Essay on 'The Hate U Give': Character Analysis

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'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas is a novel which is talking about black skin lives in America; racism is a very important issue that we can see in the United States of America. Many years ago we have black slaves in America, and they use black people to work for them instead, they give them a small amount of food and a place where they can sleep there. Nowadays we do not have this slavery law but still, white people look down on blacks. Also, you can hear and read the news that police kill black people because they are black, and they think that they are savage. In this research, I want to talk about racism signs in “The Hate U Give Novel” and the death of innocent black people. Also, you will read about the novel's writer and characters which we have in 'The Hate U Give' novel.


Despite the fact that we live in the 21st century and the slavery law has been repealed for many years in the United States, still we can see violence and racist attitudes toward black Americans. These behaviors make life difficult for these black people. Sometimes small and ordinary moves of them are considered as a crime by police and cause their death, and we can see the news in different media. This paper argues racism and black people issues which cause police violence and the death of Khalil in “The Hate U Give” a novel by Angie Thomas. Also, I will introduce you to Gobineau's view on race and the concept of racism. Then I will introduce you to the characters we have in this beautiful novel.

Arthur de Gobuneau's Theory about Race

Arthur de Gobineau (1882-1816) considered racial hypotheses and the existence of races as a key concept and the main guide in explaining the history of the world and humanity. In his view, “race” is the driving force and determining factor in the rise or fall of civilizations and cultures, and therefore the rise and fall of civilizations and cultures is only a racial issue. Gobineau reduced the number of human races to three main races: white, yellow, and black. According to Gobineau, each race has it's own definite physical, mental, fixed, and unchangeable traits, the source of which is the original pure blood (Ursprungliche Reinem Blut). In his view, although the early blood and races have been mixed throughout history, and this has led to the growth of culture and civilization in the early stages, if the relative keeping of pure blood is not observed, at least by the ruling families, and the mixing of blood and races will continue unhindered, the superior and pure corrupt race and the advanced and sublime peoples and civilizations will be destroyed, because racial corruption and consequently cultural and civilizational corruption occurred in the history of the civilized peoples of the world when the blood of the higher and superior race The blood of alien and vile races is mixed. According to Gobineau, the white race is the only race appointed by God to rule over the lower races, and this is a divine destiny and cannot be changed because God has divided and determined talents among races from the very beginning of creation. Gobineau spoke of Aryan blood and the Aryan race; He considered the black race to be the lowest class in human groups who are less intelligent and emotional; The material yellow race is a microcosm in search of material prosperity and was created for trade and handicrafts, but the white race loves freedom and pride, and this race has an advantage over all races because it is Aryan. In his writings, Gobineau does not explain in any way what he means by Aryan blood or pure (primary) blood, what composition this blood has and has or should have, and what factors exist in white blood that does not exist in the blood of blacks and yellows races. In Gobuneau's work, blood is present as an important, mysterious but determining factor. Although Gobineau believes in and mentions a human origin in accordance with religious texts and books, he does not specify why and at what stage and how God of the universe divided talents between races and the classification of races. And why the white race of Europe was chosen and considered the superior race, and why the Aryans became the beloved people of God and not others. And it leaves unanswered the question that if the Aryans came to Europe from somewhere (India or Central Asia) one day, where did they come from in India and Central Asia, and did human creation or human evolution takes place in India and Central Asia? And if the number of races is three, which is divided into 5 or 4, which race do you think the original inhabitants of the United States belong to? Examination of Gobuneau's writings on ancient civilizations shows that his knowledge of these civilizations was quite superficial, and he had no knowledge of their cultural content and their relationship to each other, and their socioeconomic conditions and prosperity. Considering that within the capitalist societies of Western Europe and in the relations between the colonial capitalist countries, the principle of “competition” at any cost and in any way was considered as guiding and determining thought for making more profit, it can be said that the economic context in capitalist societies It was provided to generalize Darwin's theories of the struggle for survival and the choice of the right to human societies. By extending these theories to human societies (Sozialdarwinismus), racial wars should ultimately lead to the survival of the superior race and the flourishing of a higher culture in human society (in this racial war, each race must use all its physical, mental, and cultural resources). He used it to destroy others and survive, and there was no escaping this natural predestination (but a group of racial theorists did not accept this natural predestination and believed in the conscious intervention (racial health) to obtain and create a “superior race” and maintain it.

Writer's biography

“Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. Likewise, she can also still rap if needed. Furthermore, she is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her award-winning, acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is on sale now”.

Characters list of “The Hate U Give Novel”

Starr Carter

The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Starr is a sixteen-year-old black high school student who spends her life divided between the poor, primarily black neighborhood of Garden Heights and Williamson Prep, a wealthy, primarily white school. Starr is analytical and sharp, but because she narrates events as she experiences them, her emotions are immediate and unfiltered. Traumatized after witnessing the fatal shooting of her friend Khalil, Starr blames herself for not being there for Khalil prior to his death. As Starr gains the courage to testify at the grand jury hearing for One-Fifteen and grapples with how being black affects all aspects of her life, she grows more outspoken, refusing to accept the way racism hurts her.

Khalil Harris

Starr’s childhood best friend is shot by One-Fifteen during a traffic stop. After Khalil’s death, rumors spread that Khalil dealt drugs and participated in the King Lords gang, placing his character in question. However, Starr remembers Khalil primarily as the sweet friend she knew growing up. Kenya and DeVante attest that Khalil often spoke fondly of Starr and that he cared about her very much. Toward the end of the novel, DeVante reveals that Khalil took great care of his family and only sold drugs to pay off his mother’s debt to King.

Maverick “Big Mav” Carter

Starr, Seven, and Sekani’s father, an outspoken and philosophical man who runs a small grocery store in Garden Heights. Despite his dark past as a member of the King Lords gang and a short stint in prison, Maverick is an engaged father who devotes himself fully to his family and his neighborhood. Maverick inspires Starr by educating her on Black Power philosophy, but he struggles with balancing his values of black liberation with the reality that those values put him and his family in danger. His strong beliefs often get him into arguments with Uncle Carlos, who helped care for Maverick’s children while Maverick was in prison.

Lisa Carter

Mother to Starr and Sekani, and stepmother to Seven. Lisa is a nurse and a loving but firm mother. Although she comes off as strict, Lisa has a compassionate heart and teaches the importance of forgiveness and second chances. She fiercely protects her children and always reminds her husband, Maverick, not to push the children too far into dangerous activism.

Uncle Carlos

Starr’s maternal uncle, a police officer. Uncle Carlos served as a father figure in Starr’s life, particularly while Maverick was in prison. With his job as a police officer and a home in a suburban, gated community, Uncle Carlos assimilates into the white community and encourages Lisa to do the same with her family, leading to conflict with Maverick.

Seven Carter

Starr’s older half-brother, son of Maverick and Iesha. Seven is the oldest of the Carter children and fiercely protects all his siblings. He worries particularly for Kenya and Lyric, his half-sisters through Iesha, because of their dangerous home environment with King.

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The leader of the King Lords gang. King profits off the drug dealings in Garden Heights but does not care about the community, threatening elderly men and teenagers alike to protect his hold over the neighborhood. King abuses his girlfriend, Iesha, and daughters, Kenya and Lyric.


Starr’s boyfriend, a wealthy white boy from Williamson Prep. The two initially bonded over a love of the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Chris often raps the theme song to make Starr smile. Chris adores Starr and tries to make her feel comfortable being her entire self around him, which Starr struggles with throughout the novel.


The white police officer shoots and kills Khalil. Although the media portrays him as a caring father and good police officer, One-Fifteen lies to his colleagues about the events of the night of Khalil’s death. Throughout the novel, One-Fifteen represents systemic racism and corruption in law enforcement.

Hailey Grant

Starr’s friend from Williamson Prep is a wealthy, white teenage girl who feels uncomfortable when confronted with the racism affecting Starr’s life. In the past, Hailey expected Starr and Maya to go along with her dictates and finds Starr’s new outspokenness threatening.

DeVanteA black teenage boy from Garden Heights and a member of the King Lords gang. DeVante attempts to leave the King Lords after King gives him an assignment that DeVante knows will lead to his own death. Despite his cocky exterior, DeVante cares deeply for his family and others. He has a crush on Kenya.


Starr’s friend from Garden Heights and Seven’s half-sister through Iesha. Kenya is assertive and calls Starr out for not spending as much time with people in Garden Heights since Starr started going to Williamson Prep. Kenya also urges Starr to speak out on behalf of Khalil.

Mr. Lewis

The neighborhood barber, an older black man and resident of Garden Heights. Mr. Lewis loudly complains about the effects of gang violence in the neighborhood and often clashes with Maverick because of Maverick’s past membership in the King Lords. The King Lords later beat up Mr. Lewis after he betrays King on television.

Maya Yang

A close friend of Starr and Hailey’s at Williamson Prep. Maya is the peacekeeper of the trio, always trying to get Starr and Hailey to communicate. After Maya confesses that Hailey made racist comments about Maya’s Asian American heritage, Starr and Maya form an alliance to fight Hailey’s racism.

April OfrahStarr’s lawyer, a community organizer who leads Just Us for Justice. She encourages Starr to use her voice for activism.

IeshaMother to Seven, Kenya, and Lyric, a sex worker who is dating King. Iesha puts her relationship with King over the safety of her children, but she is also a victim of King’s abuse.

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