Brack’s Oldest Boy
Brack’s Oldest Boy, the narrator. The events in this story of poverty-ridden Kentucky mountaineers are seen through the eyes of this young boy, who is observant but too young to comprehend some of what he observes.
Brack Baldridge, his father. Poverty and depression are not Brack’s only enemies in his struggle to keep his family from starving. He is too humane to deny food to miners out of work and begging for their families, or to send sponging relatives away.
Alpha Baldridge, Brack’s wife. In desperation, she moves her furniture and children to the smokehouse and sets fire to the house, so that the sponging relatives, having no place to sleep, will then leave her family in possession of their meager supply of food.
Grandmother Middleton, Alpha’s brisk mother, who lives on a small farm. The boy is sent to help her with her harvesting and ends by staying more than a year. When she dies, her body is taken to the boy’s home in Blackjack prior to burial. As the wagon takes her body away for the last time, the boy hears the first cry of his mother’s new baby.
Uncle Jolly, Alpha’s brother, who spends much of his time in jail. Once he is pardoned by the governor for his bravery in helping fight a prison fire, which he admits to his...
(The entire section is 528 words.)