Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 155
The primary characters in Richard Hughes’s A High Wind in Jamaica are children, particular the Bas-Thornton children—John, Emily, Edward, Rachel, and Laura. Raised on a plantation in Jamaica, the children are put on a ship back to England after a hurricane destroys their home. Emily is the protagonist of the book and is the character around whom much of the action takes place.
Accompanying the Bas-Thorntons on their voyage are two Creole children, Margaret and Harry Fernandez. After they are all captured by pirates, they go through extraordinary trials; Emily and Margaret especially endure much difficulty at the hands of men. Emily is pursued menacingly by the pirate captain, Captain Jonsen, and Margaret is pursued by his chief mate, Otto.
Other characters in the book include Captain Marpole, the captain of the ship Clorinda, on which the children set sail before being captured by pirates, and José, the cook aboard the pirate ship.