45 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth Of Other Suns

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2010

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.

Key Figures

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney was a sharecropper’s wife who left her home in Mississippi soon after her cousin was almost beaten to death after being falsely accused of stealing a turkey from a white man. Leaving behind the backbreaking work of picking cotton for very low wages, Ida begins a new life in Chicago, where she eventually finds contentment and raises a family. Over the course of her life, she moves from an innocent to a realistic approach to the world, but she never becomes bitter, even as the neighborhood around her slowly deteriorates. Of the three main characters profiled by Wilkerson in The Warmth of Other Suns, Ida Mae seems like the happiest and most well-adjusted of them all, as she manages to live her life with a grace and dignity and never really let the anger that others have influence her life. 

George Swanson Starling

George Swanson Starling was an agricultural worker in the orange groves of Florida who aspired to a college education but ended up never able to finish his degree. Marrying young and rashly, George’s life was a rollercoaster that never seemed to allow him much peace or the chance to settle down. Having stood up to orange grove owners by leading a strike for fairer wages for the workers George was forced to flee Florida to avoid being the target a lynch mob.