Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin

Jazzlyn Henderson Character Analysis

Tillie’s daughter, a beautiful young woman who seems to fascinate all who meet her. Like her mother, she becomes a prostitute at an early age. Jazzlyn also develops a serious heroin addiction, a habit that her mother dislikes but ultimately does not interfere with. Upon being released from jail after her mother takes the wrap for their joint robbery, Jazzlyn is killed as a passenger in Corrigan’s van when they are hit on the FDR Parkway. A mother herself, she leaves behind two little girls, Jaslyn and Janice.

Jazzlyn Henderson Quotes in Let the Great World Spin

The Let the Great World Spin quotes below are all either spoken by Jazzlyn Henderson or refer to Jazzlyn Henderson. 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:
Political Unrest Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Let the Great World Spin published in 2009.
Book One, Chapter 1: All Respects to Heaven, I Like it Here Quotes

“It’s like dust. You walk about and don’t see it, don’t notice it, but it’s there and it’s all coming down, covering everything. You’re breathing it in. You touch it. You drink it. You eat it. But it’s so fine you don’t notice it. But you’re covered in it. It’s everywhere. What I mean is, we’re afraid. Just stand still for an instant and there it is, this fear, covering our faces and tongues. If we stopped to take account of it, we’d just fall into despair. But we can’t stop. We’ve got to keep going.”

Related Characters: John Andrew Corrigan (“Corrigan”) (speaker), Ciaran Corrigan, Jazzlyn Henderson
Page Number: 29-30
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book One, Chapter 3: A Fear of Love Quotes

The moment he turned to check the front of the car I recall thinking that we’d never survive it, not so much the crash, or even the death of the young girl—she was so obviously dead, in a bloodied heap on the road—or the man who was slapped against the steering wheel, almost certainly ruined, his chest jammed up against the dashboard, but the fact that Blaine went around to check on the damage that was done to our car, the smashed headlight, the crumpled fender, like our years together, something broken, while behind us we could hear the sirens already on their way, and he let out a little groan of despair, and I knew it was for the car, and our unsold canvases, and what would happen to us shortly, and I said to him: Come on, let’s go, quick, get in, Blaine, quick, get a move on.

Related Characters: Lara Liveman (speaker), John Andrew Corrigan (“Corrigan”), Jazzlyn Henderson, Blaine
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

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A few people were gathered outside the doorway, black women, mostly, in dark mourning clothes that looked as if they didn’t belong to them, as if they’d hired the clothes for the day. Their makeup was the thing that betrayed them, loud and gaudy and one with silver sparkles around her eyes, which looked so tired and worn-down. The cops had said something about hookers: it struck me that maybe the young girl had just been a prostitute. I felt a momentary sigh of gratitude, and then the awareness stopped me cold, the walls pulsed in on me. How cheap was I?

Related Characters: Lara Liveman (speaker), Jazzlyn Henderson
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book Two, Chapter 7: This is the House That Horse Built Quotes

So I got clean. I got myself housing. I gave up the game. Those were good years. All it took to make me happy was finding a nickel in the bottom of my handbag. Things were going so good. It felt like I was standing at a window. I put Jazzlyn in school. I got a job putting stickers on supermarket cans. I came home, went to work, came home again. I stayed away from the stroll. Nothing was going to put me back there. And then one day, out of the blue, I don’t even remember why, I walked down to the Deegan, stuck out my thumb, and looked for a trick.

Related Characters: Tillie Henderson (speaker), Jazzlyn Henderson
Page Number: 216-7
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Oh, but what I shoulda done—I shoulda swallowed a pair of handcuffs when Jazzlyn was in my belly. That’s what I shoulda done. Gave her a heads-up about what was coming her way. Say, Here you is, already arrested, you’re your mother and her mother before her, a long line of mothers stretching way back to Eve, french and nigger and dutch and whatever else came before me.

Oh, God, I shoulda swallowed handcuffs. I shoulda swallowed them whole.

Related Characters: Tillie Henderson (speaker), Jazzlyn Henderson
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Book Four, Chapter 12: Roaring Seaward, and I Go Quotes

A man high in the air while a plane disappears, it seems, into the edge of the building. One small scrap of history meeting a larger one. As if the walking man were somehow anticipating what would come later. The intrusion of time and history. The collision point of stories. We wait for the explosion but it never occurs. The plane passes, the tightrope walker gets to the end of the wire. Things don’t fall apart.

Related Characters: The Tightrope Walker (Phillipe Petit), Jazzlyn Henderson, Jaslyn
Related Symbols: The Tightrope Walk
Page Number: 325
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jazzlyn Henderson Character Timeline in Let the Great World Spin

The timeline below shows where the character Jazzlyn Henderson appears in Let the Great World Spin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, Chapter 1: All Respects to Heaven, I Like it Here
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...the woman with the parasol, whose name is Tillie. Another clearly younger woman is named Jazzlyn. The third is named Angie. They flirt and joke with Corrigan, clearly displaying their affection... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
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...he’s got a toothache and he wants God to cure it,” he says. One day Jazzlyn sits in the monk’s lap and flirts with him, an event that sends him into... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...the two brothers have a tense conversation in which Ciaran finds out that Tillie is Jazzlyn’s mother. This appalls him, and he finally breaks down and yells at his brother, roundly... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
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Continuing his story, Corrigan tells Ciaran that Tillie, Jazzlyn, and Angie threw a “not-dead” party for him, which he decided to take “as a... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
...stand on the curb. On his way inside, Corrigan picks up a key ring that Jazzlyn dropped. It bears pictures of her two daughters. Ciaran tries to tell his brother that... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
...the elderly patients from the nursing home while he goes downtown to the precinct where Jazzlyn and Tillie are being held because of an outstanding warrant for a robbery they committed... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Tillie takes the blame for the robbery, and Jazzlyn is released. Corrigan is there to take her home. On the ride back to the... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
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Unaware of the accident Corrigan and Jazzlyn have been in, Ciaran and Adelita finish their day at the beach. Ciaran drops everyone... (full context)
Book One, Chapter 3: A Fear of Love
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
...is returning Corrigan’s belongings. When she finds out that Ciaran is about to leave for Jazzlyn’s funeral, she asks if she can accompany him. He shrugs, clearly confused, but does not... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
...next to Ciaran while the preacher speaks. Looking through the crowd, she identifies Tillie as Jazzlyn’s mother; she is handcuffed and weeping. Lara also notices a mean-looking man standing at the... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
...during the funeral, Tillie gets up to speak. She tells a story about how when Jazzlyn was ten she used to collect pictures of castles from magazines. One day, years later,... (full context)
Book Two, Chapter 7: This is the House That Horse Built
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
...up for your rights” on the radio as the officers rounded up the prostitutes, and Jazzlyn yelled, “Who’s gonna look after my babies?” (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
When Tillie gave birth to Jazzlyn, she left her with her mother so that she could go work as a prostitute.... (full context)
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Tillie remembers her first days in New York, when Jazzlyn was still living with her mother in Cleveland. Tillie remembers going straight to the seediest... (full context)
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Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
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Despite her great desire to see Jazzlyn’s children—her grandchildren—Tillie begins considering hanging herself in prison. “Any excuse is a good excuse,” she... (full context)
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Usually Tillie and Jazzlyn didn’t rob their clients, she explains, but one time a man took them far away—from... (full context)
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...York life. She explains that in the mid-sixties she returned to Cleveland to pick up Jazzlyn, who was eight or nine years old, and she brought her back to New York.... (full context)
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
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...injury, Tillie decided to clean up her life. She stopped working as a prostitute, put Jazzlyn in school, and got a job at a supermarket. She was, by her own account,... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
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Soon enough, Jazzlyn started working as a prostitute alongside her mother in the Bronx. At the age of... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
...but doesn’t know why. She asks her if she is the one taking care of Jazzlyn’s children, and Lara replies that she is not. Confused and angry, Tillie asks who she... (full context)
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Tillie thinks about the last time she saw Jazzlyn and Corrigan in the Bronx. She thinks about how there is probably no Sherry-Netherlands hotel... (full context)
Book Three, Chapter 9: A Part of the Parts
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
The first defendants on Judge Soderberg’s list are Jazzlyn and Tillie Henderson. He observes the two prostitutes as they come to the front of... (full context)
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Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...arguments, resulting in him asking her to refrain from speaking. He realizes with surprise that Jazzlyn is Tillie’s daughter. (full context)
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Because Tillie has decided to take full responsibility for the robbery that she and Jazzlyn committed, Judge Soderberg dismisses Jazzlyn’s case, and she is free to go. She kisses her... (full context)
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Judge Soderberg orders Jazzlyn to put the shirt back on. She refuses, and then Soderberg asks the white man... (full context)
Book Three, Chapter 10: Centavos
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...of beauty was something simpler than that, like a conversation he’d had with Tillie or Jazzlyn. Maybe, she thinks, he had decided that he didn’t need her, that he would stay... (full context)
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...spent the night in his van near the courthouse in Lower Manhattan that Tillie and Jazzlyn had been sent to. She thinks it is possible that he awoke in time to... (full context)
Book Four, Chapter 12: Roaring Seaward, and I Go
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
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...tightrope walker. It was taken, she knows, on the exact same day that her mother, Jazzlyn, died. It makes her think about life’s simultaneity, the strange wonder that something so beautiful... (full context)