The Shipping News | Study Guide

E. Annie Proulx

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Study Guide
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The Shipping News | Characters

Character Description
Quoyle An overweight and awkward 36-year-old widower with two young daughters, Quoyle has very low self-esteem. Read More
Agnis Hamm Agnis Hamm is Quoyle's strong-willed and self-reliant aunt. Read More
Bunny Quoyle Quoyle's older daughter, Bunny, is feisty but often fearful. Read More
Sunshine Quoyle Quoyle's younger daughter, Sunshine, is generally content and easygoing. Read More
Wavey Prowse Native to Newfoundland, Wavey Prowse is a middle-aged widow whose son has Down syndrome. She is quiet, capable, and self-confident, with a good sense of humor. Read More
Jack Buggit Jack is the owner of The Gammy Bird weekly newspaper in Killick-Claw, Newfoundland. Read More
Billy Pretty A writer for The Gammy Bird, Billy is a native Newfoundlander and traditionalist. Read More
Mavis Bangs Mavis Bangs works for Agnis in her upholstery business. She is a chatty, traditional Newfoundland woman.
Dawn Budgel Dawn Budgel is an awkward young woman who works as the young assistant to Agnis in her upholstery business. She longs to leave Newfoundland.
Beety Buggit Beety is Dennis Buggit's wife, a mother and housewife who gladly helps care for Bunny and Sunshine. She possesses traditional skills and values and is very caring and generous.
Dennis Buggit Dennis is Jack Buggit's kind and gentle son, who works as a carpenter. He's angry about having too little work locally and dreams of relocating to mainland Canada.
Mrs. Buggit Mrs. Buggit is the strong, capable, and hardened wife of Jack Buggit. They lost their older son to the sea.
Tert Card The caustic and conservative managing editor of The Gammy Bird, Tert is a great believer in progress and technology over tradition. He favors modernity, especially oil exploration. He uses his pushy authority at the paper to ensure his opinions are expressed.
Benny Fudge Benny is a writer hired to replace Nutbeem as the sex-crime reporter after Nutbeem leaves The Gammy Bird.
Herry Prowse Herry is the young son of Wavey Prowse. Generally contented and cheerful, he has Down syndrome and his speech is difficult to understand.
Bayonet Melville Husband to the owner of the "Hitler" yacht, Bayonet Melville has a rocky and ultimately lethal relationship with his wife, Silver.
Silver Melville Silver is the rich and spoiled wife of Bayonet Melville and owns the yacht Tough Baby. She's an honest woman in her way, as she pays Agnis what she owes her for upholstering the yacht.
Nolan A very old and at times slightly crazy and frightening cousin of Quoyle, Nolan is the only Quoyle family member descended from the original Quoyles.
Nutbeem A young and good-humored Englishman who foundered on Newfoundland's shore, Nutbeem works at The Gammy Bird while he builds his new boat to travel the world.
Partridge Partridge is Quoyle's exuberant friend in upstate New York before Quoyle moves to Newfoundland. He uses his connections in the newspaper business to get Quoyle a job at The Gammy Bird.
Petal Bear Quoyle's first wife, Petal Bear, is loud and vulgar and constantly belittles him. She is killed in a car crash after abandoning Quoyle and their two daughters.
Ed Punch Editor of the first newspaper Quoyle works at, Ed Punch repeatedly hires and fires Quoyle as needed.
Guy Quoyle Guy is Quoyle's judgmental father, who treated him with contempt and is later found out to be a child abuser.
Diddy Shovel A helpful harbormaster, Diddy Shovel gives Quoyle the information he needs to write his column, "The Shipping News."
Irene Warren Irene Warren is Aunt Agnis's lover, who died of cancer before the start of the novel.
Warren Aunt Agnis's dog is named lovingly after Irene Warren.
Alvin Yark Wavey's uncle and a master boatbuilder, Alvin Yark builds a handcrafted boat for Quoyle.
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