Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo


George Saunders

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Isabelle Perkins Character Analysis

A woman who lives across the street from the cemetery where Willie Lincoln is interred. Saunders quotes from Isabelle’s (fictive) letter to her brother, in which she explains seeing not only Willie’s funeral procession, but also the president himself exiting the graveyard late at night. Isabelle is quite sickly, though she’s a young woman, and so she has trouble sleeping. As such, she waits up while sitting by the window, where she can see the cemetery and, in the foreground, the groundskeeper’s house, where Manders lives.
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Isabelle Perkins Character Timeline in Lincoln in the Bardo

The timeline below shows where the character Isabelle Perkins appears in Lincoln in the Bardo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
In a letter to her brother, Isabelle Perkins —a woman who lives across the street from the cemetery— describes seeing Willie Lincoln’s funeral... (full context)
Chapter 59
Loss Theme Icon
Still writing to her brother, Isabelle Perkins notes that she must have fallen asleep. Waking up and resuming her letter, she guesses... (full context)
Chapter 98
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Isabelle Perkins includes a post-script in her letter to her brother, saying that she saw President Lincoln... (full context)
Chapter 99
Unity Theme Icon
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
Loss Theme Icon
...logbook, Manders confirms that Lincoln has finally left the cemetery. He notes that he saw Isabelle Perkins in her house as he locked the gate, saying that she called out to ask... (full context)