What are the characteristics of Sam, Bill, Johnny Dorset, and Ebenezer Dorset in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?I'm having a troubling time figuring the characteristics of the characters of The Ransom...

What are the characteristics of Sam, Bill, Johnny Dorset, and Ebenezer Dorset in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

I'm having a troubling time figuring the characteristics of the characters of The Ransom of Red Chief. Please help.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Sam and Bill are would-be kidnappers. They have planned the deed well, selecting a quiet town with a convenient cave for hiding their hostage, and have identified the only child of a well-to-do father as their victim. Their foresight in selecting Summit as the location for the kidnapping is based on sound logic.

Summit couldn't get after us with anything stronger than constables and maybe some lackadaisical bloodhounds and a diatribe or two in the Weekly Farmers' Budget.

Sam and Bill are accustomed to the usual actions and reactions connected with a criminal action. They know their plan and have expectations for how the situation will play out based on past experience and run-ins with the law.

Johnny Dorset, however, is not their typical kidnapping victim. Johnny is a hyper-active child whose imagination runs wild as he seizes this adventure, living in a cave with two grown-ups that he can easily terrrorize into playing along with him and thriving on the novelty and excitement of it all. His energy is unlimited and Sam and Bill quickly discover they are no match for this hellion.

The boy is gone. I have sent him home. All is off. There was martyrs in old times," goes on Bill, "that suffered death rather than give up the particular graft they enjoyed. None of 'em ever was subjugated to such supernatural tortures as I have been. I tried to be faithful to our articles of depredation; but there came a limit.

Ebenezer Dorset, Johnny's father, is very aware of his son's patterns of behavior. He manages to extract some profit for himself in exchange for relieving Sam and Bill of their victim, probably after enjoying a day of peace and quiet while Johnny was not at home.

 

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