Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

General David Archbald

General David Archbald, an old Southern gentleman whose life is dominated by the needs of his daughters, his daughter-in-law, and his granddaughter. He is tall, spare, and very erect, with silver-gray hair and mustache, dark beetling eyebrows, and an eagle nose. Though a rebel at heart since childhood, he has throughout his long life been largely a conformist. He often muses on the past, on what might have been, and on the insoluble puzzles of human nature.

Jenny Blair Archbald

Jenny Blair Archbald, his spirited granddaughter, a pretty girl who from her childhood on listens to conversations and closely observes the older people about her. Fascinated by George, who at first regards her only as a charming child, she is the half-innocent cause of his murder.

George Birdsong

George Birdsong, the general’s neighbor, a handsome and romantically attractive but improvident attorney who loves his wife but cannot remain faithful to her. He tries to control his weaknesses, especially after Eva’s illness, but nature is too strong within him. Ironically, he dies after being discovered impulsively kissing Jenny Blair, to whose pursuit he had previously paid very little attention.

Eva Howard Birdsong

Eva Howard Birdsong, George’s beautiful wife, who, like a lady, affects a happiness she does not feel with her husband. She has smiled through...

(The entire section is 450 words.)