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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 236

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.

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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.

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Latest answer posted May 4, 2012, 8:41 pm (UTC)

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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.

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 587

Flem Snopes

Flem Snopes, a character who epitomizes an economic force that moved into the South shortly after the Civil War. Snopes is cunning, ruthless, cruel, and devoted to self-aggrandizement through the power that comes with owning property. His business ethics are an abomination; his contempt for the ignorant townspeople he cheats is complete. Flem Snopes, along with his many relatives, is a symbol of economic rape that Faulkner presents throughout the stories and novels he has written about a mythological Mississippi county.

Eula Varner

Eula Varner, a sexually precocious rural beauty who becomes Mrs. Flem Snopes after she becomes pregnant by one of three suitors who leave the region when her condition becomes known. Flem marries Eula, not out of compassion but because he is anxious to get established in the community, and she is the daughter of the hamlet’s wealthiest man.

Will Varner

Will Varner, Eula’s father, the leading citizen of Frenchman’s Bend and the town’s largest property owner.

Henry Armstid

Henry Armstid, a local farmer distinguished by his stupidity and bull-headedness. He is twice duped by Flem Snopes. He buys a worthless horse from him and later, with two other men, buys a piece of property on which Snopes has led them to believe buried treasure will be found. Armstid’s blind pride prevents him from learning anything from the crooked transactions. At last, disappointed because he finds no treasure on the property, he loses his mind.

V. K. Ratliff

V. K. Ratliff, a sewing-machine salesman who knows everything about everybody in the countryside. Flem Snopes bilks him out of some money by selling him and Armstid a worthless piece of property.

Ab Snopes

Ab Snopes, Flem’s father, a newcomer to the hamlet, who rents a farm from Will Varner. He is suspected of being an arsonist, and he is known to be an unscrupulous horse trader. Poetic justice is served when he, trying to cheat a horse trader, is himself roundly cheated.

Jody Varner

Jody Varner, Will Varner’s son and heir.

Isaac Snopes

Isaac Snopes, a mentally deficient boy whose peculiar erotic behavior toward a cow causes a town scandal.

Mink Snopes

Mink Snopes, one of the Snopes clan convicted of murder and sent to prison for life.

Jack Houston

Jack Houston, the citizen who impounds Mink Snopes’ stray cow and is murdered following a dispute over the cost of feeding the animal.


Labove, a schoolteacher who attempts to seduce Eula Varner, fails, and leaves Frenchman’s Bend forever.

Mrs. Henry Armstid

Mrs. Henry Armstid, a shy, uneducated woman who lives in abject poverty with Armstid and their four children.

Pat Stamper

Pat Stamper, an extremely shrewd horse trader who buys a worthless horse from Ab Snopes, paints it and fattens it with a bicycle pump, then sells it back to him.

Buck Hipps

Buck Hipps, a Texan who, in collusion with Flem Snopes, sells a group of wild spotted horses to the credulous farmers of the Frenchman’s Bend area.

Hoake McCarron

Hoake McCarron, one of Eula Varner’s more gallant suitors and the father of her unborn child.

Eckrum (Eck) Snopes

Eckrum (Eck) Snopes, a member of the Snopes tribe who receives a wild horse as a gift from Buck Hipps.

Vernon Tull

Vernon Tull, a townsman who is injured when Eck Snopes’s wild horse collides with his wagon.

Odum Bookwright

Odum Bookwright, a naïve citizen who, along with Ratliff and Armstid, is taken in by Flem Snopes on a property deal.

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