The Nickel Boys Characters

Colson Whitehead
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Elwood Curtis

Elwood Curtis is the novel’s protagonist. He is African-American, and he was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. When he was six years old, his parents relocated to California and left him in the care of Elwood’s maternal grandmother. Elwood is studious and hard-working, and he aspires to go to college. He enters high school during the early 1960s, and he becomes somewhat active in civil rights protests. He idolizes Martin Luther King, Jr. One day, when he hitches a ride to school with an African-American motorist, a white police officer wrongfully arrests them for grand theft auto. Elwood is sentenced by the judge to reside at the Nickel Reformatory School for about one year.

At Nickel, Elwood is dismayed to find that the class offerings are virtually nonexistent, and that the students are forced to spend most of their time performing unpaid labor Also...

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This section contains 1,244 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nickel Boys Study Guide
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