unigo_skin
Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Characters

Meet the Cast

Rahel

Though Rahel and Estha are both the protagonists of this novel, we get to know Rahel more completely, since we spend significantly more time seeing the world through her eyes. As a child, Rahel exi...

Esthappen

Estha, short for Esthappen Yako, is the other half of our dynamic twin duo. He was born eighteen minutes before his twin, Rahel, which is sort of fitting since in many ways he seems like he's her o...

Ammu

We know Ammu best as Estha and Rahel's mother, but it's important to look at her early life when we examine her character. Ammu isn't just a mom; she's also Pappachi and Mammachi's daughter and Cha...

Baby Kochamma

We don't know about you, but if we had to pick the character we dislike the most in the novel, it would probably be Baby Kochamma. She's selfish, self-centered, snippy, and just downright mean. Sti...

Sophie Mol

Sophie Mol is a pivotal character in the novel, but we don't really get to know her very well. When you think about it, most of the detail we get about Sophie comes from what people expect her to b...

Velutha

Velutha is Vellya Paapen's younger son. He's also Estha and Rahel's best friend, even though he's only three years younger than their mother. We first meet Velutha in 1969 when the family is on its...

Chacko

Chacko is Ammu's brother, Mammachi's son, Rahel and Estha's uncle, and Sophie Mol's dad. He's one of those people we want to like but who can be really irritating. As a young man, Chacko got all th...

Mammachi

Mammachi is Chacko and Ammu's mother and Estha and Rahel's grandmother. She's nearly blind and plays a mean violin. She founded Paradise Pickles and Preserves and built it into a successful busines...

Pappachi (Shri Benaan John Ipe)

Pappachi is Estha and Rahel's grandfather, Ammu's father. He was once an Imperial Entomologist, which is a frou-frou way of saying that he studied bugs for the government. His biggest failure in li...

Margaret Kochamma

Margaret Kochamma is Chacko's British ex-wife and Sophie Mol's mother. She and Chacko met in the café where she was a waitress while Chacko was studying at Oxford. After falling for Chacko and...

Joe

Joe is Margaret Kochamma's second husband. He's also the man that Sophie Mol regards as her true dad and favorite person in the world. He and Margaret met when Margaret was already pregnant with So...

Baba

Baba is Ammu's ex-husband and Estha and Rahel's dad. He's an alcoholic who tells a lot of lies for apparently no reason. Ammu leaves him when he wants her to sleep with his boss so he can keep his...

Kochu Maria

Kochu Maria is Mammachi and Baby Kochamma's housekeeper. She is short and ugly. She doesn't speak English, so whenever the twins speak English around her, she thinks they're making fun of her (and,...

Comrade K.N.M. Pillai

Comrade K.N.M. Pillai is the leader of the Communist Party in Ayemenem. He runs the local printing press, and one of his big responsibilities is to print the labels for Paradise Pickles and Preserv...

Vellya Paapen

Vellya Paapen is Velutha's father. He's a Paravan, which means he belongs to the Untouchable class, at the bottom of the social totem pole. Vellya Paapen used to deliver coconuts to Pappachi and Ma...

Kuttapen

Kuttapen is Velutha's older brother and Vellya Paapen's other son. He was paralyzed after falling out of a coconut tree, so he spends all of his days lying in bed.

Inspector Thomas Mathew

He's the policeman who leads the investigation into Sophie Mol's death and Estha and Rahel's "abduction." He threatens Baby Kochamma when it becomes apparent that there is no basis for her case aga...

The Orangedrink Lemondrink Man

The Orangedrink Lemondrink Man is a skeezy guy who runs the refreshment counter at Abhilash Talkies. He takes Estha behind the counter and molests him.

"Urumban"

Urumban is not a real person. He is the fake "twin" that Velutha makes up when Rahel claims she saw him in the Communist march.

Lenin

Lenin is Comrade K.N.M. Pillai's son. We know him mostly as the other kid in the waiting room with something in his nose when Rahel experiences the very same problem. He later changes his name so a...

Latha

Latha is Comrade K.N.M. Pillai's daughter. We meet her when Chacko goes to visit Comrade Pillai. Latha recites a poem by Sir Walter Scott for Chacko's benefit.

Mr. Kurien Maathen

We only meet him for a second – he's the guy who takes Estha back to Baba's house when he is Returned.

Father Mulligan

Father Mulligan is the priest Baby Kochamma falls for. Of course, he never returns her affection. Baby Kochamma nevertheless continues to love him even after he dies.

Reverend E. John Ipe/ Punnyan Kunju

He's Baby Kochamma and Pappachi's father. He was a well-regarded priest in the Mar Thoma Church. He became known as Punnyan Kunju (Little Blessed One) after the Patriarch of Antioch, who is the hea...

Aleyooty Ammachi

She's the mother of Pappachi and Baby Kochamma. Her portrait hangs in the Ayemenem House.

Larry McCaslin

Larry is Rahel's husband. They meet in Delhi when she's in college studying architecture. Rahel eventually moves to the United States with him, but their marriage doesn't last.

Dr. Verghese Verghese

Dr. Verghese Verghese is the local doctor in Ayemenem. Rahel has to go see him when she gets a foreign object stuck up her nose. We learn that he tends to feel up the local moms in inappropriate ways.

Miss Mitten

Miss Mitten is a missionary from Australia and a friend of Baby Kochamma. Rahel and Estha hate her; they feel like she insults their intelligence. She thinks she can see Satan in their eyes.
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top