Home Characters

The main characters in Home are Frank Money, Ysidra Cee Money, Lenore, Dr. Beau, and Ethel Fordman.

  • Frank Money is the protagonist and a veteran of the Korean War suffering from past-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Ysidra Cee Money is Frank's sister, who longs for both independence and the support of her older brother.
  • Lenore is Frank and Cee's grandmother, whose attitude was marked by racism and sexism.
  • Dr. Beau is a eugenicist who ensnares Cee in his experiments.
  • Ethel Fordham is a citizen of Lotus who helps nurse Cee back to health and acts as a maternal figure to her.

Characters

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Last Updated on October 28, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 935

Frank Money

Frank Money, a twenty-four-year-old black veteran of the Korean War, is the protagonist of Home. At the beginning of the novel, Frank escapes a mental hospital in an unfamiliar part of Seattle. Even in his dazed state, Frank appears to be a man with strong self-preservation instincts and...

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Frank Money

Frank Money, a twenty-four-year-old black veteran of the Korean War, is the protagonist of Home. At the beginning of the novel, Frank escapes a mental hospital in an unfamiliar part of Seattle. Even in his dazed state, Frank appears to be a man with strong self-preservation instincts and determination; he quickly formulates and successfully executes a plan to escape his confinement. Frank is also clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress due to his experiences in the Korean War and his existence as a black man in a racist society. Frank has always experienced uprootedness, as he was forced to flee his childhood home in Texas, lose his two best friends in battle, wake up disoriented and shackled in a mental hospital in Seattle, and face the possibility of losing his strongest connection to a sense of home—his younger sister, Cee.

Frank is a fragmented man, with pieces of himself scattered in Georgia, Seattle, Texas, San Diego, and Korea, and his most traumatic memories flashing before his eyes at unpredictable times of day and night. Frank also lives with inner turmoil and moral conflict; his intense guilt over his killing of a young girl in Korea sharply contrasts with his paternal need to protect and care for Cee, which provides his strongest sense of belonging and purpose. During Frank's journey across the country to reunite with Cee in Georgia, he tries not only to find a physical place of home and belonging in the world, but also to find a sense of home and peace within himself.

Ycidra Cee Money

Ycidra Cee Money, like her brother Frank, is a woman who endures the pain of uprootedness and a sense of not belonging. Cee was born on the road, as her family fled brutal white supremacist violence that forced them to abandon their Texas home, and grows up feeling lost. Her parents working endlessly for meager pay, and Cee is left wishing for maternal care. Instead, she is subjected to the abuse of her hateful and resentful grandmother and the complacency of her selfish grandfather. Frank is the only active provider of paternal care and family love; indeed, Cee's first word is "Frank." This close sibling relationship provides Cee and Frank with one of their only senses of belonging and home. By sheltering her, however, Frank also prevents Cee from fully developing her own sense of self. When he decides to leave Georgia to fight in the war, in an attempt to escape his seemingly dead-end life, Cee is both devastated and slightly relieved that she can now have more freedom to express her growing romantic interest in men.

Leaving behind her repressive family, Cee finds a false sense of freedom in the first man she is able to marry, Prince. Throughout her childhood, Cee was told by her hateful grandmother that she was nothing but a "gutter child" who would amount to nothing. She has little self-confidence, and with Frank absent from her life, she looks for another male figure to protect her. When Prince abandons Cee in Atlanta, her independence begins to blossom for the first time, but she still ends up needing to be rescued by Frank when she becomes victim to her employer, Dr. Beau, who is revealed to be a eugenicist. Cee yearns for a sense of self and independence but continually encounters men and patriarchy as a barrier to this, both in the form of active cruelty and oppression and in the form of overprotectiveness. Cee only discovers true strength and independence after receiving tough love and care from the neighborhood women of her old town of Lotus.

Lenore

Lenore is the grandmother of Frank and Cee Money. She begrudgingly allows Frank, Cee, and their family to stay with her in Lotus, Georgia, when they are forced to flee their home in Texas by white supremacist violence. Lenore is a cold, resentful, hateful woman who believes herself superior to the other denizens of Lotus. Lenore owns her own home and vehicle and, in pursuing her middle-class aspirations, has developed racist and classist attitudes that cause her to be cruel to her poor black neighbors. Lenore is abusive toward Frank and Cee, as they are the manifestations of everything she hates and wishes to separate herself from. Displaying a deep-seated sense of internalized misogyny as well as racism, she treats Cee with particular hatefulness and spite, repeatedly telling Cee that she will never amount to anything and is nothing but a lowly "gutter child."

Dr. Beau

Dr. Beau is Cee's rich employer. While he initially appears benevolent, his true nature is quickly revealed: he is a cruel white supremacist eugenicist who drugs Cee and performs experiments on her, resulting in her infertility. His character represents the long and horrific history of white scientists, doctors, and institutions in the United States performing unethical experiments on people of color (particularly black women), such as in the US Public Health Service's infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment.

Ethel Fordham

After Frank and Sarah rescue Cee from Dr. Beau, they take Cee back to Lotus, where the neighborhood women—Ethel, in particular—nurse her back to health. Ethel is a strong, fierce country woman who refuses to be bulled over by men or the pain they inflict. Under Ethel's care, Cee recovers her strength, both physically and mentally. Ethel is the strong, independent, caring maternal figure Cee has never had, and because of her, Cee is able to access her own strength and independence. While Cee recovers from her injuries, Ethel refuses to let any man near her, insisting that what Cee needs is the healing that comes from strong women.

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