Last Updated September 5, 2023.
The main characters in The Hamlet are members of the Varner and Snopes families. The Varners are the established families in town, and, when the action begins, the Snopeses are the newcomers.
Will Varner is the patriarch of the Varner clan. He hires Flem to work in his store as some insurance against Ab’s possible damages.
Eula Varner, Will’s daughter, is very attractive to men. Pregnant with another man’s baby, she marries Flem.
Jody Varner, Will’s son, is heir to his estate.
Ab Snopes is the patriarch of the Snopes clan. The first Snopes to arrive in Frenchman’s Bend, he has an unsavory reputation for burning farms. His son, Flem, goes to work for the Varner family.
Flem Snopes, Ab’s son, goes to work for the Varner family. He later marries Will’s daughter, Eula (even though he is not her child's father), because of Will’s wealth. He engages in unscrupulous deals having to do with horse trading and buried treasure on their farm.
Mink Snopes, after a dispute over cattle, murders Jack Houston. Convicted of the crime, he is sentenced to life in prison.
Hoake McCarron is a local man who has a sexual relationship with Eula. After she becomes pregnant with his child, he leaves town.
Henry Armstid, a poor and gullible but ambitious farmer, has a mental breakdown after getting fooled by Flem’s treasure scheme.