The Golden Age


Joan London

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Nance Briggs Character Analysis

Jack Briggs’s sister. Because she’s overbearing and slightly wealthier than the rest of the family, he’s attentive and obedient to her, often against Margaret’s wishes. While Nance demeans Margaret throughout the novel, she finally goes too far by declaring that because of her polio, Elsa has to go to secretarial school instead of studying medicine. It is at this moment that Margaret decisively rebukes her. Nance represents the world at large, which is eager to dismiss and stigmatize polio patients.
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Nance Briggs Character Timeline in The Golden Age

The timeline below shows where the character Nance Briggs appears in The Golden Age. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
12. Angel Wings
Parenthood and Growing Up Theme Icon an ugly bathing suit inherited from her cousin. Wearing it, she remembers her aunt Nance’s barely disguised disgust when she visited the last week, and feels ashamed both of the... (full context)
14. Margaret in Her Garden
Survival Theme Icon
Parenthood and Growing Up Theme Icon
...her he can’t drive her to the hospital that Sunday. Instead, he has to fix Nance’s fence. (full context)
22. The Concert
Survival Theme Icon
Vocation Theme Icon
...wonders if she would play for a cocktail party at her house. Haughtily, Ida declines. Nance Briggs asks if she can give Ida’s name to an old colleague who works in... (full context)
30. The Separation
Survival Theme Icon
Parenthood and Growing Up Theme Icon
This is what has finally given Margaret the strength to stand up to Nance. Nance has decided that since Elsa is disabled and furthermore not to be trusted around... (full context)