Cate Kennedy

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The Woman Character Analysis

The woman is the only female radiographer at the narrator’s public hospital. Unlike her male colleagues, the woman showed the narrator compassion when she couldn’t detect a heartbeat—she held the narrator’s leg, told her she’s sorry, and gave her time alone to process. Since the narrator hasn’t seen the woman at the hospital at all during her last few visits, she wonders if the woman was fired for not being efficient enough with her patients.

The Woman Quotes in Waiting

The Waiting quotes below are all either spoken by The Woman or refer to The Woman. 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:
Grief and Loneliness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribe edition of Waiting published in 2012.
Waiting Quotes

This careful professional detachment while they’re gazing at the human map of you, the intimate, failed, faltering misstep, in ghostly black and white. White cloud coursing grainily over a black landmass, some cyclone gathering its bleary force offshore.

Related Characters: The Woman (speaker)
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 198-99
Explanation and Analysis:

She moved the transducer and gazed at the screen and then her hand came out and squeezed my leg and she looked at me and said, I’m so sorry, I can’t see a heartbeat.

Her hand there for comfort. Warmth and pulse flowing between us, skin to skin.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Woman (speaker)
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Waiting LitChart as a printable PDF.
Waiting PDF

The Woman Character Timeline in Waiting

The timeline below shows where the character The Woman appears in Waiting. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Grief and Loneliness Theme Icon
Nature, Chaos, and Powerlessness Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Hardship Theme Icon
Once they call the narrator’s name, she’ll find out if she has the hospital’s only woman staffer or one of its four men. If she has the woman, she’ll feel grateful... (full context)
Love, Care, and Suffering Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Hardship Theme Icon
The narrator had the woman only once, and that time she didn’t even have to ask—the woman squeezed the narrator’s... (full context)