Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Theodor Fischer, the narrator, a young boy who is the son of the church organist. Together with Nikolaus Bauman and Seppi Wohlmeyer, he meets and interacts with Satan. His observations and opinions pervade the entire work. He is sympathetic to other people and open to, yet questioning of, popular and new attitudes and opinions. Only he is privy to all of Satan’s acts and philosophical statements.
Nikolaus Bauman, another young boy, the son of the principal judge. He, too, is involved with Satan. He drowns trying to save little Elsa, his future having been altered by Satan.
Seppi Wohlmeyer, a third young boy, the son of the keeper of the principal inn. With Nikolaus, he is close friends with Theodor.
Satan, who sometimes goes by the name of Philip Traum, the nephew of the fallen angel of the same name. He claims to be an angel sixteen thousand years old. He can appear or vanish at will. He changes the future of other characters, causing their deaths or insanity. He claims to be benevolent, though his actions at times seem the opposite. He idealizes animals and takes a dim view of humankind. At the end, he is completely nihilistic, denying the existence of heaven, hell, the afterlife, and even humankind itself. Using the name Philip Traum, he appears as a handsome young man, a mysterious stranger, to...
(The entire section is 600 words.)
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