Who are the main characters in the story?

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In the short story "The War of the Wall" by Toni Cade Bambara, the first main character is the Narrator. It is through the Narrator's eyes that the reader is introduced to the central conflict in the story. The conflict occurs between the Narrator, his cousin, Lou,...

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In the short story "The War of the Wall" by Toni Cade Bambara, the first main character is the Narrator. It is through the Narrator's eyes that the reader is introduced to the central conflict in the story. The conflict occurs between the Narrator, his cousin, Lou, and the Painter Lady. The two children want to stop the Painter Lady from taking over "their wall." They plot ways to prevent her from painting on the wall on Taliaferro Street,

The second main character is the Painter Lady. She arrives and disturbs the locals when she takes over the wall. However, by the end of the story, everyone is amazed at the transformation that has occurred on their wall. Figures that represent the fight for freedom and liberation adorn the wall as well as faces of some of the neighborhood people.

Lastly, Lou is a main character because she represents the ironic twist at the end of the story and is also a friend of the Narrator. It appears that the Painter Lady is Jimmy Lyons's cousin. The Narrator had once boosted Lou up "to chisel Jimmy Lyons’s name into the wall when we found out he was never coming home from the war in Vietnam to take us fishing" (para 1). Ironically, after the beautiful mural is completed on the wall, the Painter Lady inscribes:

To the People of Taliaferro Street

I Dedicate This Wall of Respect

Painted in Memory of My Cousin

Jimmy Lyons

The Painter Lady is really not an outsider who has invaded their neighborhood, but she has accomplished what the kids tried to do. She has transformed the wall and made it into a tribute to the community, as well as a memorial for Jimmy Lyons.

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The first important character in The War of the Wall by Toni Cade Bambara is the unnamed narrator, a local teenager who serves as the viewpoint character through which the main elements of the story are seen.

The next character of major importance is Lou, the narrator's cousin, who appears a slightly older teen.

The painter lady herself is a central element of the story, the plot of which revolves around her painting a mural on a building wall. She is a cousin of  Jimmy Lyons.

Although Jimmy Lyons died in Vietnam before the opening of the story, and doesn't actually appear in the story as a living person, he is the inspiration for two forms of art, his name, chiseled into the wall by Lou and the mural. He appears in both the opening and closing of the story.

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