Annabel Balch, a young woman of about the same age as Charity, stands as the ideal type of womanhood to which Charity aspires, despite Charity’s claims that she does not care what others think. Annabel is wealthy, educated, beautiful, and sophisticated. In contrast to Charity, who is described more than once as “swarthy,” Annabel is blond and blue-eyed. A relative of Miss Hatchard, she visits New Dormer periodically, but she is a city girl from Springfield with all of the advantages that implies. Even when Charity feels that she is at her best— when she is preparing to wear her white satin dress and be admired by her lover—the specter of Annabel Balch is present, as it is Annabel’s hand-me-down satin shoes that complete Charity’s outfit. In the end Annabel wins what Charity cannot: Lucius Harney’s true love and commitment to marriage. Annabel never speaks during the novel, but she is often seen from afar or remembered at a distance, as is appropriate for an unreachable ideal.
Lucius Harney is a young architect from New York who has come to North Dormer to stay the summer with his relative, Miss Hatchard, while he measures and sketches the important old houses in the area. Although when Charity first sees him he is clumsily chasing his windblown hat, his clothing marks him as a man from the city, and Charity develops an immediate infatuation with him. At the same time, even before she...
(The entire section is 1749 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Summer Characters. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!