Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 309
The characters of Editha are:
Editha Balcom: The protagonist of the story. Editha is enamored with the idea of war. She sees war as the only means of restoring the liberty of her people. In the story, Editha pressures her fiance into signing up to fight. She is idealistic, determined, and partial to militaristic ideals. She believes that a hero must never retreat from conflict. Editha also harbors unrealistic expectations. In the story, she expects her fiance to fight, but she will admit no part in influencing his decision.
George Gearson: George is Editha's fiance. He gave up his ministerial pursuits for law. As a lawyer, George is ambivalent about war. He maintains that he has neither the ambition nor the conviction to fight. However, he admits that he is sometimes fascinated with the idea of having his courage tested. George is cautious, loyal, and empathetic. He later joins the fight because of his desire to please Editha.
Mrs. Balcom: Mrs. Balcom is Editha's mother. In the story, she laments that war has been declared. She chastises Editha for doing a "wicked" thing in encouraging George to fight.
Mr. Balcom: Mr. Balcom is Editha's father. He harbors a skeptical attitude about war. Mr. Balcom believes that the war will not amount to much in terms of hostilities. He imagines that the other side will back down in the face of a determined onslaught. Mr. Balcom scoffs at his wife's fears.
Mrs. Gearson: Mrs. Gearson is George's mother. In the story, she blames Editha for the death of her son. She submits that her son had always been a "timid boy." However, Mrs. Gearson maintains that when George made up his mind to act, he usually did so with determination. Mrs. Gearson never forgives Editha for her influence on George, which she believes leads to his death on the battlefield.
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