Because Concluding focuses on the abstract theme of individualism versus conformity in a fantasylike way, the characters are not presented in a realistic manner but rather are representative of the value systems on which the novel focuses. Rock is just that—a rock of individualism. Thus, he is the heroic father figure of the novel who champions the rights of the individual, although he certainly is not the conventional hero of antiutopian fiction. Edge is the complete bureaucrat, concerned with squashing individualism wherever she finds it. Birt and Elizabeth are embodiments of individual love, the only hope of personal escape from institutional conformity. Elizabeth is somewhat deranged by the strictures of the welfare state but believes that marriage is the answer to her emotional problems. Mary is the most problematic character, for the reader knows her only by her absence and thus can only speculate on her nature and her motives.
Although characters are largely abstractions in this novel, they are not without interest. Rock is not a complex personality, but in his staunch refusal to give in to the powers of the state, represented by the ineffectual Edge, he does emerge as a heroic figure, if for no other reason than the fact that he endures. His granddaughter derives her interest from the fact that her need for love defines her as one who understands what individualism really means, even though the stifling uniformity of the welfare state has almost driven her mad. In such a world as Green depicts, perhaps these two characters represent the only kind of longing and the only kind of hope for heroism that are possible.