Transcendent Kingdom


Yaa Gyasi

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Raymond Character Analysis

Raymond is a man with whom Gifty shared a romantic relationship early in grad school. The son of an African Methodist Episcopal preacher, Raymond studies Modern Thought and Literature and likes to throw elaborate dinner parties where he and his friends discuss and theorize about the world. Gifty finds him intensely attractive, but she struggles to open up to him and tell him about her family and her past. He and his friends also stand for a certain intellectualism that endlessly discusses problems in the abstract rather than coming up with solutions for them in reality. In this way, Raymond represents an intellectual approach to life that, like the religious approach characterized by P.T. and Pastor John, fails (at least in Gifty’s estimation) to address the concrete problems of the world, unlike the science she herself pursues.

Raymond Quotes in Transcendent Kingdom

The Transcendent Kingdom quotes below are all either spoken by Raymond or refer to Raymond. 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:
Science and Religion Theme Icon
Chapter 50 Quotes

It took me many years to realize that it’s hard to live in this world. I don’t mean the mechanics of living, because for most of us, our hearts will beat, our lungs will take in oxygen, without us doing anything at all to tell them to. For most of us, mechanically, physically, it’s harder to die than it is to live. But still we try to die. We drive too fast down winding roads, we have sex with strangers without wearing protection, we drink, we use drugs. We try to squeeze a little more out of our lives. It’s natural to want to do that. But to be alive in the world, every day, as we are given more and more and more, as the nature of “what we can handle” changes and our methods for how we handle it change, too, that’s something of a miracle.

Related Characters: Gifty (speaker), Mother , Anne, Raymond, Katherine, Han
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
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Transcendent Kingdom PDF

Raymond Character Timeline in Transcendent Kingdom

The timeline below shows where the character Raymond appears in Transcendent Kingdom. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon
Once, she explained this to a boyfriend called Raymond in an overly simplistic way, and he chastised her for downplaying her intelligence and work.... (full context)
Chapter 14
Addiction, Depression, and Control Theme Icon
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon
Gifty started dating Raymond—who was sexy, intoxicating, and a preacher’s son—during the first year of grad school. Their relationship... (full context)
Self-Discovery, Identity, and Individuality Theme Icon
Addiction, Depression, and Control Theme Icon
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon
...that should have stopped the mice from their addictive behavior. She remembers another dinner with Raymond and his friends, where she described her work. They thought she was interested how people... (full context)
Chapter 23
Addiction, Depression, and Control Theme Icon
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon
...her experiments when she had itchy rashes from them. One day, she scratched one while Raymond cooked food for breakfast. She had asked him to stop her, but when he did,... (full context)
Chapter 50
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon spend more time around mice than people. This reminds her of a fight with Raymond, who wanted to meet her family. Early on, she had implied that she was an... (full context)
Chapter 53
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon earnest now and making good progress. While she works, she listens to a mixtape Raymond made for their six-month anniversary, shortly before they broke up. She avoided Katherine for as... (full context)
Trauma, Caretaking, and Intimacy  Theme Icon
Her relationship with Raymond ended over her journal, too. After she realized he was secretly reading through it, she... (full context)