50 pages 1 hour read

N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Character Analysis

Manny/Manhattan

A graduate student new to the city, Manny is the ideal embodiment of Manhattan. Like many newcomers, he is bedazzled by the majestic skyline and kinetic energy of the city. He also associates New York City exclusively with Manhattan, the twenty-two square mile island surrounded by the other four boroughs. Despite its being only one-fifth of New York City, Manhattan is the epicenter—the hub of culture, finance, fashion, and nightlife, much to the consternation of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Many New Yorkers even refer to Manhattan as The City, as if the other boroughs were simply bystanders. Tourists flock to the city to see Broadway theater, Times Square, Central Park, and Greenwich Village, all located in Manhattan. It makes sense that Manny has a special bond with the primary avatar. New York City would not hold such appeal without the vibrancy of its major tourist attraction. Manhattan is as essential to the identity of New York City as the south Bronx once was to its association with racial unrest.

Manny has a dark side, however, a dangerous past that Jemisin alludes to but never spells out in detail. When he and Bel are confronted in Inwood Hill Park by a White woman who assumes they are criminals, Manny threatens her physically.

blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
Unlock IconUnlock all 50 pages of this Study Guide
Plus, gain access to 8,000+ more expert-written Study Guides.
Including features:
+ Mobile App
+ Printable PDF
+ Literary AI Tools