Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Harry “Bo” Mason

Harry “Bo” Mason, a bootlegger, a man who is always looking for greener pastures. When Elsa Norgaard first meets him, he is running an illegal bar in North Dakota. Although he can be charming, he has a nasty temper and sometimes becomes violent. He falls in love with Elsa and marries her. He is energetic but impatient. Simply earning a living is not enough; he wants to make a fortune quickly. When one plan does not work out, he moves his family somewhere else. the longest the Mason family stays in one place is the five years they spend homesteading in Saskatchewan, but the land is too poor to support them. Bo has little regard for the law, and because bootlegging offers the most potential to make money in a hurry, he gives up all pretense at other occupations and becomes a full-time bootlegger. When Elsa is stricken with cancer, he cannot deal with her illness and finds a mistress. After her death, he begins to feel old. His moneymaking schemes fail, leaving him virtually penniless. His mistress rejects him. When he has no more hope or plans for the future, he kills his mistress and then himself.

Elsa Norgaard Mason

Elsa Norgaard Mason, Bo’s wife. When Elsa’s mother died, her father married Elsa’s best friend, a situation with which she could not live. Elsa leaves home when she turns eighteen to live with her uncle in North Dakota. There she meets Bo and is attracted by his dangerous sort of charm, though she feels uneasy about his temper. When her father learns of the romance and disapproves, she marries Bo. Elsa’s main desires in life are to have a family, a home, and a stable life in a...

(The entire section is 684 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The main figures in The Big Rock Candy Mountain are Bo, Elsa, and their younger son, Bruce. Bo is big, strong, and athletic. He played...

(The entire section is 577 words.)