The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Clover and Lacks Town Symbol Icon

Clover and Lacks Town, where Henrietta Lacks grew up, represent a bygone era for Rebecca Skloot. She sees both the idyllic, pre-industrial side, as well as the deep racial divides that lie underneath its surface. Rebecca also notes the extreme poverty in which its residents—especially African Americans—live. At the same time Deborah Lacks thinks of Clover as her favorite place on earth, because she associates it with her mother (and indeed, Clover is where Henrietta is buried in an unmarked grave). At the end of the book, Rebecca returns to Clover to find that it has disappeared entirely, a victim of an economic downturn and of racist and classist financial policies. Once learning that Deborah has died, Rebecca remembers that Deborah hoped that Heaven would look like Clover, and that she would see her mother and sister there. Thus in the end, despite its flaws, Clover becomes a symbol of the life that Deborah never got to have with her mother and her sister.

Clover and Lacks Town Quotes in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks quotes below all refer to the symbol of Clover and Lacks Town. 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, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks published in 2010.
Chapter 16 Quotes

The white Lackses know their kin all buried in here with ours cause they family. They know it, but they’ll never admit it. They just say, “Them Black Lackses, they ain’t kin!”

Related Characters: Cliff Garret (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clover and Lacks Town
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aut

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 35 Quotes

Take one of me and my sister by her and my mother grave…It’ll be the only picture in the world with the three of us almost together.

Related Characters: Deborah (Dale) Lacks (speaker), Henrietta Lacks, Deborah (Dale) Lacks
Related Symbols: Clover and Lacks Town, Crownsville State Hospital
Page Number: 327
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris ni

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Ex

Chapter 38 Quotes

Heaven looks just like Clover, Virginia. My mother and I always loved it down there more than anywhere else in the world.

Related Characters: Rebecca Skloot (the author) (speaker), Deborah (Dale) Lacks (speaker), Henrietta Lacks
Related Symbols: Clover and Lacks Town
Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint o

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor i

Get the entire Henrietta Lacks LitChart as a printable PDF.
The immortal life of henrietta lacks.pdf.medium

Clover and Lacks Town Symbol Timeline in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The timeline below shows where the symbol Clover and Lacks Town appears in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Clover
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...later. Afterwards her father, Johnny Pleasant, took his children back to the family home of Clover, Virginia. The relatives divided the children up, and Henrietta was given to Tommy Lacks, her... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Clover has a Main Street where, on nice days, the white members of the town would... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...horses along the dirt road that runs through the former Lacks tobacco plantation (now called Lacks Town ). They have a cousin named Crazy Joe Grinnan who is desperately in love with... (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...most likely brought on by syphilis contracted and passed on by Day. The family at Lacks Town , however, originally just calls her “simple” or “touched.” (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Fred has returned to Clover to try to convince Henrietta and Day to come back to Turner Station with him.... (full context)
Chapter 5: Blackness Be Spreadin All Inside
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...are growing in a lab. She has returned home, taking her children on trips to Clover and keeping house. While radiation treatments usually have terrible symptoms, no one remembers Henrietta feeling... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...Henrietta’soldest daughter, the mentally impaired Elsie. Before her illness, Henrietta would frequently take Elsie to Clover. As she grew older, however, Elsie began to have accidents. When Henrietta became pregnant with... (full context)
Chapter 9: Turner Station
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...narration and footage of a young black actress dancing. Soon after there is footage of Clover, Henrietta’s childhood home. It ends with an interview with Fred Garret standing near the family... (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
...asks him to put her in touch with the Lacks family members still living in Clover, but he refuses. (full context)
Chapter 10: The Other Side of the Tracks
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Rebecca describes Clover a community in Southern Virginia, which she visits on a warm day in December. By... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
The divide between Clover and Lacks Town is clear: on one side of the road there are well-kept farms,... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...explains that he can’t read, and asks Rebecca if the piece mentions Henrietta’s childhood in Clover. (full context)
Chapter 11: “The Devil of Pain Itself”
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...sister to care for her children. After she falls asleep, Gladys goes back home to Clover. She then calls Day to tell him that Henrietta is going to die, and to... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Storm
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
Days later, a train takes Henrietta from Baltimore to Clover in a cheap coffin. The Clover undertaker drives Henrietta’s coffin into Lacks Town. Cootie prays... (full context)
Chapter 15: “Too Young to Remember”
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
The narrative jumps back to the 1950s. After Henrietta’s funeral, cousins from Clover and Turner Station help to care for her family. While Day works two jobs, Lawrence... (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...at dawn and forcing them to do chores. In the summers, she sends them to Clover to pick worms off tobacco leaves. If they ever stop, Ethel beats them. She focuses... (full context)
Chapter 16: “Spending Eternity in the Same Place”
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...original plantation to Benjamin Lacks, and the other half to the black Lackses—this land became Lacks Town . Sixteen years later, when Benjamin died, he split his land between his sisters, and... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Rebecca recounts how omnipresent race still is in Clover. While all insist that race relations have never been bad there, only twelve miles away... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
...the eighties, Lillian expresses paranoia about why people know about her family, her life in Clover, and Henrietta. Gladys explains that because of her light skin, Lillian “converted to Puerto Rican.” (full context)
Chapter 19: “The Most Critical Time on Earth is Now”
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...Joe finds Ivy and fatally stabs him in the heart. The family hides Joe in Clover, where he fights with so many of his cousins that they send him to DC.... (full context)
Chapter 33: The Hospital for the Negro Insane
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...Elsie. After visiting Christoph’slab, the two women travel to Crownsville. They plan to stop at Clover and Roanoke on the way back. (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
...to learn that the archives have no record of Elsie. They then move on to Clover, where an excited Deborah repeatedly shows passersby her new picture of Elsie. She grows increasingly... (full context)
Chapter 35: Soul Cleansing
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...progresses, Deborah grows covered with hives, and Rebecca becomes concerned. The two finally get to Clover, where Deborah asks Rebecca to take a photo of her with the two pictures of... (full context)
Chapter 38: The Long Road to Clover
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
In January 2009, Rebecca pulls into the town of Clover to realize that all of Clover is gone—the businesses have all closed. She fills her... (full context)
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
When Rebecca finds the remains of Clover, she has not spoken to Deborah for several months. The book is done, but Deborah... (full context)
Racism, Classism, and Sexism Theme Icon
Family and Faith Theme Icon
Progress vs. Privacy Theme Icon
Technology and Globalization Theme Icon
Immortality and Its Costs Theme Icon
...Henrietta. After watching the interview herself, Deborah had told Rebecca that, “Heaven looks just like Clover, Virginia. My mother and I always loved it down there more than anywhere else in... (full context)