Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 313
Solon Barnes, an upright, severe Quaker businessman who raises his children in strict accordance with Quaker moral principles. A family tragedy brings him to the realization that his concern for business and strict standards has obscured for him the central “Inner Light” of the Quaker faith. With the help of his daughter Etta, he regains his serenity during his last days.
Rufus Barnes, Solon’s respected Quaker father and the founder of the family fortune.
Hannah Barnes, Solon’s upright Quaker mother and the sister of Phoebe Kimber.
Benecia Wallin Barnes
Benecia Wallin Barnes, Solon’s quiet, religious wife.
Isobel Barnes, Solon’s studious, unattractive oldest daughter.
Orville Barnes, Solon’s severe, respectable elder son.
Dorothea Barnes, Solon’s beautiful second daughter.
Etta Barnes, Solon’s sensitive, intelligent youngest daughter. An individualist, she becomes the mistress of an artist, Willard Kane. She leaves her lover when Solon needs her and becomes her father’s mainstay in his last days.
Stewart Barnes, Solon’s spoiled, unprincipled younger son. Interested only in the pursuit of lower-class girls, he becomes involved in the death of Psyche Tanzer. Charged with rape and murder, he commits suicide in his jail cell.
Phoebe Kimber, Hannah Barnes’s sister.
Cynthia Barnes, Solon’s sister.
Volida La Porte
Volida La Porte, Etta Barnes’s unconventional friend.
Victor Bruge and
Lester Jennings, reckless friends of Stewart Barnes charged along with him in the rape and murder of Psyche Tanzer.
Psyche Tanzer, a young girl killed by “drops” administered by Victor Bruge.
Rhoda Kimber and
Laura Kimber, Phoebe’s daughters.
Justus Wallin, Benecia Barnes’s father.
Hester Wallin, Justus’ sister.
Willard Kane, Etta Barnes’s artist lover.
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