Simon McEachern

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Simon McEachern
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McEachern, Simon
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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). A Calvinist for whom the Bible and the catechism define reality, he plans to "learn" Joe that "'the two abominations are sloth and idle thinking, the two virtues are work and the fear of God'" (144). He bullies his nameless wife and chastises her for lying on Joe's behalf. His verbal and physical abuse of Joe leads to a violent final confrontation between them. It may also be a fatal one, though there's no clear evidence that McEachern is dead when last seen.

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