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Freedom
Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen

Freedom Characters

Meet the Cast

Patty Berglund

"Poor Patty, poor competitive lost Patty" (3.3.110). Surely no other character in this book suffers as long or as hard as Patty does. And no other character falls as far from the pristine image we...

Walter Berglund

For a guy who we are told is defined by his "niceness" (1.1.119) Walter sure does a lot of yelling in this book. Lots of capital letters. But really, we can't blame the guy. He had a rough childhoo...

Richard Katz

Richard is a guy who tries to do the right thing. He really does! But the man just can't help himself. Let's jump right into questions of freedom. Richard has addictions, sex and drugs being the bi...

Joey Berglund

Poor Joey. No, wait, that's not right. Not poor Joey at all.Even before his literal riches (his hundreds of thousands of dollars that he makes supplying rusty truck parts to the US military, and th...

Jessica Berglund

Jessica is Patty and Walter's daughter and Joey's older sister. Although an impressive individual, and quite deserving of attention, her whole life she has been overshadowed by Joey. Patty is parti...

Lalitha

Lalitha is Walter's assistant at the Cerulean Mountain Trust. She is obviously in love with him and only makes his marriage worse. Once Walter kicks Patty out, Lalitha and Walter begin an incredibl...

Connie Monaghan

Connie has been Joey's girlfriend since they were twelve and eleven years old, respectively. She lives for Joey and has no interest in anyone else (friends, lovers, family). Joey, as is his custom,...

Jenna

Jenna is the sister of Jonathan (Joey's roommate), and the object of Joey's desires while in college. Even while he's together with Connie (and married to Connie), he's secretly speaking to Jenna o...

Jonathan

Jonathan is Joey's freshman roommate at college. The two have a pretty prickly relationship, what with Jonathan being highly critical of Joey's involvement with the Iraq War. In addition, Joey's po...

Jonathan's Father

What does it mean that this guy, the father of Joey's college roommate, is unnamed, when our narrator specifically tells us his wife's name is Tamara? And why don't they have a last name either? We...

Vin Haven

Vin Haven, like Jonathan's father, is super-powerful, super-wealthy, and is friends with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. And what do you know? We don't know so much about...

Eliza

Eliza is Patty's best friend in college, who turns out to have an unhealthy obsession with Patty, as well as a serious drug problem. It's also through Eliza that Patty first meets Richard, and thus...

Carol Monaghan

Carol Monaghan is Connie's mother and the Berglunds' next-door neighbor in St. Paul. After the mostly flattering portrait we receive of Patty very early in the book, it's through Connie's sneering...

Blake

Blake is Carol Monaghan's boyfriend, whose arrival in Ramsey Hill gets everyone in the neighborhood all bent out of shape. If nothing else, this helps us get a glimpse of the increasing political p...

Coyle Mathis

Mathis lives in Forster Hollow, West Virginia and refuses to leave his home, even after Walter and the Cerulean Mountain Trust have bribed the rest of his neighbors to get out of town. His family h...

Kenny Bartles

Bartles is Joey's boss at RISEN (Restore Iraqi Secular Enterprise Now). He is a fictional example of the "no-bid contracts" given to corporations in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Seth and Merrie Paulsen

We don't know much about these neighbors of the Berglunds, except that Seth has a big crush on Patty. Oh, and they're loyal Democrats, who view the Berglunds (well, OK, Patty in particular) as defi...

Linda Hoffbauer

Linda is one of Walter's neighbors in the newly built (and terribly named) Canterbridge Lake Estates. She takes great pleasure in defying Walter's attempts to stop local cats from killing birds. Wh...

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