Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Guest, the narrator, a thinly disguised version of William Morris, the author. The reader first encounters him at the opening of the book, where he has just left a political meeting. He is annoyed with himself for his habit of losing his temper in these discussions, and he is discontented with the grimy surroundings of late nineteenth century London, through which he must travel to return to his suburban home. As he encounters people in his utopian dream vision, he reveals that he appears old and not well-dressed. The questions that he asks about the community to which he has been transported demonstrate his beliefs in an idealized world. He develops a romantic attachment to an attractive young woman named Ellen, whom he meets on his journey up the Thames River. Their relationship remains friendly and platonic.

Richard (Dick) Hammond

Richard (Dick) Hammond, the boatman. He is the first person Guest encounters in “Nowhere.” Dick takes Guest in his boat to the Guest House in Hammersmith, which was the London suburb where William Morris lived, and he remains Guest’s guide throughout the time he spends in the utopian Nowhere. Dick’s tanned skin and developed physique indicate that he spends much time occupied outdoors. His simple but well-fitted dark blue garment with an ornamental belt buckle, reminiscent of a fourteenth century costume, gives him an appearance of gentility that his gracious manners reinforce. Dick takes Guest to visit Old Hammond, Dick’s great-grandfather. The next day, they go on a four-day journey up the Thames to take part in the hay harvest in Oxfordshire, so that Guest can see the countryside. On this journey, they are accompanied by Clara, Dick’s fiancée, to whom Dick was married earlier. They are happily reunited when Dick and Guest visit Old Hammond, who...

(The entire section is 755 words.)