The main character of the short story “One Friday Morning” by Langston Hughes is Nancy Lee. However, the secondary characters of Miss O’Shay and Miss Dietrich are also important to the themes and message of the short story. Other less important characters which appear in the short story are Nancy’s parents.

Nancy Lee

Nancy is the protagonist of the short story and a character which develops as a result of the action, which helps her mature and change her perspective on the American Dream.

Outer characterization

Nancy’s outer characterization presents her as a final year student at an arts high school from North America. She is African-American with her parents descending from Africans and coming from the Deep South:

Nancy Lee Johnson was a colored girl, a few years out of the South. (…) She was smart, pretty and brown, and fitted in well with the life of the school. She stood high in scholarship, played a swell game of basketball, had taken part in the senior musical in a soft, velvety voice…

Her parents have a modest income though they are educated, suggesting that Nancy is part of the lower-middle class: “But the scholarship would help a great deal, for they we...

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