Frankie Addams, a confident yet naïve tomboy. The twelve-year-old is conscious of her height (five feet, six inches) and has had her hair shaved off, though it has grown to resemble a boy’s. She is uneasy about her developing sensuality, her family relationships, and social behavior, especially among adults, servants, and other adolescents. Recently, she has been evicted from a movie house for booing a romantic film and has been rejected as a member of a local girls’ club. The motherless blonde girl decides to become a member of her brother’s wedding party in an attempt to end her loneliness and to become someone of consequence. She is dreamy and restless, and she lives in fantasy.
Berenice Sadie Brown
Berenice Sadie Brown, a stout, motherly black cook. First married at the age of thirteen, she has had four husbands in her forty-five years and is a philosophical observer of the community about her, both black and white. She has a flat face and one blue glass eye that sometimes bothers her (at which times she removes it and uses a black eye-patch); nevertheless, she does not seem to be a grotesque, for her motherly role and characteristics are dominant. She alone has authority with Frankie and tells her that she must grow up; she is regarded by the black community as its matriarch.
Royal Addams, Frankie’s widowed father. A small-town jeweler, he is a deliberate and absentminded man of about forty-five, set in his ways and old-fashioned in look and manner. He is conservative in outlook, unmindful of his responsibility for Frankie’s social and personal development; he has never spanked her. He has allowed Berenice to be his...
(The entire section is 712 words.)