Character Analysis Linda Brent


As her unrelenting determination to free herself and her children indicates, Linda Brent is the epitome of the "strong black woman" who — against all odds — manages not only to survive but also to transcend seemingly insurmountable barriers. Although she does not exhibit exceptional physical strength, she does exhibit extraordinary psychological and spiritual strength, qualities that enables her to maintain her sanity during the seven years she spends hiding in her grandmother's attic. Linda is an intelligent, clear-thinking woman who willingly assumes responsibility for her choices. She is also extremely creative, as illustrated by her carefully crafted plan to elude Dr. Flint by writing him letters and having her friends mail them from New York and Philadelphia.

Linda's close relationships with her grandmother, brother, and uncles, and her friendships with Fanny and Mrs. Bruce show that she is a loving and compassionate person. Her initial empathy for Mrs. Flint, despite her mistress's jealousy and hatred toward her, illustrates that she is extremely empathetic. Linda is able to see beyond the barriers of race and class, and she recognizes that, as women, they share a common bond and are both the victims of a sexist, patriarchal society.

Having suffered numerous betrayals, Linda finds it difficult to trust people, but her distrust is gradually tempered by positive relationships, although she retains a cautious, guarded approach to life and an awareness that enables her to continue to elude her captors, even when she is finally "free."