Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Leah Bellefleur

Leah Bellefleur, the daughter of Della Pym. She marries her first cousin Gideon. A dominating figure in the family who is believed to have the power to control events, Leah is beautiful, energetic, and passionate. Her youthful sexual hunger develops into an obsession with winning the release of convicted mass-murderer Jean-Pierre Bellefleur II and reuniting the 3-million-acre Bellefleur empire.

Gideon Bellefleur

Gideon Bellefleur, the son of Noel Bellefleur. He marries his first cousin Leah. Gideon is strikingly handsome, emotionally reserved, and physically reckless. Although he is a gambler and womanizer, Gideon often is the stable personality that holds the Bellefleur family together. After the death of his friend Nicholas Fuhr and his alienation from Leah, Gideon becomes increasingly distant. He is the one who destroys the family by crashing a bomb-laden airplane into the mansion.

Jedediah Bellefleur

Jedediah Bellefleur, Leah and Gideon’s great-great-grandfather, a hermit who seeks God on Mount Blanc but discovers only madness, hallucinations, and murder. After years in seclusion, he learns that his brother Louis has been murdered, and he returns to marry Louis’ widow, Germaine, and continue the Bellefleur line.

Germaine Bellefleur

Germaine Bellefleur, Leah and Gideon’s daughter, who seems to possess magical powers. She is a precocious and withdrawn child who suffers through the gradual dissolution of her parents’ marriage. Germaine is saved from the destruction of her family, which occurs on her fourth birthday, when her father reneges on his promise to take her on a birthday ride in his airplane.

Raphael Lucien Bellefleur

Raphael Lucien Bellefleur, Leah and Gideon’s great-grandfather, who builds the Bellefleur mansion. Frustrated in his efforts to win political power, Raphael leaves a bizarre will that demands that his remains be skinned and made into a cavalry drum.


Felix (Lamentations of Jeremiah) Bellefleur, Leah and...

(The entire section is 871 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

As in Oates's more naturalistic novels, the characters in Bellefleur are a tissue of obsessions and emotions: the mad grandfather...

(The entire section is 220 words.)