66 pages 2 hours read

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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

Ailey Pearl Garfield

Protagonist Ailey Garfield undergoes significant changes from the beginning to the end of the novel, but some facets of her personality remain consistent. She has a determination to stand up for herself that never wavers. When a group of white girls deride her for “stealing” Amber’s boyfriend during her time at Braithwaite Friends School, she defends herself despite their social clout. When Tiffany torments her at Routledge during her attempt to rush a sorority, she retaliates by stealing Tiffany’s romantic interest, Abdul. When the boys or men that she dates mistreat her, she reprimands them for it and often leaves. In class discussions, she argues her convictions passionately, refusing to yield to rude, racist, or misogynistic opponents. On occasions like these, Ailey evokes the spirit of her ancestor Aggie, whose moral clarity never flinched in the face of the villainous Samuel Pinchard.

While Ailey shows consistent bravery and determination, she can be selfish and myopic in some ways. Because she is privileged enough to come from a family that can and does support her financially into adulthood, she fails to see when she is becoming a drain on them. Her sister Coco and Uncle Norman have to point this out to her, and her initial reaction is defensiveness.

blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
Unlock IconUnlock all 66 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