Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Small Great Things Chapter 15, Turk Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Three months after Davis's funeral, Francis tells Turk to post an invitation on LONEWOLF for people to come to the house on Sunday, like they used to do. Brit stays in the bedroom while Turk and Francis host. Francis starts holding court over the young teens, while Turk walks into the kitchen. The women are passing around a fussy baby, and Turk asks to hold her. Turk comforts the infant until he realizes the women are looking behind him. He turns and sees Brit, looking betrayed. He hands back the baby and runs after her. Brit cries that there's no point anymore, and Turk wonders again if he lost his wife along with his son.
Again, Brit's inability to function normally and the grief she still feels about Davis makes her a more sympathetic character. Similarly, Turk's fears that she's beyond help are normal thoughts to be having after a tragedy like losing a baby. However, because Brit and Turk's life is so rooted in white supremacy and hate, they struggle to move on and make sense of their world now.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
The next evening, Turk, Brit, and Francis are watching the news while Turk posts on LONEWOLF. After Francis goes to bed, Brit laments that there's nothing immediate anymore now that white supremacist action takes place online. She lists several instances in which Francis did things that seemed unreasonable, but were in fact in pursuit of a larger goal. When Brit says she wants Davis to be remembered by everyone, Turk knows what she means: she wants to do something in the real world.
Brit's desire to do something in the real world (presumably, vandalism or some sort of hate crime) suggests that she's much more invested in white supremacy and true hatred than Turk is. Though Turk wants justice, it appears that he pursues this more for Brit's sake than his own at this point.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
When Turk reaches out to Raine, Raine is thrilled and invites Turk to his new house for lunch. It's on a cul-de-sac and Turk realizes that Raine is hiding in plain sight. Raine opens the door holding a toddler, with a young girl looking out from behind his legs. They head inside and sit down. The kids run around as Turk realizes that Raine has no idea that he and Brit had a baby. He tells his story and then says he wants a "day of vengeance" to honor Davis. Raine soberly says that he's no longer with the movement, and Turk realizes that Raine's swastika tattoos have now been turned into vines.
The fact that Raine is no longer part of the formal movement offers hope that Turk might someday be able to make the same leap. He stands as proof that it is possible to learn to love and not rely so heavily on hatred, while the presence of his young children suggests that it's their presence that led him to this decision.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Raine says that a few years ago, he and his wife took the baby to a festival, but the sexual violence freaked out his wife. Then they were called into preschool when their daughter said racist things. The final straw was when their daughter used a racist slur in the grocery store, and fellow shoppers shamed Raine for teaching his daughter that language. He started thinking that the white supremacist lifestyle wasn't going to benefit his daughter, and that the whole lifestyle is about hating people. Some guys beat Raine up, and then he was out of the movement. Turk thinks that he's looking at a loser and knows he'll never see Raine again as he drives away.
Because Turk is still so consumed with hate, it's unthinkable to him that anyone would choose to leave a movement that puts white people like them on top of the world. While Turk is still associated with the movement, he's also benefiting from white privilege to a very high degree. Because he's still focused on hating others, he doesn't see that his privilege and his beliefs are actually keeping him from recognizing others' humanity, as Raine has learned to do.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Two days later, Turk has met with squad leaders up and down the east coast. He gets home after midnight and finds Brit in front of the TV, watching The Wizard of Oz. She says it's about white power and that the wizard is a Jew. Turk gets her attention and says that nobody wants to go to jail for doing something illegal, and they can't do anything themselves since they're named in the lawsuit. They go to bed and try to have sex, but Turk can't maintain an erection. Brit turns red with shame. Later, when Turk reaches for her, she's not in bed.
When Brit interprets The Wizard of Oz like this, it shows how her worldview colors everything she sees and hears. The fact that Turk can't round up enough support to take action suggests that his friends in the movement may be moving away from actively terrorizing people, though it also points to the possibility that his community isn't as close as Turk thought.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Turk tells the reader that at first, there were all sorts of white supremacists and they were all different. Everyone came together on April 20, Hitler's birthday, at festivals. At one of these festivals, Turk and Brit got married. Turk wandered the festival and got LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles. At sunset, Turk and Brit walked down a makeshift aisle together, and Francis married them. Turk felt like he and Brit were the only people on earth.
By choosing to get married at a white supremacist festival, Turk and Brit make it abundantly clear that their relationship may be based on love for each other, but that this love is also rooted in hate for people different than they are. This suggests that the foundation of their marriage is compromised.
Themes
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon