The Light in the Forest | Study Guide

Conrad Richter

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Course Hero. "The Light in the Forest Study Guide." September 27, 2019. Accessed July 23, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Light-in-the-Forest/.

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Course Hero, "The Light in the Forest Study Guide," September 27, 2019, accessed July 23, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Light-in-the-Forest/.

The Light in the Forest | Characters

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Character Description
True Son True Son is a boy born to white settlers in 18th-century Pennsylvania. When he's four years old, he is kidnapped by Indians from the Lenni Lenape tribe in the Tuscarawas Valley near present-day Ohio. He is raised as a member of the Lenni Lenape. A trade agreement forces him to return to his white biological family at age 15. The book follows his unwilling journey into a new life. His white relatives often call him Johnny, referring to his original name, John Cameron Butler. But True Son doesn't use this name himself. Read More
Cuyloga Cuyloga is a chief in the Lenni Lenape tribe and True Son's adopted father. He steals True Son from a white family to replace a biological child who died. After True Son betrays the tribe at the end of the novel, Cuyloga disowns him. Read More
Half Arrow Half Arrow is True Son's cousin and best friend in the Lenni Lenape tribe. Read More
Del Del Hardy is a young British soldier who fought in the French and Indian War of 1754 through 1763. He's assigned to guard True Son on the journey to Pennsylvania. He is alternately called Del and Del Hardy in the narrative. Read More
Gordie Gordie Butler is the Butlers' youngest son. He is True Son's biological brother. Read More
Mr. Butler Mr. Butler is True Son's biological father. He is a wealthy, respected white settler in Paxton Township, Pennsylvania. His first name is Harry. Although he is mainly referred to as Mr. Butler, Aunt Kate, Uncle Wilse, and his wife—Myra—call him Harry. Read More
Mrs. Butler Mrs. Butler is True Son's white biological mother. She is an invalid who took to her bed when True Son was kidnapped. Her first name is Myra. Read More
A'astonah A'astonah is one of True Son's Indian sisters.
Alec Alec Butler is True Son's white biological cousin.
Bejance Bejance is a black basket maker who lived with the Wyandotte Indians as a young man. He works for a white man in Pennsylvania. Like True Son he misses the freedom of the Indian lifestyle.
Black Fish Black Fish—Sumakek—is True Son's maternal uncle in the Lenni Lenape tribe.
Colonel Bouquet Colonel Henry Bouquet is the leader of the British troops' expedition to the Tuscarawas Valley from Pennsylvania's Fort Pitt. He is based on the real historical figure of Colonel Henry Bouquet (1719–65).
Boy on the boat The boy is a young white passenger on the boat the war party plans to ambush. He reminds True Son of Gordie, and his presence leads True Son to warn the boat passengers of the planned attack.
Cheek Bone Cheek Bone is a member of Thitpan's war party.
Dr. Childsley Dr. Childsley is a white doctor called to see True Son when he becomes ill.
Corn Blade Corn Blade is an Indian said to live on the nearby Third Mountain. Though True Son hears about him from Bejance, Corn Blade is dead by the time the book begins.
Disbeliever Disbeliever is a member of Little Crane's family. He serves as the guide for Thitpan's war party.
Parson Elder Parson Elder is a respected minister in the Butlers' town. He is based on the historical figure of John Elder (1706–92), a Pennsylvania minister.
Parson Elder's son Parson Elder's son warns Mr. Butler that Indians have been seen in town.
Grandfather Espy Grandfather Espy is True Son's maternal grandfather. He does not appear in the narrative, but Aunt Kate mentions that True Son looks like him.
Andy Goff Andy is the shoemaker who makes True Son new shoes.
High Bank High Bank is Thitpan's father-in-law and a member of the war party.
Aunt Kate Aunt Kate is Mt. Butler's sister and True Son's biological aunt. She is impatient with him and grows suspicious that he is stealing from the family. She later softens toward him when he becomes ill.
Kringas Kringas is Half Arrow's great-uncle and a respected elder in the Lenni Lenape tribe. He teaches True Son and Half Arrow about nature.
Kschippihelleu Kschippihelleu is a member of Thitpan's war party.
Little Crane Little Crane is one of True Son's close friends in the Lenni Lenape tribe. Little Crane falls in love with a white woman and journeys partway with the white troops to Pennsylvania. When he goes to the Butler family's township to visit True Son, he is murdered by an unknown white settler.
Make Daylight Make Daylight is a member of the Lenni Lenape tribe who committed suicide to avoid dishonor.
Mechelit Mechelit is one of True Son's Lenni Lenape sisters.
Mr. Mehargue Mr. Mehargue is a white settler in Pennsylvania. He does not appear in the narrative, but Little Crane is found dead in his pasture.
Mohawk The Mohawk is an Indian who meets True Son and his friends on the way to Fort Pitt. Two days later they find him dead near their campsite.
Neal Neal is a Paxton farmer who joins Mr. Butler and Uncle Wilse in returning True Son and Gordie from their attempted visit to Corn Blade.
Niskitoon Niskitoon is a member of Thitpan's war party.
David Owens David Owens (1736–c. 1809) is a white man who married an Indian woman and later murdered her and their three children. He doesn't appear in the book, but True Son brings him up in an argument with Uncle George Owens.
Uncle George Owens Uncle George is True Son's white biological uncle.
Pepallistank Pepallistank is a member of Thitpan's war party.
Quaquenga Quaquenga is Cuyloga's wife and True Son's mother in the Lenni Lenape tribe.
Thitpan Thitpan is Little Crane's brother. He leads the war party to avenge Little Crane's death.
Trader The trader is a half-white, half-Indian Pennsylvania resident. Half Arrow and True Son steal his boat to return to the forest.
Under-the-Hill Under-the-Hill is a member of Thitpan's war party.
Uncle Wilse Uncle Wilse is True Son's white biological uncle. He is openly hostile to Indians.
Woman on the boat The woman is a white passenger on the boat the war party plans to ambush. As True Son tries to lure the boat into shallow water, she urges the boat passengers to rescue him.
Peter Wormley Peter is the tailor who makes True Son a new suit.
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