Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Small Great Things can help.
Kennedy and Micah's four-year-old daughter. Thanks to Kennedy's unwillingness to watch her language around her daughter, Violet sometimes curses. Violet adores Disney princesses and her grandmother, Ava, who throws lavish tea parties when they spend time together. Being so young, Violet doesn't have a firm grasp of how race functions in society: she desperately wants to be Princess Tiana for Halloween, even though Tiana is black, and she and Ruth have a frank and honest discussion about slavery when Ruth comes for dinner one night. Both Ruth and Ava see Violet as proof that hate and racism are learned things: Violet's questions about slavery are innocent and unassuming, and Ava points to Violet's games with a black girl at the playground as evidence of how far the United States has come in terms of race relations.

Violet Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Violet or refer to Violet. 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 8, Kennedy Quotes

In that moment, we're not black and white, or attorney and accused. We're not separated by what I know about the legal system and what she has yet to learn. We are just two mothers, sitting side by side.

Related Characters: Kennedy McQuarrie (speaker), Ruth Jefferson, Edison, Violet
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Small Great Things LitChart as a printable PDF.
Small Great Things PDF

Violet Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Violet appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5, Kennedy
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
It's been a trying morning for Kennedy. Everyone overslept, her daughter Violet refused to eat cereal, and then after Kennedy's husband Micah gave Violet an egg, she... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
On days when both Kennedy and Micah work late, Ava stays with Violet. Being an old southern belle, Ava throws tea parties that thrill Violet. Kennedy arrives home... (full context)
Chapter 8, Kennedy
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...Ruth quietly points to Edison and asks Kennedy if she has kids. Kennedy thinks of Violet and tells the judge she'd like to retract her statement and have more time to... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...gets home, Ava is on the couch with a glass of wine watching Disney Junior, Violet asleep next to her. Ava explains that there was an incident at dinner: Violet is... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
...and was surprised that it was no different. Ava makes one more plea to force Violet to choose another princess but finally gives in. (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Kennedy falls asleep on the couch with Violet and wakes up in time to see Mufasa's death scene in The Lion King. Micah... (full context)
Chapter 11, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...of Kennedy's time. Kennedy admits that it's Ruth's case and she probably won't get it. Violet races into the bathroom, excited because she's dressed like Minnie Mouse. (full context)
Chapter 13, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
When Kennedy gets home after meeting with Ruth, Ava and Violet have made pizza. Kennedy picks Violet up as Violet asks her to guess what shape... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...and was grabbed by police outside of his hotel for no reason. Kennedy says that Violet doesn't need to see this and think the police might grab her. The two women... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Kennedy heads upstairs to read to Violet. She makes a mental note to thank Ava for bathing, feeding, and loving Violet, but... (full context)
Chapter 14, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...a man comes in and asks for a song. Next in line is Kennedy holding Violet. Kennedy blushes and seems shocked that Ruth is working at McDonald's. When she tells Ruth... (full context)
Chapter 16, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
It rains that weekend. While Kennedy and Violet are coloring, Kennedy gets a call from Ruth to invite her to go shopping with... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...spare few hours one afternoon, she heads out of the office and meets Ava and Violet at the park. She greets them and then lies down on the bench with her... (full context)
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...would go to the school. Ava says that the kids were bullied mercilessly. Pointing to Violet playing with a black girl, she says that if she takes the long view, it's... (full context)
Chapter 17, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...end of January, Kennedy invites Ruth and Edison to dinner. Micah answers the door with Violet in his arms, dressed in a Tiana costume. Ruth accepts a glass of wine and... (full context)
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
Ruth takes it upon herself to explain slavery to Violet. She gives a brief account of the slave trade to the Americas and says that... (full context)
Chapter 21, Kennedy
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
...out the door for Ruth's trial, Micah tells her to sit and eat breakfast while Violet points out that her shoes don't match. Kennedy wolfs down her food and then leaves... (full context)
Chapter 24, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
Kennedy remembers one night when she and Ruth had been working in her kitchen, and Violet fell and ended up with a nasty head wound. Ruth calmly cared for Violet at... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...arguments will take place Monday morning. Kennedy arrives home to find Ava making cookies with Violet. She ignores Ava's questions if she's okay, sits down with Violet, and starts eating cookie... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Kennedy leaves Ava with Violet and takes the bus downtown. She stops at a CVS and looks at the black... (full context)