Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Small Great Things can help.

Brit Bauer Character Analysis

Turk's wife. Brit is Francis Mitchum's daughter and is therefore considered the princess of the white power movement. Francis raised her by himself and raised her to believe that her mother, Adele, abandoned Brit when she was six months old. Because she was raised entrenched in the white power movement, Brit is ruthless and cruel. Her first "date" with Turk consists of beating up gay men, and while she's pregnant with Davis, she poisons their Hispanic neighbor's dog when it won't stop barking. She and Turk are thrilled when Davis is born, and Brit especially is devastated when he dies. Brit abuses sleeping pills and painkillers so she can spend most of her time asleep, and Turk fears that he's lost Brit as well as Davis. As the months go by, Brit starts to get her fire back but also starts pressuring Turk to do something tangible to honor their son. At several points throughout the trial, Brit starts crying or yelling racist slurs at Ruth. This culminates in Odette's decision to not allow Brit to testify. Though Turk begins to doubt his beliefs and whether he was complicit in Davis's death, Brit continues to believe in what the white power movement taught her about racism and blame Ruth. She experiences a mental break, however, when Brit discovers that Adele is actually black and that she herself is half black. Francis and Turk find her at Davis's grave, cutting her arm to try to get her mother's blood out of her veins. Turk explains that as he was preparing to file for divorce in the months after, Brit committed suicide—she wasn't able to live with herself knowing that she was half black.

Brit Bauer Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Brit Bauer or refer to Brit Bauer. 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:
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Small Great Things published in 2016.
Chapter 8, Kennedy Quotes

I think about Ruth walking down the street in East End and wonder how many other residents questioned what she was doing there, even if they never said it to her face. How incredibly easy it is to hide behind white skin, I think, looking at these probable supremacists. The benefit of the doubt is in your favor. You're not suspicious.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Turk Bauer, Brit Bauer
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28, Turk Quotes

My head actually aches from holding three incompatible truths in it: 1. Black people are inferior. 2. Brit is half black. 3. I love Brit with all my heart.

Shouldn't numbers one and two make number three impossible? Or is she the exception to the rule? Was Adele one, too?

I think of me and Twinkie dreaming of the food we craved behind bars.

How many exceptions do there have to be before you start to realize that maybe the truths you've been told aren't actually true?

Related Characters: Turk Bauer (speaker), Brit Bauer, Adele , Twinkie
Page Number: 443
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Small Great Things LitChart as a printable PDF.
Small Great Things PDF

Brit Bauer Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Brit Bauer appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...Marie assigns patients: Corinne takes a woman in active labor, while Ruth gets Jessie and Brit Bauer, who delivered a boy earlier in the morning. (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Ruth finds Lucille, the nurse who was with Brit Bauer during labor, in the staff restroom. Lucille gives Ruth the rundown on Brit and... (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
As Ruth walks into the room, she introduces herself to Brit and asks the baby's name to start a conversation. Turk is hulking and seems on... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Ruth makes sure to smile as she hands Davis back to Brit and tries to help her position Davis to nurse. Brit flinches while Turk tells Ruth... (full context)
Chapter 3, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
In the present, Turk drives Brit to the hospital. She's in labor and trying not to show that she's in pain.... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
After seven hours of labor, the nurse, Lucille, finally tells Brit it's time to push. Turk notices that Brit looks afraid for the first time and... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Brit and Turk decide to name their son Davis, after the Confederate president, and then Brit... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
...nurse enters the room, introduces herself as Ruth, and explains that she'll be caring for Brit and Davis. Turk works hard to keep himself from shoving Ruth away, and Brit shoots... (full context)
Chapter 4, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Ruth checks Brit and Davis's charts when she gets back but finds a sticky note in Davis's folder... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...try to resuscitate Davis. Ruth is asked to stop and restart compressions several times. Suddenly, Brit screams—she and Turk are in the nursery, watching. Dr. Atkins arrives and within seconds, Davis's... (full context)
Chapter 6, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...the curtains and repaints the walls while Turk takes the crib apart. He thinks of Brit, still in the hospital, who has stopped responding to anyone. Turk hasn't slept because of... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...on the back of his head. He got it when he was 21, right after Brit agreed to marry him, and Francis called him stupid for it. When Turk walks back... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
That evening, Turk and Francis go to pick up Brit from the hospital. Brit recoils before getting in the car, and Turk realizes she's afraid... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
In the middle of the night, Turk wakes in a pool of sweat. Brit isn't in bed; he finds her standing in the doorway of what was the nursery... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...in preparation for his meeting with Carla Luongo, the risk management lawyer at the hospital. Brit, however, listlessly refuses to get dressed. Turk realizes she took sleeping pills, roughly dresses her... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...fault. Turk thanks MacDougall and sinks to his knees. He runs to the bedroom, holds Brit's hand, and thinks that he can now give her justice. (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...people Turk doesn't know, but they're from the Movement. When Turk tries to reach for Brit's hand, she shrinks away and turns to Tom Metzger, the founder of the White Aryan... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...hit a piñata of a black man hanging from a noose, while a young woman (Brit) held paper stars for Pin the Star on the Jew. Brit showed Turk inside and... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...to the duplex. As things start to wind down, MacDougall arrives to pay his respects. Brit isn't charmed; she goes inside and starts throwing casserole dishes. Turk tries to comfort her,... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...her side. Ruth recounts her story several times, insists she wasn't angry with Turk and Brit, and is shocked when Carla asks about Ruth's offhand sterilization comment. (full context)
Chapter 9, Turk
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...be fought on the internet. Francis, however, was powerful, and Turk was in love with Brit. He visited often, but was too afraid to make a move. One day, Brit asked... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
On the night that Turk took Brit out, they had dinner with Francis first. Brit talked about hitting a black man with... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Outside, Turk notices media vans. He calls Francis and tells him to get Brit up and make her watch Channel Four. Turk puts his hat back on and approaches... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
After Turk's first date with Brit, he started visiting regularly. He ran LONEWOLF from the living room. The site had a... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
One night, Francis asked Turk when he was going to marry Brit. It took him a while, but Turk eventually brought her to his house to cook... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
When Turk returns from court, he finds Brit in front of the TV watching Odette speak. She smiles at Turk for the first... (full context)
Chapter 15, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The next evening, Turk, Brit, and Francis are watching the news while Turk posts on LONEWOLF. After Francis goes to... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
...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.... (full context)
Chapter 20, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
On the day of the trial, Turk feels empty. Brit comes out of the bathroom in her pantyhose and suggests that Turk wear a hat,... (full context)
Chapter 22, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...funeral. Minutes later, Odette begins her opening statement. She tells the story of Turk and Brit's experience at the hospital, and their "personal preferences" that led them to ask for Ruth... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...Davis's bruised body and sets one up on an easel. Before she can ask questions, Brit shrieks that Ruth killed her baby. The bailiff shows Brit out and when the furor... (full context)
Chapter 23, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
In a small conference room in the courthouse, Turk tries to calm Brit down. Odette bursts in, saying that Brit looks perfectly distraught but threatening Ruth was a... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...if they'd just be a white supremacist and a black man. He looks out at Brit and thinks of how he told her that he told Odette that it would be... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...Turk and tells him to stay calm during Kennedy's questioning. As soon as Odette leaves, Brit spits that she hates her. Turk wonders out loud if Odette is right, and that... (full context)
Chapter 27, Ruth
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...Ruth, they head for the Bauers, who are giving an interview. The woman reaches for Brit and says that she's beautiful. Brit slaps her hand away and Mercy tries to introduce... (full context)
Chapter 28, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Turk is shocked when a black woman tries to touch Brit and then lies that Brit is her daughter. He looks to Francis, who says only... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Brit runs off, and though Francis tries to get the LONEWOLF members to help look for... (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
After that, Francis started leaving Brit in the car while he got drunk at bars, and that's where he met Tom... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Turk breaks into the graveyard and he and Francis approach Davis's grave. They find Brit there, brandishing her penknife. Francis shines his flashlight at her and they see that she... (full context)
Chapter 29, Kennedy
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...do well renewed. Ruth appears on Wallace Mercy's show and receives donations from his viewers. Brit is in the hospital and Turk hasn't been back to court. Right after the debacle... (full context)
Chapter 31, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...Anti-Defamation League. He tells people about his hate and his racism and how it consumed Brit, who eventually committed suicide. He tells them about how white supremacists came at night and... (full context)