The Invention of Wings

Angelina (Nina) Grimké Character Analysis

Sarah’s youngest sister and godchild (and also a real historical figure). Nina is more headstrong and outspoken than Sarah but shares Sarah’s passion to speak out against slavery. After causing numerous scandals in Charleston, Nina moves North and joins Sarah as a Quaker. The two sisters join the abolitionist movement where Nina meets and eventually marries the prominent abolitionist Theodore Weld, while never losing her fiery spirit and intense devotion to fighting for equality for slaves and women.

Angelina (Nina) Grimké Quotes in The Invention of Wings

The The Invention of Wings quotes below are all either spoken by Angelina (Nina) Grimké or refer to Angelina (Nina) Grimké. 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:
Friendship Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of The Invention of Wings published in 2015.
Part 6 Quotes

She was braver than I, she always had been. I cared too much for the opinion of others, she cared not a whit. I was cautious, she was brash. I was a thinker, she was a doer. I kindled fires, she spread them. And right then and ever after, I saw how cunning the Fates had been. Nina was one wing, I was the other.

Related Characters: Sarah Grimké (speaker), Angelina (Nina) Grimké
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:

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We'd set down every argument the South made for slavery and refuted them all. I didn’t stutter on the page. It was an ecstasy to write without hesitation, to write everything hidden inside of me, to write with the sort of audacity I wouldn’t have found in person.

Related Characters: Sarah Grimké (speaker), Angelina (Nina) Grimké
Page Number: 317
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 laborum.

"How can you ask us to go back to our parlors?" I said, rising to my feet. "To turn our backs on ourselves and on our own sex? We don't wish the movement to split…but we can do little for the slave as long as we’re under the feet of men. Do what you have to do, censure us, withdraw your support, we 'll press on anyway. Now, sirs, kindly take your feet off our necks."

Related Characters: Sarah Grimké (speaker), Angelina (Nina) Grimké
Page Number: 334
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 laborum.

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Angelina (Nina) Grimké Character Timeline in The Invention of Wings

The timeline below shows where the character Angelina (Nina) Grimké appears in The Invention of Wings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: February 1811 – December 1812
Friendship Theme Icon
Belonging and Religion Theme Icon
...for a society ball. Sarah makes up her face while her godchild (and little sister) Nina tries to follow Handful’s instructions on how to braid Sarah’s thin, red hair. At 18,... (full context)
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Nina (christened Angelina) is a beautiful child with a lively intellect. Sarah tries to ensure that... (full context)
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Sarah lets Nina pick her dress for the night. Handful helps Sarah gets dressed and Sarah notes the... (full context)
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...she has worn just two nights earlier, but Sarah insists on wearing the dress that Nina chose. Mother tries to command Nina back to the nursery, but Nina throws a fit... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...society and mourns the loss of Sarah’s friendship now that Sarah is rightfully focused on Nina. Even distracted by these thoughts, Handful is a better seamstress than her mother. Missus made... (full context)
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...rambles about Burke, resenting his hold on her even as she falls for him. Only Nina and the arrival of a new wonderful copper bathtub distract Sarah. In March, Sarah is... (full context)
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Sarah. Nina is obsessed with helping Sarah get rid of her speech impediment. Sarah allows Nina to... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah, still in isolation, worries about Nina, who is playing with young girls who live next to the horrible Work House where... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Mid-afternoon, Handful sees Sarah and Nina come back in a carriage driven by Goodis, who gives Handful a pitying look. No... (full context)
Part 3: October 1818 – November 1820
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Sarah. Sarah and Nina are called to the drawing room where Mother and Reverend Gadsden are waiting. Nina refused... (full context)
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The only thing Sarah and Nina disagree on is religion. Nina finds Presbyterian asceticism pointless, as Sarah attends society functions then... (full context)
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Reverend Gadsden tries to reason with Nina not to put her soul in jeopardy and Mother guilts Nina with the thought that... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...leaves two books at the door for Handful. The day Handful comes out, Sarah and Nina rush away from the breakfast table to go talk to her in the yard as... (full context)
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...to care for. Sarah realizes that Mother is sending her away to separate Sarah and Nina. (full context)
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...feel hopeless feeding her father soup like a baby bird. Sarah writes a letter to Nina explaining where they are staying for the summer and praying that Father will improve soon.... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...can’t use the pass Sarah wrote because Tomfry knows Sarah is still up North, but Nina appears and tells Tomfry that Handful is on an errand for her. Once she gets... (full context)
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...library, Sarah reflects on the melancholy of her life in Charleston – especially now that Nina has reached an age where she no longer wants Sarah to mother her. Sarah picks... (full context)
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...previous unsent letters are gone. Sarah rushes to Mother’s room, yelling about the offense, waking Nina in the process. At the sight of Nina, all anger leaves Sarah. The next morning,... (full context)
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Spring comes, but Sarah gets no better. Mother and Nina try to help, but nothing shakes Sarah’s depression. In May, Thomas arrives and begins yelling... (full context)
Part 4: September 1821 – July 1822
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In January, Nina tries to start a Female Prayer Society as a front for exposing the evils of... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...lists, covering the front with red and black triangles for blackbirds flying. Handful thinks about Nina’s lectures and Sarah’s guilt, and recognizes the good impulses behind them. Yet Handful knows that... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah gets a letter from Nina detailing how terribly Mother has been acting as well as Handful’s new potentially dangerous sneaking... (full context)
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...kisses Handful’s scars, bringing tears to her eyes. The next morning, Handful goes to ask Nina for a pass to the market. Though Nina knows Handful is not going to the... (full context)
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...the town. Sarah can’t believe that her welcome is an insult about her dress, though Nina immediately wants one when she hears that the dress symbolizes anti-slavery ideals. Nina also tells... (full context)
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Nina and Sarah go to the Charleston Quaker meetinghouse the next Sunday. As they walk across... (full context)
Part 5: November 1826 – November 1829
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...the lack of oversight in the house now that Missus is always busy fighting with Nina. As Handful passes the garden, she notices an old slave woman and a slave girl... (full context)
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...women form a bond deeper than friendship. One night, Lucretia gives Sarah a letter from “Nina” that is in Handful’s handwriting. The letter explains that Charlotte has returned to the Grimké... (full context)
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Nina writes to Sarah with news that she has fallen in love with the Presbyterian Reverend... (full context)
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...has no ownership papers and the regulations in Charleston are so strict. Still, Handful begs Nina to write Sky a pass, and she takes Sky by the house that used to... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah writes to Nina, explaining how she refused Israel’s proposal. Sarah no longer wants to be Nina’s mother or... (full context)
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...in meeting incoherent, though Sarah studies Quaker theology night and day. She continues to try Nina’s tongue exercises, trying to rid herself of the stammer. Nina writes letters detailing her efforts... (full context)
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...leaves Lucretia’s house and moves in with Catherine so that there will be room for Nina when she comes. Sarah marvels at the thought that two daughters of a Southern slaveholder... (full context)
Part 6: July 1835 – June 1838
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Sarah. Sarah and Nina go to the Sunday Quaker meeting and sit on the “Negro pew” meant for black... (full context)
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Sarah and Nina sit down next to Sarah Mapps Douglass and her mother Grace, the two black members... (full context)
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Three weeks after the Negro pew incident, Catherine asks Sarah and Nina to come down before dinner. The sisters are surprised to see the Quaker Elders, and... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah and Nina look desperately for another place to stay in the North, but their reputation as revolting... (full context)
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...the Quaker children, while her mother Grace makes beautiful hats that no Quaker can wear. Nina and Sarah clean out the attic and sequester themselves in the house to avoid the... (full context)
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...apology for the anti-slavery cause directly written for the wives and daughters of Southern slaveholders. Nina suggests that she write the letter to the women and Sarah write a pamphlet for... (full context)
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When the pamphlets are almost finished, Nina receives a letter from William Lloyd Garrison. It encloses a letter from Elizur Wright, the... (full context)
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...afternoon, the mayor comes to see Missus. Handful overhears him tell Missus that Sarah and Angelina will no longer be allowed in Charleston, for their own welfare, due the uproar their... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah and Nina give their first lecture in New York, to a full house at one of the... (full context)
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Nina’s electrifying speech is met with resounding applause, and then it is Sarah’s turn to speak.... (full context)
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The lecture circuit spends weeks in New York, and then moves on to New Jersey. Nina and Sarah become both famous and infamous as the Grimké sisters who spur women to... (full context)
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Sarah watches Theodore and Nina steal every chance they can get to be alone. Sarah and Nina go to Massachusetts... (full context)
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...in front of men, and public outcry against the sisters grows even stronger. Sarah and Nina try to stay strong, now fighting not only for abolition but also the right of... (full context)
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Elizur Wright, Theodore Weld, and John Greenleaf Whittier visit Sarah and Nina to ask them to step back from the abolition lecture circuit. Elizur and John are... (full context)
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Sarah. On May 14th, Nina marries Theodore Weld. Sarah finds the whole occasion beautiful, though Nina wears a free-labor brown... (full context)
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...Sarah thinks of all the things that led up to this wedding: Theodore’s agreement with Nina’s right to speak, the split among abolitionists over the issue of women orators, and the... (full context)
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Nina pronounces herself and Theodore husband and wife, then the reception party begins. Sarah happily speaks... (full context)