See Adoniram Penn

Minister Hersey
Minister Hersey visits Sarah Penn after she has moved her family into the new barn. The narrative recounts little of what he actually says, but he is presented as an unimaginative and ineffectual man who does not know how to address this determined woman.

See Sarah Penn

Adoniram Penn
At the start of the story, Adoniram Penn is presented as an uncommunicative man who is used to having his way. He expects his wife and family to accept his decisions.When his wife finally speaks up on behalf of herself and her family in their need for a new house, Adoniram maintains his silence, declining to address her concerns and instead talks of the work he must do that day. But by the end of the story it is revealed that Adoniram is not so much uncommunicative as unable to hear and understand the needs of his wife. When he finally realizes to what lengths Sarah will go to in order to obtain a new house, he agrees to convert the new barn with windows and internal walls to suit the family’s needs for a more expansive dwelling.

Nanny Penn
Nanny Penn is the engaged daughter of Adoniram and Sarah. She is described as ‘‘large’’ and ‘‘soft,’’ not strong, and her mother worries about her ability to maintain her own household after her marriage. The mild-mannered, slow-moving Nanny shows one flash of impatience: she...

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