Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Mink (M. C.) Snopes

Mink M. C.) Snopes, the central character. He is a child-sized man who lives by his own code, trusting “Old Moster” not to play tricks on him. Mink’s code lets him accept self-caused trouble. He is patient, humble, tenacious, hardworking, focused, thoughtful about things, and a strict rule keeper. His thoughts pepper the novel, and most of them read like poetry. Against all odds, he is pardoned after thirty-eight years in the Parchman prison. He manages to get a gun in Memphis and go to Jefferson to kill Flem. After the murder, he remains free.

Linda Snopes Kohl

Linda Snopes Kohl, Eula Varner Snopes’s daughter by Hoake McCarron. Linda despises Flem. She marries a communist Jewish sculptor and goes to Spain to fight in the war. He dies in a plane crash, and she is deafened by an exploding bomb. Back in Jefferson, she creates problems by trying to educate black children. She works in the Pascagoula Shipyards near the end of the war. At home again, despising Flem, she manipulates Gavin, getting him to petition for Mink Snopes’s release from Parchman. She helps Mink escape after Flem’s murder. A Jaguar she ordered as soon as she knew Gavin could secure Mink’s pardon is delivered the day of Flem’s funeral. She dismisses Gavin’s disillusionment and leaves him to put a marker on Flem’s grave.

Gavin Stevens

Gavin Stevens, an idealistic patsy for Linda to the bitter end, as he had been for Linda’s mother. He sees her as innocent until the end of the book, and he is unable to see her as manipulative. While getting Mink out of prison, he believes Linda has no notion that Mink would kill Flem or that he, himself, would feel professionally soiled and personally responsible if Mink did, because he got the pardon knowing Mink would do...

(The entire section is 754 words.)