A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich Analysis

Alice Childress


The novel is set in Harlem in the early 1970s. The central character, Benjie Johnson, says that his home is variously referred to as "a...

(The entire section is 104 words.)

Literary Qualities

A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich takes a realistic look at life in the inner city. An all-too-human Benjie confronts a situation...

(The entire section is 440 words.)

Social Sensitivity

Childress treats racial issues frankly. Most of the characters are black and present a variety of black perspectives, ranging from those who...

(The entire section is 315 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Brown-Guillory, Elizabeth. Their Place on the Stage: Black Women Playwrights in America. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988. One-third of the book focuses on Childress’ plays and contributions to the American stage. This study represents the most comprehensive research available on Childress’ writings.

Brown-Guillory, Elizabeth. Wines in the Wilderness: Plays by African-American Women from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1990. Contains substantial biographical information and analysis of Childress’ plays.

Bullins, Ed. Review of A Hero Ain’t Nothin’...

(The entire section is 588 words.)

Topics for Discussion

1. Benjie says in the first chapter that he hates for people to lie to him and that he does not "dig stealin," yet he admits in the same...

(The entire section is 497 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. The novel mentions several black leaders from the past: Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Who are...

(The entire section is 253 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich has been adapted for a movie of the same title, with a screenplay by Alice Childress. The film was...

(The entire section is 189 words.)

For Further Reference

Donelson, Ken. "Performance and Good Intentions: Novels by Alice Childress." ALAN Review 9 (Winter 1982): 4, 6-7. Discusses three of...

(The entire section is 139 words.)