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Go Down, Moses | Study Guide

William Faulkner

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Go Down, Moses | Characters

Character Description
Isaac McCaslin Isaac McCaslin, also known as Uncle Ike, appears in "Was," "The Old People," "The Bear," and "Delta Autumn." A skilled hunter, he is the last living heir in the dominant male line of Carothers McCaslin, but he renounces his inheritance in favor of a life of little material wealth. Read More
Cass Edmonds Cass Edmonds, also called by his full name McCaslin, appears in "Was," "The Old People," "The Bear," and "Delta Autumn." Traditional and hardworking, he reluctantly inherits the McCaslin plantation after Isaac renounces his claim to the property. Read More
Lucas Beauchamp Lucas Beauchamp, born Lucius Quintus, appears in "The Fire and the Hearth" and is mentioned in "The Bear" and "Go Down, Moses." He is a black descendant of Carothers McCaslin through McCaslin's liaison with a slave named Tomey. Read More
Rider The protagonist of "Pantaloon in Black," Rider has physical strength that borders on the superhuman. He works as a lumberjack until his wife dies. Read More
Sam Fathers The descendant of a Chickasaw chief and a slave woman, Sam Fathers appears in "The Old People" and "The Bear." A great influence in Isaac McCaslin's life, Sam teaches the young Isaac hunting and wilderness survival skills. Read More
Carothers McCaslin Family patriarch Carothers McCaslin does not directly appear in any of the stories, but he is mentioned and discussed in "Was," "The Fire and the Hearth," "The Old People," "The Bear," and "Delta Autumn." His questionable legacy haunts all the members of his family. Read More
Zack Edmonds Zack (Zachary) Edmonds inherits the McCaslin plantation from his father, Cass Edmonds. He appears in "The Fire and the Hearth," where he enters into conflict with Lucas Beauchamp over Lucas's wife, Molly. Read More
Roth Edmonds Carothers Edmonds, known as Roth, inherits the McCaslin plantation from his father, Zack Edmonds. He appears in "The Fire and the Hearth," and "Delta Autumn" and mentioned in "Pantaloon in Black" and "Go Down, Moses." Read More
Uncle Alec Tall, gaunt Uncle Alec is Rider's aunt's husband in "Pantaloon in Black." He tries to help comfort Rider.
Uncle Ash Uncle Ash, also called Isham, appears in "The Bear" and "Delta Autumn" as a cook and assistant with the Edmonds/McCaslin hunting parties.
Fonsiba Beauchamp Fonsiba (short for Sophonsiba) Beauchamp is mentioned in "The Fire and the Hearth" and "The Bear" before appearing in "Delta Autumn." She is the daughter of two slaves, Tomey's Turl and Tennie, who moves to Arkansas in search of a better life.
Henry Beauchamp Henry Beauchamp is the son of Lucas and Molly Beauchamp. He appears as a child growing up with Roth Edmonds in "The Fire and the Hearth."
Hubert Beauchamp Hubert Beauchamp owns a plantation near Jefferson called "Warwick." He appears in "Was" and his nephew, Isaac McCaslin, mentions him in "The Bear."
James Beauchamp James Beauchamp, also known as Tennie's Jim, assists the hunting party in "The Old People" and "The Bear" and is referenced in "The Fire and the Hearth" and "Delta Autumn," which take place after he leaves Mississippi. Entitled to a share of money Carothers McCaslin left for descendants of Tomey, the slave woman he both fathers and has a child with, James rejects the inheritance, knowing the reason for it.
Molly Worsham Beauchamp Molly Worsham Beauchamp (also spelled Mollie) tries to divorce her husband Lucas when he gets involved in a futile treasure hunt in "The Fire and the Hearth." She then appears in "Go Down, Moses" as a grieving grandmother who wants to bring her executed grandson home from Chicago for burial.
Nat Beauchamp Born Nathalie Beauchamp to Lucas and Mollie Beauchamp, Nat appears in "The Fire and the Hearth" when she spies on her father on behalf of George Wilkins, whom she later marries.
Samuel Worsham Beauchamp The only son of Lucas and Molly Beauchamp's unnamed oldest daughter who died in childbirth, Samuel Worsham Beauchamp, nicknamed Butch, is raised by his grandmother before going to Chicago, where he kills a police officer and is executed in "Go Down, Moses."
Sophonsiba Beauchamp Sophonsiba Beauchamp, called Sibbey, appears in "Was" and is mentioned in "The Bear" as the wife of Buck McCaslin and mother of Isaac McCaslin.
Birdsong Birdsong is a dishonest night watchman in the sawmill in "Pantaloon in Black." Birdsong hosts dice games during which he cheats mill workers and is killed by the grieving Rider.
General Compson General Compson is a town father in Jefferson who appears as a member of the hunting party in "The Old People" and "The Bear." He is the patriarch of the Compson family from Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury.
Dr. Crawford In "The Bear" Dr. Crawford treats the dog, Lion, and attends to Sam Fathers after Old Ben has been killed.
Major de Spain Major de Spain, a rich and influential man in Jefferson, is a member of Cass Edmonds's hunting party in "The Old People" and "The Bear." Major de Spain appears in other Faulkner works.
Alice Edmonds Referred to in "The Bear" as Cass Edmonds's wife and Zack's mother, Alice Edmonds teaches Fonsiba Beauchamp to read.
Eunice Eunice is an enslaved woman on the McCaslin plantation revealed as the mother of a daughter Tomasina (Tomey) with Carothers McCaslin in "The Bear." She drowns herself when she discovers her daughter's incestuous relationship with Carothers McCaslin.
Walter Ewell An accomplished outdoorsman, Walter Ewell is one of the participants in the McCaslin and Edmonds family's annual hunting party in "The Old People" and "The Bear."
Boon Hogganbeck Boon Hogganbeck is descended from Chickasaws and appears in "The Old People," and "The Bear." He is a passionate and brave hunter, who, despite his lack of skill, kills Old Ben.
Ikkemotubbe Ikkemotubbe is the Chickasaw chief who occupies the land around Jefferson and sells Carothers McCaslin the land for his plantation in "The Bear." He is mentioned as Sam Fathers's father in "The Old People."
Katie Katie is a blind mule, the only animal with the hunting party not spooked by Old Ben in "The Bear."
Will Legate Will Legate is a member of Roth Edmonds's hunting party in "Delta Autumn."
Lion Described as an Airedale mix and a "blue dog," Lion is the only dog fierce enough to confront Old Ben in "The Bear."
Mannie Mannie is the recently deceased young wife of Rider in "Pantaloon in Black."
McAndrews McAndrews owns the sawmill where Rider works in "Pantaloon in Black."
Buck McCaslin Buck McCaslin, born Theophilus and sometimes called Uncle Buck, is one of Carothers McCaslin's twin sons who tries to avoid marriage in "Was." He is referred to as Isaac McCaslin's father in "The Bear."
Buddy McCaslin Buddy McCaslin, born Amodeus and sometimes called Uncle Buddy, is one of Carothers McCaslin's twin sons who saves his brother from marriage in "Was" by his card-playing skills and helps run the plantation in "The Bear."
Isaac McCaslin's wife Unnamed, Isaac McCaslin's wife tries to persuade her husband not to give up the plantation, using sex and the possibility of having a son, in her attempt.
Old Ben The largest and oldest bear in the wilderness near Jefferson, Old Ben becomes the mythical object of the hunt in "The Bear."
Rider's aunt Rider's aunt raises him, cares for him, and tries to save him from his grief in "Pantaloon in Black."
Colonel Sartoris A founding father of Jefferson and Yoknapatawpha County, Colonel Sartoris is a regular member of Cass Edmonds's hunting party in "The Old People" and "The Bear." He also appears in several of Faulkner's other novels, notably Absalom, Absalom! and Sartoris.
Sheriff's deputy Indifferent to Rider's situation, the sheriff's deputy relates the story of Rider's act and lynching to his wife in "Pantaloon in Black." His wife, in a hurry to go to the movies, is even more indifferent than her husband.
Gavin Stevens Gavin Stevens is a Jefferson lawyer who helps bring home the body of Samuel Beauchamp in "Go Down, Moses."
Tennie An enslaved woman on the Beauchamp plantation, Tennie comes to live on the McCaslin plantation in "Was," as the result of a card game. She is the mother of James, Fonsiba, and Lucas in "The Fire and the Hearth" and "Delta Autumn."
Thucydus Purchased by Carothers McCaslin, Thucydus is a slave who marries Eunice in 1807 in "The Bear."
Tomey Tomey, born Tomasina, is the daughter of Eunice, an enslaved woman, and Carothers McCaslin in "The Bear." The story also reveals she bears a son named Terrel, and called Turl, with Carothers McCaslin.
Tomey's Turl Tomey's Turl, born Terrel, is the son of Tomey, an enslaved woman and Carothers McCaslin, who is also Tomey's father, in "The Bear." Tomey's Turl is also the father of Lucas Beauchamp in "The Fire and the Hearth" and two other children in "Delta Autumn." These children are the product of his union with Tennie in "Was."
George Wilkins George Wilkins appears in "The Fire and the Hearth" when he attempts to set up a still on the plantation, competing with Lucas Beauchamp, who doesn't like him as a suitor for his daughter Nat Beauchamp, whom he does marry.
Mr. Wilmoth Mr. Wilmoth, Jefferson's newspaper editor, works with lawyer Gavin Stevens to help bring Samuel Beauchamp's body home for burial in "Go Down, Moses."
Miss Worsham Molly Worsham Beauchamp's white sister in "Go Down, Moses," Miss Worsham convinces Gavin Stevens to help retrieve Samuel Beauchamp's body from Chicago.
Hamp Worsham Hamp Worsham is Miss Worsham's and Molly Worsham Beauchamp's brother in "Go Down, Moses."
Henry Wyatt Henry Wyatt is a member of the hunting party in "Delta Autumn."
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