Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Moon-Watcher, a “man-ape” of the Pleistocene geologic era, hairy and muscular. At almost five feet in height, he is unusually tall for his dying race of cave-dwelling hominids and weighs more than one hundred pounds in spite of his tribe’s usual lack of nourishment. Of the first creatures to take notice of the Moon, he is the only hominid in the world to stand erect and one of the few having a glimmer of intelligence. He discovers the New Rock, which is in fact a monolithic probe of an extraterrestrial intelligence. It studies him in particular and inspires him to use a stone to kill a warthog, then to kill another hominid. Moon-Watcher’s tribe members become hunters to begin the evolution of humanity.

Dr. Heywood Floyd

Dr. Heywood Floyd, the chairman of the National Council of Astronautics. A widower of ten years and father of three, he completed one voyage to Mars and three to the Moon before returning to the lunar crater Tycho to see a recently uncovered monolith there.

David Bowman

David Bowman, the first captain of the spaceship Discovery. At thirty-five years of age, unmarried, and holding a Ph.D., he is a veteran astronaut with the curiosity of a generalist and an almost photographic memory who reads avidly and enjoys many styles of classical music. A caretaker of the ship and its three hibernating scientists until the planned rendezvous with Saturn,...

(The entire section is 438 words.)