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Characters

Meet the Cast

Joe Christmas

Joe Christmas is the closest to a protagonist that we have in Light in August. He is a young man growing up biracial in the American South. He's abandoned by his grandfather and sent to a white orp...

Joanna Burden

The daughter of an abolitionist family, Miss Burden has lived in Jefferson for over forty years. Her anti-slavery views make her an outcast in the town and she's often mockingly referred to as a "Y...

Reverend Gail Hightower

Hightower is haunted by his family's past. The son of a Civil War medic and the grandson of a Confederate cavalryman, Hightower spent his life hearing heroic tales about the American South and livi...

Byron Bunch

Bunch is characterized by his Christian work ethic and moral values. Refusing a life of wild excess, he stands in utter contrast to Christmas's illegal practices and lack of social responsibility,...

Lena Grove

If Miss Burden represents one kind of typical Faulkner lady (the old Southern spinster) then Lena represents another one – the naïve traveler. Lena's travels begin and end the novel, and...

Joe Brown

The father of Lena's baby, Joe Brown is a rakish kind of guy with little moral fiber. He boozes, gambles, and bootlegs, and he doesn't seem to have any sense of ethics or responsibility to anyone &...

Simon McEachern

Christmas's foster father, Simon McEachern, is a strict, stern man who's deeply associated with a brand of Christianity called Calvinism. Calvinists believe that humans are utterly sinful after the...

Percy Grimm

In Percy Grimm, Faulkner said that he "created a Nazi" (source: William Faulkner: The House Divided). Percy Grimm is certainly characterized by a fascist zeal for protecting the white South by lync...

Bobbie Allen

Bobbie is a waitress at a local diner who also moonlights as a prostitute. Joe Christmas loses his virginity to her, but after he potentially kills McEachern, she wants nothing to do with him.

Miss Atkins

A paranoid, racist dietician at a white orphanage, Miss Atkins is responsible for placing Joe Christmas with the strict McEachern family.
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