The Longest Memory

by

Fred D’Aguiar

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Longest Memory can help.
Thomas is Lydia’s brother and Mr. Whitechapel’s son, who travels to the North for business. Upon his return, he tells his sister about the difference in social behavior there, where some blacks are free and can even be seen publicly with white women. Unlike his sister, Thomas is viciously intolerant, finds interracial relationships hateful, and does not understand her interest in life in the North. Unknowingly, he only furthers Lydia’s interest in running away to the North so that she and Chapel can be together.
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Thomas Character Timeline in The Longest Memory

The timeline below shows where the character Thomas appears in The Longest Memory. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: Lydia
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
When her brother, Thomas, returns from the North, Lydia feels enthusiastic about his descriptions of interracial relationships, though he... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
The next day, Lydia asks Thomas if she might accompany him on his trip to the North, which he refuses. Thomas... (full context)
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
...they have overcome so far in their relationship. In the meantime, Lydia tries to interrogate Thomas discreetly about how slaves travel across the country. However, she soon annoys him with her... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
When Lydia tells Chapel about what she has learned from Thomas, the two of them dream of the various aspects of their future life together, even... (full context)