Maria Chapdelaine (mahr-YAH shahp-deh-LEHN), a French-Canadian farm girl. After the death of the man she loves, Maria looks upon the northland as a hostile country and almost accepts Lorenzo Surprenant as a husband, knowing he will take her to an easier life in a city in the United States. She finally decides, however, that she can, like her mother, be a good pioneer wife. She then accepts Eutrope Gagnon, a farmer like her father, as her husband.
Samuel Chapdelaine, Maria’s father. He moves his family many times, for he wants always to be away from neighbors and civilization. He is a hardworking man.
Mrs. Chapdelaine, Maria’s mother. Her death, which she faces as steadfastly as she does life, convinces Maria to remain in the north and marry a farmer.
François Paradis (frah[n]-SWAH pah-rah-DEE), a young fur trader who falls in love with Maria. He dies of exposure while traveling on foot across the wastes of northern Quebec to visit Maria at Christmastime.
Eutrope Gagnon (yew-TROHP gahn-YOHN), a pioneering farmer and suitor for Maria’s hand. He is an honest, hardworking young man. He can say little for himself, but his earnestness wins Maria.
Lorenzo Surprenant (loh-rehn-ZOH sewr-preh-NA[N]), a suitor for Maria’s hand. He works in factories in the United States and tries to convince Maria that life as his wife will be easier for her than life as a farmer’s wife in Quebec.