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by Richard Wright
Mary Dalton Timeline and Summary
Mary’s exploits on the beaches of Florida are revealed in a sensational documentary about the lives of the rich in Chicago. After Bigger is hired by Mr. Dalton, Mary asks Bigger if he belongs to a union. When he says no, she tells him he should. All of this is done in front of her father and it makes Bigger nervous. Mary directs Bigger not to drive her to the university, but to take her to meet Jan instead. Mary, Jan, and Bigger drive to the South Side to eat. When Bigger doesn’t want to go into the restaurant with them, Mary cries until he agrees to do it. Mary gets drunk and makes out with Jan in the backseat of the car. At home, Mary is so drunk that she can’t stand up straight, so Bigger helps her up the stairs to her bedroom. Mary’s moaning and small noises make Bigger nervous that his presence will be discovered when Mrs. Dalton comes into the bedroom to check on her daughter. Mary fights for air when Bigger puts the pillow over her face to keep her quiet. Then her body gives up and she sighs as she dies.