Character Keys

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Code title biography
2108 Unnamed Furniture Repairer and Dealer

This man "from the eastern part of the state" narrates the last chapter of Light in August, telling his wife the story of his encounter with Lena and Byron during his trip to Tennessee (494). He and his wife are in bed, and both seem comfortable with each other and with sex.

2107 Unnamed Four Boys

In Light in August these "boys in identical overalls, who live within a three mile radius" of the McEachern farm," are "fourteen and fifteen" years old when, with Joe, they arrange to have sex with a Negro girl in a deserted sawmill shed (156). When Joe's "turn" comes, however, and he begins to beat her instead, the "other four" fight him to make him stop (157). Joe is presumably with the same "four or five" boys later in the novel when one of them describes menstruation (184).

2106 Unnamed Folks in Mexico

These "folks" appear in Light in August only at second hand, when the man who tells Nathaniel Burden's family in Missouri about him mentions the trouble he got into in Mexico for killing a man who called him a horse thief. According to the messenger, "folks claim it wasn't the Mexican's horse noways," because, they say, the Mexican "never owned no horse" (244). It's not made clear whether these "folks" are Mexicans too, or as seems more likely are among the "Easterners" who have recently come west (244).

2105 Unnamed Elders at the Seminary

In Light in August the "elders" at Hightower's seminary, "the high and sanctified men who are the destiny of the church" (478), are the men whom he has to convince to send him to Jefferson. They are also called "the hierarchate of the Church" (482).

2104 Unnamed Deputies

In Light in August "five or six deputies" from Jefferson and Mottstown help the sheriffs of these towns escort Joe from the jail in Mottstown to the car that will take him to Jefferson (356).

2103 Unnamed Delinquent Girls

The "delinquent girls" who live in a Memphis institution do not appear in Light in August, except as the recipients of charity from Reverend Hightower (58).

2102 Unnamed Crowd at Burden Place

The crowd outside the Burden house in Light in August is, like so many crowds in the fictions, an audience in search of sensations. Although the white people of Yoknapatawpha had avoided Joanna's place for decades, within minutes after her corpse is discovered in the burning house a huge crowd gathers there. It is comprised mostly of white men (who, the narrator pointedly says, "would not have allowed their wives" to call on Joanna while she lived there, 291-92), although the crowd includes "the women" too (289).

2101 Unnamed Girl in Car

One of the two people with "young faces" in Light in August who stop and let Joe Christmas into their car when they see him standing beside the road, naked and carrying Joanna's pistol (283). She reacts to him with terror.

2100 Unnamed Father of Boy in Car

In Light in August this father is hoping to get the reward for Joe Christmas' capture when he brings his son to town to tell the sheriff about giving the fugitive a ride on the night of the killing.

3079 Unnamed Country Boy in Car

In Light in August this "countryboy" is driving past the Burden place with his girlfriend when sees Joe Christmas, naked and waving a pistol; the gun explains why he stops and allows him into the car (297). He has the presence of mind to plan to carry Joe to his own house, while pretending to be taking a shortcut.

3310 Unnamed Country Wives and Daughters

The day the Grand Jury meets to consider Christmas' case in Light in August is a Saturday, which as always means there are a lot of people from the surrounding county in Jefferson; according to the narrator, while the “countrymen in overalls” join the townsmen standing around the courthouse, their wives and daughters of move “in and out of the stores . . . in clumps, slowly and also aimlessly as cattle or clouds" (416).

3077 Mrs. Gail Hightower

Unnamed, the daughter of the head of Reverend Hightower's seminary wants desperately to escape to the wider world and chooses the young Gail Hightower as her getaway vehicle. She marries him, and schemes with him to effect his appointment to the pulpit in Jefferson. There, she tries to adjust to his neglect and inattention, but eventually begins looking for male companionship on secret trips to Memphis. They aren't secret enough to keep her from becoming a scandalous topic among the women in her husband's church.

3078 Unnamed Father of Mrs. Hightower

The father of the woman whom Reverend Hightower marries is also a minister, and a teacher at the seminary where she and Hightower meet.

3076 Unnamed Confederate Pickets

From these "Confederate pickets close to the enemy's front" in Light in August it is learned that Pomp has been trying to get behind Yankee lines to find his missing master, whom he believes is a prisoner of war (476).

3075 Unnamed Confederate Doctors

In Light in August these military physicians tend soldiers wounded in battle during the Civil War. They are often assisted by Reverend Hightower's father, who learns from them to practice medicine.

3074 Unnamed College Leaders

In Light in August these officials and board members of Negro schools and colleges in the South regularly correspond with Joanna Burden, from whom they seek and receive business, financial, and religious advice. Joanna assumes that any of them would admit Joe Christmas to their school on her account.

3073 Unnamed Clerk at Varner's Store

This man waits on Lena Grove at Varner's store, where she buys cheese, crackers, and a box of sardines - which they both pronounce "sour-deens" - for lunch on the way to Jefferson (27). In other fictions the clerk at Varner's is sometimes Jody Varner and sometimes a Snopes, including Flem, but there's no reason to assume the clerk in Light in August is any of these people.

3072 Unnamed Circus Workers

When a wagon in a traveling circus gets stuck near the Hines' home in Light in August, "the men" borrow tackle to move it from Doc Hines (373). One of these men, presumably, is the man who will become Joe Christmas' biological father; as the Unnamed Father of Joe Christmas he has his own entry in this index.

3071 Unnamed Owner of Circus

He owns the circus at which Milly Hines meets the father of her baby in Light in August. He appears in the novel during Milly's father's murder trial, to testify that the man Hines murders "was a part nigger instead of Mexican" (377).

3070 Unnamed Church Superintendent

In Light in August the superintendent in Jefferson's Presbyterian church orders the organist to play to distract the congregation from Mrs. Hightower's behavior during a church service.

3069 Unnamed Choir at Country Church

In Light in August this is the choir that Byron Bunch leads on Sunday mornings in the country church "thirty miles" from Jefferson (48).

3068 Unnamed Woman in Car

In Light in August this woman shrieks in a "shrill voice" when the car in which she is riding passes Joe Christmas standing naked at the side of the road (108).

3067 Unnamed Arkansas Officers

In Light in August, after Hines threatens the congregants in a Negro church with a pistol during a prayer meeting, "the law" comes and arrests him (378). 'Officers' is our way to translate "the law" into the terms of a Character database; presumably Faulkner is thinking of a few policemen or deputy sheriffs.

3066 Unnamed Arkansas Doctor

In Light in August, when Hines realizes his daughter Milly is pregnant, he "starts out to find a doctor that would fix it" (377). He does not succeed, but according to his wife, he does "beat up a doctor in another town" (378), possibly because he refuses to perform an abortion.

3065 Unnamed American Legion Members

The American Legion was organized in 1919 for veterans of the First World War. In Light in August it is to the local members of this organization, now civilians working in "stores and offices" in Jefferson (453), that Grimm turns for volunteers to preserve peace and order after Christmas is arrested. Despite the initial resistance of the American Legion Commander, some American Legion members, and Sheriff Kennedy, he gets enough volunteers to create "a fair platoon" (453).

3064 Unnamed American Legion Member 4

In Light in August Percy Grimm recruits members of the local American Legion from "the stores and offices where the legion members worked" and organizes them into a "platoon" to preserve the peace after Christmas is jailed in Jefferson (453). Because he holds "the equivalent of a commissioned rank," this young man is appointed by Grimm as the "second in command" of the platoon he forms (456). He is the one who, on Grimm's orders, turns on the "fire alarm" after Christmas escapes (458).

3063 Unnamed American Legion Member 3

In Light in August Percy Grimm recruits members of the local American Legion from "the stores and offices where the legion members worked" and organizes them into a "platoon" to preserve the peace after Christmas is jailed in Jefferson (453). To pass the time, this man starts a poker game on Saturday night that lasts through Sunday night.

3062 Unnamed American Legion Member 2

In Light in August Percy Grimm recruits members of the local American Legion from "the stores and offices where the legion members worked" and organizes them into a "platoon" to preserve the peace after Christmas is jailed in Jefferson (453). This man asks what the sheriff will say about them carrying pistols.

3061 Unnamed American Legion Member 1

In Light in August Percy Grimm recruits members of the local American Legion from "the stores and offices where the legion members worked" and organizes them into a "platoon" to preserve the peace after Christmas is jailed in Jefferson (453). This man objects to Grimm's rhetoric and argues that this "is Jefferson's trouble, not Washington's" (454).

3060 Unnamed American Legion Commander

In Light in August, when Grimm asks the "commander of the local Post" about organizing a group to preserve the peace in Jefferson after Christmas is arrested, this man says no. "I couldn't use the Post like that. After all, we are not soldiers now" (452).

3059 Unnamed Third Man

In Light in August, when Sheriff Kennedy and Deputy Buford go into the cabin at the Burden place to interrogate the black man that Buford and "two or three others" have seized (291), this "third man" is there too (293). The interrogation consists mainly of Buford whipping the Negro until he tells Kennedy what he wanted to know: who had been living there before.

3058 Unnamed Spanish Authorities in Mexico

The messenger in Light in August who tells Nathaniel Burden’s family about the "trouble" he got into in Mexico refers to the Mexicans as "them Spanish" and alludes to their animus against “white men” (244). He obviously thinks of Hispanic/Spanish as non-white, but our database follows the practice of identifying both Hispanic and Spanish racially as 'white.'

3057 Unnamed Someone 1

This is the person in Light in August who, sometime after Grimm fires the shots that kill Christmas, covers the five gunshot holes in his body "with a folded handkerchief" (464). It seems safe to say that this "someone" is a man, but not even that is explicitly said.

3056 Unnamed Male Relatives of Girl in Car

In her "terror and . . . ratlike desperation," the girl riding in the car that Christmas flags down in Light in August tries to defend herself against him with the threat of her "pappy and brothers" who live "right up yonder!" (285). She seems too frightened to be making them up.

3055 Unnamed John with Bobbie

This "man" never quite appears in Light in August. One night, when Joe goes to Max's looking for Bobbie, he gets as far as her window and somehow "knows that there was a man in the room with her" (198). If he is there, the man must be one of her johns, the men who pay her for sex.

3054 Mrs. Hamp Waller

In Light in August Mrs. Waller reports the fire at the Burden place to the sheriff after she and her husband discover the burning house and Joanna's murdered body.

3053 Hamp Waller

Identified in Light in August as a "countryman" - i.e. a farmer from the county of Yoknapatawpha not the town of Jefferson (90) - Hamp Waller is the first person on the scene of Joanna's murder. Riding to town in a wagon with his family, he finds Joe Brown in the burning house. He also goes inside the house, where he finds Joanna Burden's body and brings it outside.

3052 Deacon Vines

An elder of the Negro church that Joe Christmas invades in Light in August, Vines tells one of the parishioners to ride for the sheriff and tell him "'just what you seen'" (324).

3051 Thompson, Daughter of Pappy

This woman - referred to only as "Pappy Thompson's daughter" and the mother of Roz - does not appear in Light in August herself (323).

3050 Roz Thompson

In Light in August Roz is the grandson of Pappy Thompson; he is there when Joe Christmas disrupts the church service and knocks the old man down. The "six foot tall" Roz is so furious that he pulls out his razor hollering "I'll kill him" (323). The Negroes in the church think Joe is 'white,' and they try to restrain Roz, but according to a member of the congregation, he didn't "care much who he had to cut to carve his path . . . to where that white man was" (324). Joe defeats his attack, however, by knocking him down too, with a bench, and fracturing his skull.

3049 Pappy Thompson

In Light in August he is the seventy-year-old deacon of an Negro church in Yoknapatawpha whom Joe Christmas knocks down in the middle of a service.

3048 Simms

In Light in August Simms may be the owner of Jefferson's planing mill; he is definitely the man in charge of it. He hires Christmas and Brown (aka Burch) at the planing mill.

3047 Salmon

Salmon is the owner of a garage in Mottstown in Light in August. He offers to rent a car to Doc and Mrs. Hines for three dollars but also tells them they can take the train "for fiftytwo cents apiece" (358).

3046 Russell

In Light in August Russell works in the Sheriff Kennedy's office and gossips about Mrs. Hines's visit.

3045 Pomp

In Light in August Pomp (presumably short for 'Pompey') is Cinthy's husband and the first Gail Hightower's slave. Though called "boy," he is older than his master, and is completely bald (471). He follows his master to war and refuses to believe that he could have been killed in the cavalry raid in Jefferson. Pomp himself is reportedly killed after attacking "a Yankee officer with a shovel" in an attempt to see or perhaps rescue "Marse Gail" (476-77).

3044 E.E. Peebles

The Memphis lawyer with an office on Beale Street who conducts Joanna Burden's business affairs in Light in August is named Peebles. He is also the trustee of one of the Negro colleges she aids, and one of the very few black professionals in the Yoknapatawpha fictions who is not a minister. He does not appear directly in the novel.

3043 Mooney

Mooney is the foreman at the planing mill where, for varying lengths of time, Bryon Bunch, Joe Christmas and 'Joe Brown' (i.e. Lucas Burch) all work in Light in August.

3042 Metcalf

In Light in August Metcalf guards Joe at the jail in Mottstown.

3041 Simon McEachern

In Light in August Simon McEachern is more than forty years old when he adopts the five-year-old Joe Christmas from the Memphis orphanage and takes him to the farm where he and his wife live. The narrative describes him as "somehow rocklike, indomitable, not so much ungentle as ruthless" (143-44). His voice is that "of a man who demanded that he be listened to not so much with attention but in silence" (142).

3040 Mrs. McEachern

Joe Christmas' foster-mother in Light in August, Mrs. McEachern, is a small, timid woman, a "patient, beaten creature without sex demarcation," who looks fifteen years older than her husband and who has been hammered "into an attenuation of dumb hopes and frustrated desires now faint and pale as dead ashes" (147, 165). She tries without success or acknowledgement to provide what she thinks Joe wants and needs.

3039 Sheriff Watt Kennedy

The county sheriff in Light in August is named Watt Kennedy. Described as a "fat, comfortable man" (287), "with little wise eyes like bits of mica embedded in his fat, still face" (420), he investigates the murder of Joanna Burden and pursues Joe Christmas across the countryside (287). Like so many other characters in this novel, he never appears elsewhere in the Yoknapatawpha fictions.

3038 Jupe

One of the men in the group of "five or six" Negroes in Light in August who encounter Christmas at night on his way back to the Burden place is called "Jupe" (117). He identifies Christmas as "a white man" and in a voice that is neither "threatful" nor "servile" asks him who he is looking for (117).

3037 Reverend Gail Hightower

Reverend Gail Hightower's story is one of the three principal plot lines in Light in August. After seminary, he worked hard to secure the position of minister to the Presbyterian church in Jefferson, the site where his grandfather had died in a Civil War raid twenty years before his own birth. His obsession with that grandfather results in his loss of his wife, his pulpit and his vocation. For most of the twenty-five years he has lived in Jefferson, he has been treated as a pariah: the narrative describes him as a "fifty-year-old outcast" (49), "tall, with thin . . .

3036 Hightower, Mother of Gail

In Light in August Reverend Hightower's mother is the daughter of a genteel church-going couple without substantial means. By the time she has her first and only child, she has been an invalid for almost twenty years, possibly because she was malnourished during the Civil War.

3035 Hightower, Father of Gail

The son of one Gail Hightower and the father of another, this man is never given a first name in Light in August. A "man of spartan sobriety" (472), in the years before the Civil War he "rides sixteen miles each Sunday to preach in a small Presbyterian chapel back in the hills" (468). He also opposes slavery and refuses to be served by his father's slaves.

3034 Gail Hightower I

In Light in August, Reverend Gail Hightower's grandfather and namesake was a lawyer who owned slaves. Alive he was a "hale, bluff, rednosed man with the moustache of a brigand chief" (471), and a "thorn in his son's side" - because his son was an abolitionist. He is killed during the Civil War while on a cavalry raid against Union stores in Jefferson.

3033 Halliday

In Light in August Halliday is the resident of Mottstown who recognizes Joe Christman and, after hitting him in the face, captures him in the hope of claiming the thousand dollar reward.

3032 Grove, Children of McKinley

Light in August says that Grove McKinley's wife was "labor- and childridden," so the couple probably had more than the three sons who are specifically referred to (5). Because their mother is always either "lying in or recovering," Lena takes care of these boys; like Lena, they sleep in the "leanto room" attached to the McKinley house (5).

3031 Mrs. McKinley Grove

In Light in August McKinley Grove's wife is described as "labor- and childridden," spending "almost half of every year either pregant or "recovering" (5), so it is not surprising that she discovers her sister-in-law Lena's pregnancy and tells McKinley about it.

3030 McKinley Grove

In Light in August McKinley Grove brings his twelve-year-old sister Lena to live with his family in Doane's Mill, Alabama, after the death of their parents. He is "just forty" years old and "twenty years her senior" (5), which gives him a birth date in 1892. "He was a hard man": when his wife tells him that Lena is pregnant, he "calls her whore," (6), after which Lena leaves Doane's Mill in search of her baby's father.

3029 Lena Grove

Lena Grove is at the center of one of the three major plot lines in Light in August. Born in Alabama in 1912, she moved to her brother's house at the age of twelve, after her parents died. When the novel begins, she is around 21 years old, more than eight months pregnant, and traveling alone and on foot to find Lucas Burch, the father of her unborn child. Lena is a patient, trusting soul who feels no shame at her condition; she is also self-reliant, asking for no one's help yet accepting it gratefully during four weeks of traveling.

3028 Grove, Mother of Lena

In Light in August Lena Grove's mother dies in the same summer as Lena's father does,, when Lena is twelve years old. Both parents have impressed upon her a sense of filial duty; she takes care of her father at her mother's dying request and goes to live with her brother McKinley in accordance with her father's wish.

3027 Grove, Father of Lena

In Light in August Lena Grove's father dies in the same summer as her mother does, when Lena is twelve years old. Both parents have impressed upon her a sense of filial duty; she takes care of her father at her mother's dying request and goes to live with her brother McKinley in accordance with her father's wish.

3026 Grimm, Father of Percy

In Light in August Percy Grimm's father is described as a "hardware merchant" who thinks his son is lazy and unlikely to amount to anything (450).

3025 Percy Grimm

Introduced into Light in August in Chapter 19, twenty-five year old Grimm brings Joe Christmas' life to a violent end. A captain in the state national guard, he organizes American Legion members to patrol Jefferson even though both the Legion commander and the sheriff refuse to give him permission. When he insists on carrying a gun, the sheriff makes him a special deputy (455). Like Christmas, Grimm's life seems strangely determined.

3024 Mr. Gillman

Gillman owns the Arkansas sawmill where Hine works as foreman in Light in August.

3023 Dollar

Dollar is the Mottstown store-keeper in Light in August who tells the town about how Mrs. Hines retrieves her husband from the chair where she had left him and rents a car from Salmon to take them to Jefferson.

3022 Max Confrey

In Light in August Max maintains discipline in the small restaurant he runs and acts as pimp in the brothel he manages.

3021 Mame Confrey

In Light in August Mame is a big, brass-haired woman. During the day she sits "like a carved lioness guarding a portal, presenting respectability like a shield," behind a cigar case near the front of the dingy restaurant where Christmas meets Bobbie (175). At night she is the madam of the small town brothel which she runs with her husband.

3020 Cinthy

In Light in August Cinthy (like her husband Pomp) was a slave who belonged to the elder Gail Hightower. She cooked for him, and "raised [his son] from babyhood" (470). After both her husband and her master are killed during the War, she rejects the idea that she is now "free" (477) and moves back to the Hightower home to cook for that son and his family.

3019 Joe Christmas

Joe Christmas' story is the most developed of the various narrative lines in Light in August, though at its center is the unresolvable question of his racial identity. The novel refers to his skin more than once as "parchmentcolored" (120), but race in the world of the novel is defined by the (hypothetical) color of one's "blood," as black or white. Joe is not definitively one or the other. He is the illegitimate son of Milly Hines and a circus worker of uncertain lineage, left at Christmas time anonymously at an orphanage in Memphis by his grandfather, Doc Hines.

3018 Milly Hines

In Light in August the mother whom Joe Christmas never knew was a young woman in Arkansas when she had a very brief relationship with "a fellow with the circus" that passed through her neighborhood (374). Nine months after that man is killed by her father, Milly dies giving birth to their child.

3017 Mrs. Hines

Mrs. Hines, the mother of Milly and grandmother of Joe Christmas, is described in Light in August as "a dumpy, fat little woman with a round face like dirty and unovened dough, and a tight screw of scant hair" (346). Early on, she is a much less vivid character than her dominating husband, whose religious fanaticism seems to control them both. Later, after she realizes that Joe Christmas is the grandson whom her husband had taken from her thirty-five years earlier, she takes charge of her husband, manages to visit Joe in jail, and seeks assistance on Joe's behalf.

3016 Eupheus (Doc) Hines

At one time a railroad brakeman and at another a sawmill foreman, in Light in August Doc Hines is a man "whom time, circumstance, something, had betrayed" (127).

3015 Unnamed Father of Joe Christmas

Joe's biological father in Light in August is called "a fellow with the circus" who tries to ride off with Milly Hines on a dark rainy night, but is shot and killed by Milly's father (374). He and Milly are together long enough for her to get pregnant. His legacy to his son, who is given the name Joe Christmas in the Memphis orphanage, is the mystery of his own racial identity. Doc Hines is convinced he is a Negro, i.e. in the racist world of segregation, has "nigger blood" (374). Milly apparently tries to tell her parents "the man is a Mexican" (374).

3014 Miss Carruthers

In Light in August, Miss Carruthers was the organist in Hightower's church when he preached there, but has now "been dead for almost twenty years" (366).

3013 Lem Bush

In Light in August Lem Bush is the neighbor in Arkansas who takes Milly Hines to the circus in his wagon.

3012 Lucas Burch

In Light in August, Lucas Burch is "tall, young. Dark complected" (55). One of the "sawdust Casanovas" among the Doane's Mill workers, Lucas Burch impregnates and deserts Lena Grove in Alabama (6). He finds his way to Jefferson, where, unimaginatively changing his name to "Joe Brown," he takes a menial job in the planing mill, but he quits to join Christmas as partner in a bootleg whiskey business.

3011 Byron Bunch

One of the major characters in Light in August, Bryon Bunch is a "small man who will not see thirty again" (47). He came to Jefferson seven years before the novel begins, and leaves the town before it ends. The bookkeeper at the planing mill where he works calls him a "hillbilly" (413). While in Jefferson, for six days every week he is a steady, dependable worker in the mill; every Sunday he directs a country church choir. Scrupulously honest with himself and others, Byron is also a sweet-tempered man.

3010 Buford

In Light in August, Deputy Buford discovers "traces of recent occupation" in the cabin beyond Joanna's house (290) and "reckons" that if there is anyone living in that place, they would be Negroes.

3009 Brother Bedenberry

In Light in August, Bedenberry is preaching when Joe enters the Negro church and tries "to snatch him outen the pulpit" (323).

3008 Miss Atkins

In Light in August, Miss Atkins is the dietitian - "young, a little fullbodied, smooth, pink-and-white" - believes the five-year-old Joe Christmas is "going to tell" of her sexual episode with the young intern (120, 124). She calls Joe a "little nigger bastard" and raises questions with the matron about his racial identity so that he will be removed from the orphanage before exposing her (122).

3007 Bobbie Allen

In Light in August, Bobbie comes from a brothel in Memphis to the railroad town where she works for Max and Mame, by day as a waitress "in a small, dingy, back street restaurant" and by night as a prostitute. She responds to the romantic advances of 18-year old Joe Christmas, even though "she would never see thirty again" (172).

3006 Mrs. Vinson

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," Mrs. Vinson "conducts" the business at the tavern where Jim Gant stays (368). A "youngish" woman, "with cold eyes and a hard infrequent tongue," she may be the wife or possibly the daughter of the "oldish" man in the background of the place (368), but she runs off from there with Gant. Together, they get as far as Memphis before Gant's wife catches up with them and kills them both.

3005 Unnamed Shopkeepers in Jefferson

The "them" in the phrase "made them return her money" is the only reference in "Miss Zilphia Gant" to the people who own or work in the store where Mrs. Gant bought and then brought back a miniature cook stove (373).

3004 Unnamed Second Husband of Zilphia

In the last section of "Miss Zilphia Gant," the title character returns to Jefferson after a three-year absence, "in mourning," with "a plain gold band" on her hand, "and a child" (381). She tells people about "her second marriage and her husband's death" (381), but it seems most likely that this husband is a figment of Miss Zilphia's imagination and a way to explain that child. In any case, just like the painter whom Zilphia did marry, he's never given a name, and so effectively she remains 'Miss Zilphia' - the name the narrator uses throughout.

3003 Unnamed School Friend

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," the one girl whom Zilphia has permission to visit and play with after school is not named or described, but after the two girls have grown up the narrative mentions her marriage (Zilphia herself makes the bride's "white gown," 374), and, after another four years, the birth of her first child, a daughter (for whom Zilphia makes dresses).

3002 Unnamed Postmaster

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," the town's postmaster teases Zilphia every week about the letters she receives from Memphis; although the letters "bear the return address of a private detective agency," he "rallies her on her city sweetheart" (379). Behind his "insincerity" there is apparently some "pity" for her (379).

3001 Unnamed Partner of Zilphia

In "Miss Zilphia Gant" this woman becomes Zilphia's "partner" in the dressmaking shop less than a year after Mrs. Gant's death (378).

3000 Unnamed Painter

The man who makes "Miss Zilphia Gant" a Missus is introduced as "a tramp painter," an itinerant whom her mother hires to repaint the dressmaking shop. His last name is never given, so we cannot know Zilphia's married name. Her husband is described as "a young man with black hair and eyes like wood ashes" (375). Despite his own prejudice against any "woman that wore glasses" (377), he falls in love with Zilphia, and vows to her to "get you out of" the miserable life her mother forces her to live (376).

2099 Unnamed Neighbor in the Bend 2

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," Mrs. Gant "borrows a pistol from another neighbor" when she leaves the Bend to get revenge on her husband (369). We know this 'other' neighbor is not the woman with whom she leaves Zilphia, but that is all the text makes explicit; that this neighbor's is male is our assumption.

2098 Unnamed Neighbor in the Bend 1

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," Mrs. Gant asks a "neighbor" woman to "keep" Zilphia for her while she leaves to take revenge on her husband (369). This woman is never described.

2097 Unnamed Negro Men in Dreams

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," years after learning that her former husband's wife is pregnant, Zilphia begins "to dream again" (380). The dreams that feature "negro men" cause her to "wake wide-eyed" (380).

2096 Unnamed Men at Vinson's Tavern

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," the other men who frequent the tavern where Gant stays on his trips to Memphis are described as "rough, unshaven, overalled men" who "eat coarse food and drink pale, virulent corn whiskey and sleep in their muddy clothes and boots on the puncheon floor before the log fire" (368). Some of them, at least, are probably mule or horse traders like Gant - they arrive in "other caravans similar to his" - but others make their living in "more equivocal" but unspecified ways (368).

2095 Unnamed Man at Vinson's Tavern

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," the "oldish" man in "in the background" at the tavern where Gant stays is vividly described as a drunkard "with cunning reddish pig's eyes and matted hair which lent a kind of ferocity to the weak face which they concealed," but beyond that his place in the narrative remains vague (368). It's likely that he is Mrs. Vinson's husband or father, but all the text says about their relationship is that they are occasionally heard "cursing one another in the back" of the tavern (369).

2094 Unnamed Jefferson Neighbor

In "Miss Zilphia Gant," this "neighbor" is awakened when Zilphia "runs out of the house in her nightdress, screaming" (380). She - although the neighbor could be a man or a woman - summons the doctor.

2093 Little Zilphia

"Miss Zilphia Gant" leaves it up to its readers to decide for themselves about the identity of the girl that Zilphia brings back to Jefferson at the end, claiming that she is her own daughter. The cues provided by the text, however, make it probable that this girl (whom the narrator calls "little Zilphia," 381) is the daughter of the painter Zilphia married many years earlier and his second wife: for example, the girl has "eyes like wood ashes and dark hair," both traits she shares with that husband (381, 375).

2092 Unnamed Daughter of Zilphia

Years after learning that her former husband's wife is pregnant in "Miss Zilphia Gant," Zilphia begins "to dream again" (380). In many of these dreams she is "walking to and from school . . . with her daughter's hand in hers" (380).

2091 Unnamed Half-Witted Boy

In "Miss Zilphia Gant" this "a hulking halfwitted boy" helps Jim Gant in his work as a trader (368). It is he who tells Mrs. Gant that her husband has left her, when he tries to collect the $1.75 he loaned to Gant; when she refuses at gun point to give him any money, he becomes "an ancient mariner in faded overalls" as - "wild eyed and drooling a little at the mouth" - he relates his grievance repeatedly to the other people in the Bend (370).

2090 Unnamed Private Detectives

When "Miss Zilphia Gant" learns that her former husband has married again "in a neighboring state," she travels to Memphis to engage a "private detective agency" to surveil him and his new wife. The story does not describe any of the individual detectives, but the agency sends her detailed accounts in weekly letters. (The history of American private detective agencies dates back to Allen Pinkerton, who started his National Detective Agency in 1850.)