Warriors Don’t Cry

by

Melba Beals

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Nana Healey Character Analysis

Link’s former nanny whom his family fired after she became ill with what Link suspects is tuberculosis. Link tells Melba that Ms. Healy worked for his family all her life. When his father got married, Link’s grandmother “gave her” to him “as a kind of gift.” Despite her lifetime of service, Link’s family offers her no financial help, due to a belief that it was not good to “spoil” black people. Link delivers groceries to her home and Melba finds a black doctor who sees Nana Healy and informs the two teenagers that she does not have much longer to live. She dies on Link’s graduation day.
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Nana Healey Character Timeline in Warriors Don’t Cry

The timeline below shows where the character Nana Healey appears in Warriors Don’t Cry. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
...have faith in God, but Link does not believe in God and mentions that his Nana Healey , a black woman, tends to say the same thing. Melba says that she wants... (full context)
Chapter 17
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
...he prompts her to pull groceries from the trunk. He is providing them for his Nana Healey who worked for his family her whole life and was let go, without any compensation,... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
The Cost of Non-Conformity Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
Melba and Link enter Nana Healey ’s “tiny, bare shack” which is “spotlessly clean.” Nana Healey is angry when Link introduces... (full context)
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
Melba finds a black doctor who goes to see Nana Healey and reports that she does not have much longer to live. Melba decides to tell... (full context)
Chapter 18
Racism and Living Under Jim Crow Theme Icon
Relationships, Romance, and Empathy  Theme Icon
Link calls and says that Nana Healey died on the day of his graduation. He then asks Melba to move with him... (full context)