Her Sweet Jerome Characters

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Her Sweet Jerome Summary & Study Guide Description

Her Sweet Jerome Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Her Sweet Jerome by Alice Walker.

Narrator (Mrs. Jerome Franklin Washington III)

Described as an awkward, big-boned black woman, an ugly woman. She runs her own beauty shop behind her father's funeral parlor. She makes good money and feels superior because of this. She is prideful and feels superior despite having no education. She falls in love with Jerome the moment she sees him and vows she will be his wife; indeed, she succeeds in marrying Jerome. She continues buying him things throughout their relationship. Even though Jerome is physically and emotionally abusive to her, she considers him "her sweet Jerome." She lies to herself that he really does like what he sees, and she keeps up her appearances by denying that he beats her-she tells people what a gentlemen he is to her. She does not like women schoolteachers, partly out of jealousy that those are the only women Jerome talks to and partly out of her own feelings of superiority. She believes Jerome is cheating on her and becomes obsessed with finding the woman. She completely lets herself go and knows she is "cracking up" but does not care. In the end, when she discovers Jerome is not having an affair and that it is books and knowledge that is her adversary, she knows she is defeated and is enraged, burning the books and killing herself in the process.


A black man who is a schoolteacher. Jerome is married to the narrator and is ten years younger than she is. Jerome physically and emotionally abuses his wife, whom he does not like. He does not want her to touch him or to even speak. He no longer makes love to his wife. Jerome's interest is in the black movement going on at the time. His reputation as a scholar and intellectual grows as his own wife's reputation declines. Jerome derives pleasure from his wife's obsession with finding his fictitious lover.

Narrator's father

A black man with money that stems from owning a funeral home. He is unwilling for his daughter to receive any of his money while he is alive or even after his death. Leaves his money to Jerome, because Jerome is a man with an education who has the intelligence to know what to do with it.

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This section contains 377 words
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