Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

George William Apley

George William Apley, a proper Bostonian carefully trained since childhood to be a respectable member of Boston Brahmin society. Though as a college student he belittled the Brahmin pride of family, he acquired it himself as he matured, and later he attempted to pass it on to his children. Undistinguished academically at Harvard, he had been active in campus affairs and a member of a select club. Unfit for active business, he derived his income from investments and from his father’s substantial legacy. Though he admired Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings, he never became an Emersonian nonconformist; in fact, he believed that the individual in society must submit to the common will. Like his father and his Uncle William, he was a generous giver to worthy causes.

John Apley

John Apley, his son, who stirred George’s heart with pride over his war service, including a wound, and who later married a woman of good family. It was John who requested the writing of his father’s life story.

Eleanor Apley

Eleanor Apley, George’s daughter. She greatly disappointed George by marrying a journalist.

Catharine Bosworth Apley

Catharine Bosworth Apley, his wife, whose marriage to George was unexciting but successful. According to his sister Amelia, George simply let Catherine and her family dominate him.

Mr. Willing


(The entire section is 463 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Although The Late George Apley includes letters from other characters for comment and counterpoint, Apley himself is the dominant...

(The entire section is 144 words.)