Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Eugene Gant

Eugene Gant, a shy, imaginative, awkward boy. The youngest child in a tumultuous family, with a wastrel father and a penny-pinching mother, he passes through childhood alone and misunderstood, for there is no family affection. He is precocious, with an insatiable appetite for books. He hates his mother’s penuriousness, the family jealousies, and the waste of all their lives, yet is fascinated by the drunken magniloquence of his father. His salvation is the private school he is allowed to attend, for the Leonards, who operate it, develop and shape his mania for reading. At fifteen, he enters the state university, where he is considered a freak although he does brilliantly in his studies. He has his first bitter love affair with Laura James during that summer. In his sophomore year, he becomes something of a campus personality. The great tragedy of these years is the death of his brother Ben, who had loved him in his own strange fashion. Just before he leaves for Harvard for graduate study, his brother Luke asks him to sign a release of his future inheritance on the excuse that he has had his share of their parent’s estate in extra schooling. Knowing that he is being tricked by his grasping and jealous family, he signs so that he can break away from them forever.

Oliver Gant

Oliver Gant, his father, a stonecutter from Pennsylvania who has wandered to North Carolina and married there. Hating his wife and her miserly attitude, he is drunken and promiscuous, yet fascinating to his children because of his wild generosities and his alcoholic rhetoric. He is the exact opposite of...

(The entire section is 670 words.)

Look Homeward, Angel Characters

James Joyce's impact on Wolfe looms largest in Wolfe's presentation of Eugene Gant as a would-be artist. Eugene is a Protestant, Southern...

(The entire section is 484 words.)

Look Homeward, Angel Character Analysis

Look Homeward, Angel Ben Gant

Ben is Eugene's closest brother, who dies of pneumonia at the end of the novel. He is a scowling and independent child not very close with...

(The entire section is 241 words.)

Look Homeward, Angel Eliza Pentland Gant

Eugene's mother, Eliza, is a stubborn woman who manages her family through many difficult years. An extremely hard worker, able to organize...

(The entire section is 241 words.)

Look Homeward, Angel Eugene Gant

Eugene is the protagonist of the novel, an autobiographical version of Wolfe himself. He is drawn as a very dramatic and self-conscious hero,...

(The entire section is 367 words.)

Look Homeward, Angel Other Characters

Principal Armstrong
Armstrong, a fat, "delicate" man, is Eugene's first school principal.

Hugh Barton

(The entire section is 1699 words.)