The Grandmothers: A Family Portrait Characters

Glenway Wescott

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Alwyn Tower

Alwyn Tower, a young boy deeply interested in the history of his family. He pours over the family albums and pieces together his relatives’ stories.

Henry Tower

Henry Tower, Alwyn’s grandfather. He came to Wisconsin from New York planning, but failing, to become rich. His first and dearly loved wife dies, leaving a baby boy. He marries again to give the child a mother. After the boy dies, Henry loses interest in life, though he has many other children. In his old age, his chief interest is his new garden. He lives to be eighty-two, but to Alwyn he never seems completely alive.

Serena Cannon

Serena Cannon, Henry’s first wife, who dies of a fever.

Rose Hamilton

Rose Hamilton, Henry’s second wife, Alwyn’s grandmother. Jilted by Henry’s brother, her one true love, she marries Henry and gives him many children. She too never seems completely alive to Alwyn, though she appears resigned and not unhappy.

Leander Tower

Leander Tower, Henry’s brother. Returning from the Civil War, he no longer wants to marry Rose, and he goes to California. Later he returns to Wisconsin. Rose, though she still loves him, remains true to Henry.

Hilary Tower

Hilary Tower, the younger brother of Leander and Henry. He disappeared in the war, and Leander seems always to be looking for a substitute for...

(The entire section is 577 words.)