Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings, an American ambulance driver. Arrested because of his close friendship with W. S. B. but never charged with any specific offense, he is imprisoned at La Ferte for three months. Naturally observant and interested in people, he sees in his fellow prisoners varied traits, ranging from humanity’s best to its most animalistic and depraved. Gifted with a satiric sense of humor, he endures the imprisonment without going insane, as do many of the unfortunates.

W. S. B.

W. S. B., also known as B., his American friend. He is arrested by French military police for writing letters suspected by the censor. He is transferred from La Ferte to another prison before cummings is released. W. S. B. is actually William Slater Brown.


Apollyon (ah-pohl-YOHN), head of the French prison, a gross, fiendish man who reminds cummings of Ichabod Crane and who questions him about why he is in prison, though cummings himself does not know. Apollyon is despised by the prisoners.


Rockyfeller, a livid, unpleasant-looking, impeccably dressed Rumanian who causes an uproar the night he arrives at La Ferte.

The Fighting Sheeney

The Fighting Sheeney, Rockyfeller’s revolting bully-boy, a former pimp.

Joseph Demestre

Joseph Demestre (deh-

(The entire section is 488 words.)