Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1301
Old Man Anderson
Old Man Anderson is a farmer who lives outside the city limits of Eatonville and only comes to the town two or three times a year. He has never seen a train and the townspeople look down on him because he has no interest in seeing the train go through the nearby town of Maitland. Observing the train is a big event for Eatonville residents, and Anderson finally gives in to their ridicule. When he travels into Maitland the sound of the train scares him so badly that he drives his horse and wagon deep into the forest without ever seeing the train at all.
Mr. Clarke is one of the shopkeepers in "The Eatonville Anthology." He appears in several other sections of the story in addition to his part in Section I. He and his wife own one of the main stores in Eatonville (perhaps the general store) and he is involved in many of the affairs of the community. It is revealed later in Section VI that Clarke is also the town mayor, postmaster, and has several other duties. His wife, who refers to him as ''Jody," is the main character of Section DC.
Mrs. Clarke helps her husband, Joe Clarke, run their store in Eatonville. Section TX describes her behavior in church every Sunday and her relationship with Mr. Clarke. The narrator describes a fairly volatile relationship with Mr. Clarke reprimanding his wife for her mistakes and sometimes beating her.
See Mr. Clarke
See Mr. Clarke
Sykes Jones is the owner of a dog named Tippy. Tippy is the main focus of Section IV, rather than Sykes. Tippy has a reputation around Eatonville as a scrounger of food and various residents have tried to get rid of the dog by feeding him strychnine, bluestone, and other poisons. The dog survives however, and remains skinny despite the food he steals.
Joe Lindsay is one of the town liars and a subject of Section VII. It is said that he is "the largest manufacturer of prevarications in Eatonville" by another resident, Lum Boger. In other words, he is the biggest liar in town. Another character, Brazzle, regards himself as the biggest liar in town. A description of one of the character's lies is briefly recounted in Section VII. The phrasing of the two short paragraphs in this section, entitled "Exhibit A," makes it unclear who actually tells this lie.
Lizzimore is a blind guitar player who played at the Methodist church during "Double-Shuffles" in Eatonville in "the good old days before the war." The "Double-Shuffles" are the focus of Section XI. They are dances that were very popular with the townspeople, and are part of the tradition and lore of the town. Attended by the Clarkes, Moseleys, and numerous others, the dances are events remembered by everyone.
Mrs. McDuffy is another resident of Eatonville, and her behavior in church is the focus of Section X. The narrator describes her shouting in church and her husband's aversion to such behavior. He beats her at home for her shouting and does not understand her need to yell. Like the relationship of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. McDuffy includes beatings that seem to be an accepted part of life in Eatonville.
Jim Merchant and his wife are the subjects of the second section of "Anthology." He is a minor character in relation to the rest of the story. Section II recounts his first meeting with his wife, who has ''fits." Her cure is brought about by spilling turpentine into one of her eyes.
Becky Moore is the unwed mother of eleven children who have been sired by a variety of men. Other mothers in Eatonville will not let their kids play with the Moore children. According to the narrator, Becky believes that the fathers of her children are to blame for her unwed status. The other mothers are apparently afraid their children will adopt Becky's beliefs or will become like the missing fathers and not take responsibility for their own offspring.
The narrator of "The Eatonville Anthology" represents the community of Eatonville as a single voice. The special feature of this voice is the way in which it presents each citizen or incident with a tone of approval and acceptance as a separate part of the whole town. None is subjected to negative judgment or criticism. In this way, the character of the community is preserved and reflected positively in the light and role of each of its citizens.
The Pleading Woman
See Mrs. Tony Roberts
Cal'line Potts is the main character in Section XIII. The narrator describes her as a fiercely independent person, who "kept the town in an uproar of laughter." Her husband, Mitchell, "takes up" with another woman named Delphine, also known as Mis Pheeny. When Cal'line catches Mitch all dressed up for an evening with the other woman, she grabs an axe and follows Mitch through the town on his way to Delphine's. This section ends with no resolution to this conflict, and critics maintain that part of this section was lost during publication. However, Cal'line's character and strength are amply developed throughout this section of "Eatonville."
See Brother Rabbit
Brother Rabbit is a character in Section XTV of ''The Eatonville Anthology." This final section is a retelling of the Brer Rabbit story and contains other animal characters such as Miss Nancy Coon and Mr. Dog. In this Eatonville version of the story, competition between Mr. Dog and Brother Rabbit to win the favor of Miss Coon results in dogs and rabbits becoming enemies because of the trick Brer Rabbit plays on Mr. Dog. Convinced that the rabbit is going to help him learn how to sing sweetly, Mr. Dog sticks out his tongue to receive a gift from Brother Rabbit Brother Rabbit then splits Mr. Dog's tongue with a knife and runs away.
Mrs. Tony Roberts
Mrs. Tony Roberts is the main character of the first section of "The Eatonville Anthology." She goes about the town of Eatonville whining, begging, and pleading with shopkeepers for free merchandise or for goods at a discount. According to the narrator of the story, Mr. Roberts gives her enough money to support their family, and her whining seems to be a bargaining tool in her dealings with the shopkeepers.
Sewell is the town hermit. Section VIII recounts his frequent moves and his relationship with his chickens, who have ''gotten accustomed to his relocations." Sewell is another example of a character around which Eatonville residents have made up stories and myths.
Coon Taylor is the subject of Section VI. He is a thief who steals frequently from Joe Clarke's gardens. On one occasion, Clarke has fallen asleep in his melon patch while waiting for Coon to show up. When Coon bursts open a melon on what he thinks is a tree stump, it turns out to be Joe's head. In another episode, Clarke catches Coon in his sugar cane patch and makes Coon leave town for three months.
Daisy Taylor is the town vamp. She is a flirt who comes to the town post office to socialize with the men who gather there. After a series of flirtations with different men, Daisy focuses on Mr. Albert Crooms, who is married. One Saturday evening, Daisy boasts of her supposed relationship with Albert in front of his wife, Laura. After encouragement from another resident, Laura takes an axe handle and beats Daisy senseless. Readers are apt to be sympathetic toward Mrs. Crooms because of Daisy's taunting, and the beaten Daisy flees Eatonville at the conclusion of this section.
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