Who are the characters in Seabiscuit: An American Legend, and what do they do?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many characters in Seabiscuit (follow the link below to the Enotes listing of characters in the text).  The four major characters are Charles Howard, Red Pollard, Tom Smith, and Seabiscuit.

Charles Howard ends up being Seabiscuit's last owner.  Howard is influenced to get into horse-racing by his second wife Marcela, so they go to look at horses to purchase.  Seabiscuit is a sorry-looking horse and obstinate to boot, but Howard sees potential in him.  Throughout the story, Howard is portrayed as one who takes risks in the "impossible," so his purchase of Seabiscuit fits into this trend.

Red Pollard is Seabiscuit's main jockey.  Pollard grew up in a poor family and gets into horse-racing as a means to take care of himself.  He is known for working with difficult horses, so taking on Seabiscuit is a natural pursuit for him.

Tom Smith is Seabiscuit's trainer.  Smith grew up a loner, preferring to spend his time with animals instead of men.  Often, Smith chooses to live outdoors or in stables with the animals, and he develops a kind of "sixth-sense" for dealing with horses.  Howard hires Smith to train the difficult Seabiscuit.

Finally, Seabiscuit is as much a character in this story as the men who deal with him.  He is portrayed as a cranky, willful horse whose competitive drive goes unnoticed by his initial owners.  Seabiscuit is a big heart in a small body, and it is not until Howard takes over his ownership that Seabiscuit is afforded the opportunity to shine.

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Seabiscuit: An American Legend

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