Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Francis Joseph McPhillip

Francis Joseph McPhillip, an Irish revolutionary. Having killed a man, he is disavowed by the rebel organization and is a lonely fugitive. In his great loneliness, he tries to see his family. Because he is betrayed, the police find him at his parents’ home, and he commits suicide.

Gypo Nolan

Gypo Nolan, the informer, a stupid man and an Irish revolutionary. Because he is penniless, he tells the police where to find Francis. He does not really know what he is doing or why. Later, he goes to the McPhillip home and gives Mrs. McPhillip part of his blood money. The rebel organization condemns him for his act, and he is shot as he flees his executioners. He runs into a church to die. There, Mrs. McPhillip forgives his treachery to her son.

Katie Fox

Katie Fox, a prostitute who occasionally befriends Gypo out of pity. When he seeks refuge from his organization after having turned informer, Katie discloses his whereabouts, hoping by this act in some way to expiate her own sins.


Bartly, a revolutionary sent to shadow Gypo.

Dan Gallagher

Dan Gallagher, an intelligent revolutionary leader, though he tends to be terrified in an emergency. He loves Mary McPhillip, Francis’ sister, and takes action against the man who informed against her brother.

Mr. McPhillip

Mr. McPhillip, Francis’ father.

Mrs. McPhillip

Mrs. McPhillip, Francis’ mother, who forgives Gypo for informing the police of her son’s whereabouts as he lies dying at her feet in church.

Mary McPhillip

Mary McPhillip, Francis’ sister, loved by Dan.

Rat Mulligan

Rat Mulligan, a man falsely accused by Gypo of having betrayed Francis.


Maggie, a prostitute patronized by Gypo.