Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 253
The main characters in Jitney are Jim and Booster Becker, Youngblood, and Rena.
Jim Becker, a man in his sixties, is the jitney station’s owner-manager. During the play’s action, he also resumes working at a steel mill where he was formerly employed, which leads to his tragic demise.
Clarence Becker, known as Booster, is a man in his forties. Booster was imprisoned for murder and has just been released after being incarcerated for 20 years. He is Jim’s son and is trying to reconcile with him after his father rejected him because of his criminal activities.
Most of the play’s other characters are drivers for the jitney company:
Darnell Williams, known as Youngblood, is a Vietnam veteran in his twenties. Youngblood is re-entering the workforce after finishing his service. He has a girlfriend, Rena, and young son, Jesse. Part of the play’s action revolves around his plan to buy a house for them all to live in together.
Doub is a solid, dependable worker who wants Becker to improve the troubled business.
Fielding is a former tailor who had enjoyed success in dressing musicians such as Count Basie. Alcoholism derailed his career and now affects his ability to drive.
Turnbo is primarily a troublemaker who causes a rift between Youngblood and Rena by spreading rumors about her, and then gets into a physical fight with Youngblood.
Several characters are not drivers. Rena is Youngblood's girlfriend and Jesse’s mother. Others include regular passengers and people associated with the business.
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