Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 340
Flem Snopes, the shrewdest of the materialistic Snopes clan. After successfully taking over the hamlet of Frenchman’s Bend, Flem lets his desire for respectability master his voracious thirst for money, and he begins a systematic rise from restaurant owner to bank president in Jefferson. He marries Eula to secure Will Varner as an ally and permits an affair between Manfred de Spain and his wife to secure de Spain’s aid in his rise. When the proper time arrives, he uses this affair to remove de Spain and take his place as president of the bank.
Manfred de Spain
Manfred de Spain, the mayor of Jefferson. When a vacancy occurs, de Spain resigns as mayor and becomes president of the bank; he makes Flem vice president. After his eighteen-year affair becomes common knowledge, de Spain sells his bank stock and leaves the presidency vacant for Flem.
Eula Varner Snopes
Eula Varner Snopes, Flem’s wife. Already pregnant by Hoake McCarron, Eula is married to impotent Flem Snopes to save the family name. She has a long affair with Manfred de Spain but refuses to leave Jefferson with him. After exacting a promise from Gavin Stevens that he will marry Linda, she commits suicide.
Linda Snopes, Eula’s daughter.
Gavin Stevens, a verbose county attorney. In his role as the conscience of Jefferson, Stevens attempts to reform Eula and later promises to marry Linda, if necessary, to protect her from Flem’s schemes.
V. K. Ratliff
V. K. Ratliff, a garrulous, likable country sewing machine salesman, a narrator.
Charles Mallison, Gavin Stevens’ nephew, one of the narrators.
Will Varner, Eula’s father.
I. O. Snopes
I. O. Snopes,
Montgomery Ward Snopes
Montgomery Ward Snopes,
Mink Snopes, and
Eck Snopes, Flem’s worthless cousins, whom he abandons as he rises.
Ab Snopes, Flem’s father, a horse thief and barn burner.
Wallstreet Panic Snopes
Wallstreet Panic Snopes, Flem’s successful cousin.
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