Small Great Things

Small Great Things

by

Jodi Picoult

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Wine Symbol Icon

Many of the novel's female characters drink wine and in most cases, their drink of choice can be read as an indicator of their whiteness or an attempt to be more "white." Kennedy notes that Ava has had a glass of white wine every night for as long as she can remember; the wine is a part of Ava and contributes to her image as a well-to-do white woman. Ruth, on the other hand, often drinks wine with other white women, like Corinne, as a means of building community and trying to fit in in her white, mostly assimilated world. Though Ruth often seems to enjoy her wine, there are times when her reaction to her drink betrays her discomfort in the mostly white world she inhabits. In particular, the wine she drinks the night that Davis dies—which was a gift from Marie—is sour and unpleasant, and is something she has to choke down to convince herself that things will continue to be normal.

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Wine Symbol Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the symbol Wine appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...but Corinne will never understand. She turns down Corinne's invitation to get a glass of wine and, when the elevator opens and reveals a sea of white faces, Ruth thinks she's... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...runs to his room. 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... (full context)
Chapter 8, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
When Kennedy 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... (full context)
Chapter 17, Ruth
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
...with Violet in his arms, dressed in a Tiana costume. Ruth accepts a glass of wine and sits in the living room with Micah and Kennedy. Micah asks Edison about school... (full context)
Chapter 18, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
When Judge Thunder dismisses them, Kennedy invites Ruth to get a glass of wine. She tries to raise a toast, but Ruth swirls her wine and recounts a story... (full context)
Chapter 24, Kennedy
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
The Justice System and the Politics of Speech Theme Icon
...that this is all Ruth wants as she sits at home with a bottle of wine. Micah gets home and Kennedy tells him everything. She laments that Ruth is going to... (full context)