Character Role Analysis
This is an easy one. McLendon is definitely a bad guy. He bullies men into helping him abduct Will, he abuses his wife, and he's a racist. He is the story's principal antagonist because he antagonizes directly or indirectly most of the characters, particularly the principal protagonist, Will.
Some critics feel little or no sympathy for Minnie. Minnie might have engineered the whole rumor, knowing full well the consequences. Because she is human, she is capable of a broad range of feelings, emotions, and motivations, including deliberate cruelty. If we see her as only a victim, we might deny the rest of her humanity.