Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Viney Jones

Viney Jones (later Viney Clepper), a frontier schoolteacher. Given to crudity and ruthlessness, Viney herself is the product of education by whites. She is trained sufficiently to become a teacher of children herself. She resents her Cherokee heritage and eventually abandons it and moves to town, presumably married to a white man. She returns to Claremore Mound to visit her sister, Sarah, who is living in poverty, not so much to help her but to be arrogant in her treatment of her. Viney represents the Cherokees of the younger generation who have given themselves to the materialism and education of the dominant society.

Bee Newcomb

Bee Newcomb, another part-breed Cherokee. As a whore, then a prostitute, Bee represents the physical and sexual decline of the Cherokee. Her worst act, however, is not having sex with clients or even with her half brother Gar; it is tricking Art Osburn, a fellow part-breed, into confessing a murder. This deceit for money is far more damning than having sex for money.

Art Osburn

Art Osburn, who murders his wife. Art responds to the controls of the white society with violence. Having married a white woman with children, he finds that he cannot continue life with her because of her ways. When he confesses to the murder, he becomes a victim.

Old Man Talbert

Old Man Talbert, a collector of arrowheads and one of the last...

(The entire section is 519 words.)