Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

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Howard Character Analysis

Howard is a young black lawyer who is hired in Kennedy's office. Kennedy goes out of her way to be nice to him when Ed spouts off that Howard was a diversity hire, but realizes she misjudged Howard when she learns that he's from a wealthy town. Not long before jury selection, Kennedy asks to have Howard join her on the case. Though Howard is enthusiastic about the fieldwork she asks him to do to learn about potential jurors, he's unable to do as much sleuthing as she'd like because he's afraid that someone will call the cops on him. He instead takes over the online research, using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find out how potential jurors feel about racism, law enforcement, and white supremacy. Howard is vocal that Kennedy should use one of her strikes against juror number 12. During the trial, Howard mostly helps protect Ruth from the press. He's awestruck when Kennedy brings up race in her questioning and seems beside himself after her closing arguments.

Howard Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Howard or refer to Howard. 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 24, Kennedy Quotes

"You think you're a respected member of a community—the hospital where you work, the town where you live. I had a wonderful job. I had colleagues who were friends. I lived in a home I was proud of. But it was just an optical illusion. I was never a member of any of those communities. I was tolerated, but not welcomed. I was, and will always be, different from them."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Turk Bauer, Kennedy McQuarrie, Howard, Davis Bauer
Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
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Howard Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Howard appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...to work, her colleague Ed Gourakis is going on at length about the new hire, Howard. Kennedy hasn't met him yet and tells Ed this. Ed says that he was just... (full context)
Chapter 18, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...black person in making good choices, Kennedy approaches Harry and asks if she can steal Howard. Harry doesn't care. As Kennedy leads Howard out, she learns that he's only 24 and... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...to switch in a few hours, and says jury selection starts in two days. As Howard and Kennedy drive back to the office, she explains that they need to become detectives... (full context)
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
Late that night, Kennedy and Howard have spread out over her home office. Howard spent the afternoon doing internet research while... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...to make pleasant small talk, but Odette refuses the olive branch. As she walks away, Howard rushes in to tell Kennedy about a study about racial prejudice. He explains that it... (full context)
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...the courthouse for jury selection. Ruth looks professional but very nervous. Kennedy introduces her to Howard and then they sit at the defense table together. Judge Thunder addresses the potential jurors... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...tells Kennedy that she's not biased and she doesn't have a problem with black people. Howard gives Kennedy his signal, so Kennedy fakes a coughing fit. Howard takes over questioning, which... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...jurors. Odette doesn't want to allow Kennedy to excuse juror number 12, so Kennedy and Howard huddle to discuss. Howard wants her to use a strike, but Kennedy decides to accept... (full context)
Chapter 24, Kennedy
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...to acquit Ruth and throw out the case. She skips into the conference room with Howard and Ruth and shares the good news. She says that tomorrow, the defense will rest... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...that Kennedy has to put Ruth on the stand if Ruth insists, so Kennedy sends Howard out. She tells Ruth that they'll jeopardize their lead if she testifies, but Ruth admits... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...snaps: she says that she thought Davis was better off dead than raised by Turk. Howard shouts his objection and Edison runs out of the room. (full context)
Chapter 27, Ruth
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Once Judge Thunder and the jury leave, Howard jumps up in awe of Kennedy's statement. Kennedy soberly says she shot herself in the... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Kennedy, Howard, and Ruth leave the courtroom and try to push through the press outside. Ruth sees... (full context)
Chapter 29, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...office to explain that the jury is hung, eleven to one. When Kennedy speaks to Howard after the meeting, they both know that juror number 12 is the one who won't... (full context)
Chapter 30, Ruth
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...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. Ruth feels like... (full context)