Characters are grouped as central, major, and minor in literature. Who are the central, major, and minor characters in "Night of the Scorpion"?

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The central characters are the scorpion itself and the speaker's mother. Everyone else—the speaker, father, Holy Man, and peasants—is, I would argue, a major character because all of them interact closely with these two central beings in the poem's narrative.

A major theme of "Night of the Scorpion" appears to...

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The central characters are the scorpion itself and the speaker's mother. Everyone else—the speaker, father, Holy Man, and peasants—is, I would argue, a major character because all of them interact closely with these two central beings in the poem's narrative.

A major theme of "Night of the Scorpion" appears to be the randomness of events. The Mother is stung by the scorpion, and her children are spared. She survives the sting, but no one can know the real reason she does. The Father is a skeptic of the prayers that are offered and the rites performed by the Holy Man. His attempt to counteract the poison is thus more rational but still uncertain, and it is seen as such by the Father because he tries multiple cures: "powder, mixture, herb and hybrid" and finally paraffin in an attempt to cauterize the wound.

Peasants, Holy Man, and Father are all major players because they are all directly involved in the drama, all engaged in the effort to save another person. The Mother recovers but thanks God not so much for her own recovery but because she was the scorpion's victim rather than the children.

In that ultimate selflessness, an emblem of motherhood is shown to us which is perhaps the underlying reason the Mother survives. A superficial reading of the poem might see the scenario as a battle of good and evil, but the scorpion seems to have entered the house for his own protection. He leaves and "risks the rain again." The scorpion, though the "attacker," is not the Evil One the peasants label him but rather another victim himself of the forces of randomness that appear to control the world.

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