Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 904
Amy Harper Bellafonte
Although the story is rarely told from her point of view, Amy is central to the plot of The Passage. Sister Lacey compares the viral apocalypse to a second Biblical Flood, one meant to cleanse the world of its sinners. Lacey does not see Amy as taking on the role of Noah but rather of Noah’s Ark. By staying near her, humanity will survive this second trial. This association with heavenly grace is further reflected through Amy’s steady yearning to make snow angels. When Amy’s blood is used to bring Alicia back to life, Cronin may be depicting Amy as a savior figure for humankind.
In spite of her immense role to play in the fate of humankind, Amy inhabits the body of a twelve year old and acts out of instinct. When Peter first meets Amy, she has forgotten how to speak. Over the course of her adventures, she slowly learns to socialize with her fellow passengers. She also begins to discover her viral powers.
Amy was given the most advanced form of the virus that Project Noah produced. Consequently, although she is a viral, Amy is not savage like the death-row inmates. She also seems to have powers beyond those of Babcock and others—powers she does not understand. She is capable of communicating telepathically and is able to keep virals from attacking by asking them not to. She later discovers that she can help other virals die peacefully by rediscovering their preinfection identities.
Although he does not appear during the first third of the novel, Peter may be considered the novel’s protagonist. Peter is a Watchman of the First Colony. He has spent most of his life living in his older brother Theo’s shadow. However, during the course of the novel, he learns that he has an inner strength that Theo lacks. Although he is initially passive, Peter becomes the undisputed leader of the band of colonists that set out to return Amy to Colorado. Sister Lacey suggests that Peter is to Amy what Noah is to the Ark. Amy’s relationship with Peter also reflects the Biblical relationship between Jesus and Simon Peter.
Sister Lacey Antoinette Kudoto
At the start of the novel, Sister Lacey is living in Memphis. However, she is a survivor of gang rape and violence, which she suffered in her home country of Sierra Leone. Sister Lacey is described as taking a mystical approach to her relationship with God. While praying, she envisions herself as casting her mind out like a kite, hoping to discover God’s will. Lacey further believes that she can hear God’s voice, although she rarely understands what it commands her to do. Sister Lacey provides a Christian context for understanding the conflict within The Passage. She also takes on the role of the wise advisor, explaining their purpose to both Amy and Peter.
Alicia “Blades” Donadio
Alicia is one of the most dangerous Watchmen in the First Colony and single-handedly killed three virals in defense of her fellow survivors. Alicia is fierce, but many find her reckless as well. When she leaps off the walls of the First Colony to save Amy, she sets a chain of events in motion that leads to the disintegration of the colony. By the end of the novel, Alicia becomes a “new kind” when she is injected with Amy’s version of the vampire virus. Although she is the one that saved Amy and brought her into the colony, she chooses to help Amy reach Colorado out of love for Peter.
Michael is an engineer tasked with overseeing the lights that protect the First Colony at night. Michael is a brilliant young man and he realizes that the batteries that charge the lights of the colony are going to fail. Michael refuses to accept defeat and builds a radio, hoping that he can discover other survivors. Michael changes from a shy character to a confident fighter capable of killing virals. However, his primary role in the story is to figure out or repair old technology for his fellow travelers.
Wolgast is an FBI Agent. His job is to recruit death-row inmates to volunteer as human test subjects for Project Noah. Wolgast feels conflicted about his job but carries on recruiting anyway. Wolgast’s personal life is painful. His daughter died in her infancy, a tragedy that ruined his marriage. When Wolgast is asked to kidnap Amy, he balks. Although he abducts Amy, he decides to try to save her from becoming a human test subject. After the death-row inmates destroy the Colorado research station, Wolgast takes Amy into the mountains to save her. In many ways, Wolgast comes to view Amy as his daughter.
Babcock is one of the twelve original death-row inmates. He was sentenced to death for killing his mother. Babcock has unusual powers among the virals, including mind control. He is threatened by Amy’s ability to communicate telepathically. Babcock creates Haven, a society of human survivors. Indeed, Babcock has a need to create collectives and among the virals he creates a telepathic community known as the Many. Babcock seeks to destroy Amy after she and her friends destroy Haven. However, when Babcock is killed by Sister Lacey, his Many die with him, suggesting that if the original twelve inmates die, then humanity could be saved.
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