A slave on the Weylin estate, Nigel is the personal servant to Rufus and enjoys some of the advantages of living close to white people. Nigel does what he wishes despite the threat of whippings, like his father Luke. Yet Nigel is tied down on the Weylin plantation when he marries Carrie and has a son, Jude. Nigel eventually helps Dana cover up Rufus’s death and raises Joe and Hagar in Baltimore. Nigel consistently puts family above everything, as another character who displays the importance of kinship in the novel.
Nigel Quotes in Kindred
The Kindred quotes below are all either spoken by Nigel or refer to Nigel. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Beacon Press edition of Kindred published in 2009.).
Chapter 3: The Fall Quotes
“Why you try to talk like white folks?” Nigel asked me. “I don't,” I said, surprised. “I mean, this is really the way I talk.” “More like white folks than some white folks.”
Nigel Character Timeline in Kindred
The timeline below shows where the character Nigel appears in Kindred. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Fall
...leads Dana to the cookhouse, a small white cottage outside the Weylin house. Luke and Nigel are inside eating, with younger children sitting on the floor eating with their fingers. Dana... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Fight
...Margaret’s cousin, Jake Edwards, has become the overseer. Sarah won’t say more, so Dana asks Nigel later what happened to Luke. Nigel quietly tells her that Luke was sold, and says... (full context)
...shudders to think of trying to escape from a Louisiana plantation, and wonders aloud why Nigel stayed. Rufus explains that Nigel did try to run, but Patrollers brought him back. And... (full context)
...the whipping is finally over, Rufus carefully unties Dana and takes her into Carrie and Nigel’s cabin. Alice later tells Dana how Rufus insisted that all of Dana’s wounds be cleaned... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Storm
...Carrie rubs her fingers down Dana’s face, but Dana doesn’t understand. Carrie brings Dana to Nigel, who translates. Carrie means that Dana will always be black because of her skin, no... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Rope