Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

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Marie Character Analysis

The charge nurse in the labor and delivery department of the Mercy-West Haven hospital. She's only been at the hospital for ten years and she and Ruth were both in the running for the charge nurse position, but Ruth doesn't resent her for getting it. Ruth implies that Marie is kind and normally a good friend, but Marie chooses to honor Turk's request that Ruth not touch Davis. Ruth fixates on Marie's sticky note saying that no African American staff are to care for Davis and believes that Marie kept her from doing her job. When Marie testifies during Ruth's trial, Ruth realizes that the two weren't actually true friends.

Marie Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Marie or refer to Marie. 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 14, Ruth Quotes

"The fact that I'm Black was never an issue in my relationship with my colleagues."

"Not until they needed a scapegoat. What I am trying to say, Ruth—may I call you that?—is that we will stand with you. Your Black brothers and sisters will go to bat for you. They will risk their jobs for you. They will march on your behalf and they will create a roar that cannot be ignored."

Related Characters: Ruth Jefferson (speaker), Wallace Mercy (speaker), Mama, Marie, Corinne
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Small Great Things LitChart as a printable PDF.
Small Great Things PDF

Marie Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Marie 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
Ruth notes that there are three occupied rooms in the birthing pavilion. She meets Marie, the charge nurse, for their morning meeting and the two take bets on why Corinne,... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...back off and that he'd like to speak to her boss. Ruth nervously goes to Marie and explains that she did nothing wrong. Back in the room, Turk tells Marie that... (full context)
Chapter 3, Turk
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
In the hospital, Turk tells Marie that he wants Lucille back. Marie insists that they can't discriminate against Ruth and says... (full context)
Chapter 4, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
After Marie sends Ruth out of the Bauers' room, Ruth and Corinne joke about how Turk is... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...Davis's folder reading that no African-American staff are to care for him. Ruth angrily finds Marie and confronts her about it. Marie encourages her to think of it like a religious... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...to leave that afternoon, Corinne asks what happened with the Bauers. When Ruth says that Marie took her off because she's black, Corinne insists that there must be more to it... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...Ruth takes a deep breath and has a glass of sour wine from a bottle Marie gave her. She gives Edison some time to cool down, and then knocks on his... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Davis doesn't start breathing. Ruth hastily wraps him up and seconds later Marie comes up behind Ruth. Marie tells Ruth to get an Ambu bag (a breathing aid),... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
An hour later, as Ruth prepares to leave, Marie catches her in the staff room. Marie asks for Ruth's version of events for hospital... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...or damn her, and she says that she didn't touch him until instructed to by Marie. Ruth notes that the note in Davis's file could be construed as biased, but Carla... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Ruth's shift begins with Marie assigning Virginia, a white nursing student, to shadow Ruth. Ruth leads Virginia to the room... (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...feels like he's pressing on a splinter as she leaves for work. When she arrives, Marie tells Ruth she can't work; Ruth's license has been suspended. Security escorts Ruth to clear... (full context)
Chapter 14, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...convince the jury that his death wasn't Ruth's fault. When Ruth suggests showing the jury Marie's sticky note, Kennedy says that'll give the jury a reason to think Ruth murdered Davis.... (full context)
Chapter 16, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...has only been promoted once in 20 years and is described as "prickly" and "uppity." Marie, on the other hand, has been at the hospital ten years but has been promoted... (full context)
Chapter 22, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
Kennedy takes over questioning. She brings up Marie's note in Davis's file that barred Ruth from caring for Davis and suggests that Corinne... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Ruth explains that when Marie was hired, they were both nurses. They both applied for the charge nurse position and... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
Kennedy questions Marie about the kind of care Ruth gave to patients, and asked if she'd thought of... (full context)
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...wonder if she actually wanted to hurt Davis. Edison asks Ruth if Davis died like Marie said he did. Ruth says it was worse. (full context)