character Analysis

An independent young woman who comes to stay in Seth and Bertha’s boarding house. Molly makes it clear that she’s happy as a single woman unencumbered by romance. In a conversation with Mattie, she reveals that she once had a lover who left her, and since then she’s never entertained the idea of settling down with anybody. Jeremy is intensely attracted to Molly and eventually convinces her to run off with him, saying that they can just travel around together without having to make any commitments.

Molly Cunningham Quotes in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

The Joe Turner’s Come and Gone quotes below are all either spoken by Molly Cunningham or refer to Molly Cunningham. 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:
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone published in 1988.
The Play Quotes

Jeremy just young. He don’t know what he getting into. That gal don’t mean him no good. She’s just using him to keep from being by herself. That’s the worst use of a man you can have. You ought to be glad to wash him out of your hair. I done seen all kind of men. I done seen them come and go through here. Jeremy ain’t had enough to him for you. You need a man who’s got some understanding and who willing to work with that understanding to come to the best he can. You got your time coming. You just tries too hard and can’t understand why it don’t work for you. Trying to figure it out don’t do nothing but give you a troubled mind. Don’t no man want a woman with a troubled mind.

You get all that trouble off your mind and just when it look like you ain’t never gonna find what you want […] you look up and it’s standing right there. That’s how I met my Seth. You gonna look up one day and find everything you want standing right in front of you.

Related Characters: Bertha Holly (speaker), Jeremy Furlow, Mattie Campbell, Molly Cunningham
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Joe Turner’s Come and Gone LitChart as a printable PDF.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone PDF

Molly Cunningham Character Timeline in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

The timeline below shows where the character Molly Cunningham appears in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One: Scene Three
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
...knock sounds on the door, Jeremy answers it to find a stunningly beautiful woman named Molly Cunningham, who asks if there are any available rooms. Stunned, Jeremy eagerly calls for Seth... (full context)
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
Once downstairs, Seth asks Molly to pay two dollars to stay for the week. As they make the deal, Molly... (full context)
Act Two: Scene One
Spirituality Theme Icon
...refuses to listen and resolves to banish him as soon as he sees him. Soon Molly enters the kitchen, followed shortly thereafter by Bynum, whom Seth thanks for helping calm Herald... (full context)
Spirituality Theme Icon
...out the back door to go work on his pots and pans. At this point, Molly asks Bynum if he’s “one of them voo-doo people,” and the old man explains that... (full context)
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
Molly and Mattie talk about men, and Mattie explains that she and Jeremy are “keeping company... (full context)
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
Racism in Post-Slavery America Theme Icon
...one place for too long noway.” When Seth leaves again, Jeremy sits down next to Molly and flirtatiously asks how she’s doing. She remarks that he could probably return to work... (full context)
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
Racism in Post-Slavery America Theme Icon
Responding to Jeremy’s suggestion that they elope, Molly reminds him that he’s “tied up with that Mattie Campbell,” but he upholds that they’re... (full context)
Act Two: Scene Three
Migration and Transience Theme Icon
Spirituality Theme Icon
...don’t last.” She also suggests that Mattie not worry about Jeremy, who ran off with Molly. “I seen it coming,” Bertha says. She assures Mattie that Jeremy isn’t worth worrying about,... (full context)