Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

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Christina Character Analysis

Christina is Ms. Mina's daughter. She's a year older than Ruth and growing up, the two were close friends. However, Christina led a life of privilege and never fully understood what Ruth's life was like, which led Ruth to distance herself just in case Christina started to exclude her. Christina was also traumatized by watching her mother give birth, which led her to choose to have her son via surrogate. In the present, Christina is married to a man named Larry and is struggling with his decision to run for Congress. As Ruth is charged with murder, Christina explains that the two can't be seen together, as it'd be damaging for Larry's campaign to be involved with such a scandal. Ruth sees this as proof that Christina is biased, racist, and privileged. However, in the final days of the trial, Christina shows up at Ruth's house and explains that she's been in court in disguise. She apologizes for her behavior and her ignorance, and it's implied that she and Ruth start to repair their relationship and be more honest with each other after the case ends.

Christina Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Christina or refer to Christina. 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 1, Ruth Quotes

As Christina held my hand and Ms. Mina held Mama's, there was a moment—one heartbeat, one breath—where all the differences in schooling and money and skin color evaporated like mirages in a desert. Where everyone was equal, and it was just one woman, helping another.

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Mama, Rachel / Adisa, Christina
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22, Ruth Quotes

She falters, then gathers up the weeds of her thoughts and offers me the saddest, truest bouquet. "I didn't know."

"Why would you?" I reply—not angry, not hurt, just stating a fact. "You'll never have to."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Christina (speaker)
Page Number: 366
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Small Great Things LitChart as a printable PDF.
Small Great Things PDF

Christina Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Christina appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...for anything, so Ruth always reasoned that Ms. Mina (Sam Hallowell’s wife) and her daughter Christina just needed Mama more than she and Rachel did. Ruth and Rachel put their coats... (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...Mama assured Ms. Mina that the ambulance would arrive soon and told Rachel, Ruth, and Christina, all standing in the door, to go play. The girls, however, stayed rooted to the... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
The experience of watching the birth affected everyone differently: Rachel had five children; Christina had one child via surrogate; and Ruth is now a labor and delivery nurse. The... (full context)
Chapter 4, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...Harlem school for a year and then Ms. Mina got Ruth an interview at Dalton, Christina's private school. Ruth earned a full scholarship and though she did well, she didn't fit... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...tells the reader that Mama still works for Ms. Mina. Sam Hallowell is now dead, Christina lives nearby, and their son lives in London. Mama refuses to retire, even though she's... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Ms. Mina, Christina, and Christina's four-year-old get home. Christina throws her arms around Ruth as Ms. Mina greets... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Christina interrupts Ruth to say that her husband, Larry, is going to run for Congress. Ruth... (full context)
Chapter 10, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
As a girl, Ruth had semi-regular sleepovers with Christina at the brownstone. Sam would run old cartoons for the girls and Mama was always... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
One time, Ruth accepted an invitation to a slumber party with Christina and her friends. Christina invited two other sophomores and they lounged on the deck. The... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...up before anyone else to fix her hair. She finally slipped into bed next to Christina, who she thought was asleep but was actually awake. Her eyes flicked to the scarf,... (full context)
Chapter 14, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Christina invites Ruth to her house for lunch. A maid serves them salad and Ruth asks... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Bitterly, Ruth says that Christina doesn't have to care anymore. Both women apologize, and then Christina fetches her purse and... (full context)
Chapter 17, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...was actually true as she starts to cry. She thinks back to Mama's words at Christina's slumber party—that they'll be waiting for her when Ruth is ready, and thinks that Mama... (full context)
Chapter 22, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...get home, they see a black car with a driver in front of their house. Christina steps out and explains that she's been in court for the last two days, camouflaged... (full context)
Chapter 30, Ruth
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...also like nothing has changed. She texts Edison, calls Adisa, and gets a text from Christina. Kennedy and Howard assure Ruth that it's over, and Kennedy invites Ruth out for lunch.... (full context)