Small Great Things

Small Great Things


Jodi Picoult

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Tanner Character Analysis

Turk's older brother; he died in a car accident a few months after he turned sixteen. Though Turk grew up believing that Tanner died in a racially motivated murder at the hands of a black man, he learns as an adult that Tanner was actually high and swerved into the black man's lane of traffic. Tanner's death represents a turning point for the Bauer family, as it instigates Turk's parents' divorce and primes Turk to accept Raine Tesco's invitation into the North American Death Squad a few years later.
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Tanner Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Tanner appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3, Turk
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...tells the reader that the first black person he ever met killed his older brother, Tanner. Tanner died in a car accident two months after getting his driver's license, and the... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
Stepping into the past again, Turk says that everything fell apart after Tanner died. Turk's father moved out and Turk's mother turned to alcohol. Not long after she... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
...Power Movement, Turk's mother died. While going through her things, he found the transcripts from Tanner's trial. He read everything and discovered that Tanner had been high, and the black man... (full context)