The main character in the story is Edgar. Edgar is unique because he is mute. When the story begins he is fourteen years old. Edgar is a young boy who, like Hamlet, knows that his father was murdered. Edgar eventually realizes that Claude, his uncle, killed his father, Gar. Gar’s wife, Edgar’s mother, is named Trudy. Edgar suspects that his mother and uncle have a sexual relationship, which enrages him. Eventually he gets revenge against his uncle.
Edgar is not good at communicating, because he is mute. He lives alone, interacting with the dogs more than people. His parents did not know what to do with him at first, but they knew how to raise the dogs.
- And all infants need the same things, pup or child, squalling or mute. They clung to that certainty: for a while at least, it didn’t matter what in him was special and what ordinary. (Part I: Forte’s Children/Signs, p. 37)
Interestingly enough, Claude is not the scheming evil man that Claudius is in Hamlet. The relationship between Trudy (who is sweet and innocent) and Claude develops naturally. Edgar is not accepting of it, despite his father’s death.