Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Ms. Mina Character Analysis

Mama's employer. She's a wealthy lady who lives in a Manhattan brownstone. When Ruth was a child, she watched Ms. Mina give birth to her son and the experience made her want to be a nurse. In the present, Ruth understands that Ms. Mina still employs Mama because she doesn't know how to take care of herself or her home. Though Ruth resents Ms. Mina for continuing to employ Mama into her old age, Ms. Mina also pays for some of Mama's surgeries and after Mama's death, pays for the lavish funeral. Ms. Mina insists throughout her life that Mama is part of the family, but Ruth believes that family shouldn't earn a paycheck.
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Ms. Mina Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Ms. Mina 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
...of going to school. Mama never missed work 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... (full context)
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...Mama told Rachel and Ruth to stay in the kitchen, but they followed her to Ms. Mina 's room anyway. Ms. Mina was on her bed and told Mama that it was... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...The miracle is that for a moment, race and class evaporated and as Mama helped Ms. Mina and Ruth held Christina's hand, there were only women helping women. (full context)
Chapter 4, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...didn't like school. The girls returned to their 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... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Ruth tells the reader that Mama still works for Ms. Mina . Sam Hallowell is now dead, Christina lives nearby, and their son lives in London.... (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.... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...gray world. She screamed that her eyes weren't working, but in the dream Mama and Ms. Mina told her that it's just the way things are. (full context)
Chapter 17, 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
...Edison enters the kitchen and gives Ruth her cell phone to answer a call from Ms. Mina . (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Mama's funeral is a lavish affair in her Harlem church. Ms. Mina has bought the fanciest casket, and people shuffle past, looking at Mama. Ruth wanted to... (full context)