Warriors Don’t Cry

by

Melba Beals

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Elizabeth Eckford Character Analysis

Melba describes Eckford as “petite” and “a very quiet, private person” who was always friendly at their old school, smiling and waving at Melba from across the hallways. Like all of the other members of the Little Rock Nine, she is very serious about her schoolwork. Unlike the rest, however, she soon becomes the most visible member of the group. Melba watches Eckford get chased by fifty angry white people while soldiers in the Arkansas National Guard do nothing to protect her. A famous photo shows Eckford trying to enter Central High School while a white teenager, later identified as Hazel Bryan, screams at her. Melba notes that, though Eckford was afraid on that day, she remained “regal” in her bearing.
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Elizabeth Eckford Character Timeline in Warriors Don’t Cry

The timeline below shows where the character Elizabeth Eckford appears in Warriors Don’t Cry. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
The other students include Ernest Green, the eldest, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, Elizabeth Eckford , Thelma Mothershed, Melba’s “special friend” Minnijean Brown, Carlotta Walls, and Gloria Ray. They all... (full context)
Chapter 4 
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
...and her mother. When they reach of the hub of the activity, they see that Elizabeth Eckford is the focus of the crowd’s attention. Elizabeth stands alone, searching for the right place... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Passive vs. Violent Resistance Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
...them inside. She piles chairs against the locked back door and answers Melba’s question about Elizabeth Eckford’s safety. A white man and a white woman sat beside her on the bench, then... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
...earlier in the day. Melba explains that she was across the street. Minnijean explains that Elizabeth Eckford was alone because she did not know where the meeting place was. She does not... (full context)
Chapter 5
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Melba sees a picture of Elizabeth Eckford in the Sunday newspaper. The photo is part of an ad paid for by a... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Passive vs. Violent Resistance Theme Icon
...Rock Nine a series of questions for thirty minutes. At first, questions are directed to Elizabeth Eckford , then to all of them. After the main session, in which reporters ask Melba... (full context)
Chapter 6
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
...conduct, and health.” Melba wonders if he knows about Thelma’s heart condition. Ernest Green and Elizabeth Eckford turn out to be the only students who testify, to Melba’s relief. An attorney mentions... (full context)
Chapter 14
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
...snows and members of the Little Rock Nine are pelted with snowballs filled with rocks. Elizabeth Eckford’s father rushes out of his car to rescue them and he also gets hit. When... (full context)