Study Guide

Cloud Atlas Characters

By David Mitchell

Adam Ewing

Adam Ewing is the first character we meet, and despite being absent for nine-elevenths of the...

Dr. Henry Goose

Against his better judgment, Adam Ewing becomes friends with the smarmy, charismatic, swindling...

Autua

Although we don't see too much of Autua compared to other characters in Adam Ewing's journal, he...

The Wagstaffs

Adam Ewing meets Mr. Wagstaff in Bethlehem Bay, near the end of his journey. Even by 19th-century...

Giles Horrox, Preacher

Giles Horrox is the preacher/mayor/dictator with a Jesus complex of Bethlehem Bay. His life's...

Dwellers of Ocean Bay

Ocean Bay is a snarling pit of godless heathens... or at least it is to Adam Ewing. First, he has...

Crew of The Prophetess

While not technically a slave ship, you'd be forgiven if you mistook the Prophetess for one at...

Robert Frobisher

Robert Frobisher is a tragic, romantic, bisexual composer, and also the author of the "Letters...

Rufus Sixsmith

All of Robert Frobisher's letters are addressed "Dear Sixsmith," to which we respond, "What's a...

Vyvyan Ayrs

This crusty old beast was once a famed composer, but by the time Frobisher takes on an...

Jocasta van Outryve de Crommelynck

Jocasta is Vyvyan Ayrs's wife (she kept her own name; not enough vowels in his, we guess...). She...

Eva

The daughter of Ayrs and Jocasta, Eva is, as Frobisher observes, "the crowning glory of six...

Morty Dhondt

Morty and Mr. Dhondt are two of Ayrs's friends. Although their main purpose seems to be to drive...

Otto Jansch

Shady book dealer Otto Jansch is described by Robert Frobisher as a "stingy Jew" (2.6.5) and a...

The van de Veldes

This giant family with eyes on Frobisher is a bit of much-needed comic relief. They're not...

Other Visitors to Zedelghem

While at Zedelghem, Frobisher is all but locked away from the outside world. For a couple of long...

Zedelghem Servants

Zedelghem is like a Belgian Downton Abbey, but with only the upstairs scenes. The...

Luisa Rey

Even though she's only twenty-six years old, Luisa Rey is a timeless hero: she's an intrepid...

Megan Sixsmith

Megan is Rufus Sixsmith's favorite (and maybe only) niece. They see movies and talk about science...

Isaac Sachs

Isaac Caspar Sachs meets Luisa Rey by accident (or is it fate?) when she sneaks into Dr....

Javier Gomez

Just as Megan is like the daughter Rufus Sixsmith never had, Javier is like the son Luisa never...

Joe Napier

The First Luisa Rey mystery is all about conscience, and Joe Napier puts this explicitly into...

Bill Smoke

Yikes. If there's one character of pure evil in Cloud Atlas, it's Bill Smoke. He's a cartoonish...

Fay Li

Fay Li is the PR Rep for Seaboard. While she may work for them, she's also working against them....

Hester van Zandt and Margo Roker

Hester van Zandt is the big momma of the group of people protesting the Swannekke reactor. She...

Milton

Milton, Hester van Zandt's right-hand man, is a two-faced sneak. He eavesdrops on Luisa's...

Janice from Esphigmenou, Utah

Janice from Esphigmenou, Utah, is such an insignificant character that we'd be tempted to ignore...

Other Seaboard Employees

Seaboard Corp. might as well be run by a den of snakes. There's not a single virtuous man on its...

Spyglass Magazine Staff

The Spyglass magazine staff provides a little journalistic humor to Luisa's story. From Roland...

Timothy Cavendish

If Luisa Rey is a reincarnation of Robert Frobisher, then Timothy Cavendish might just be the...

Ernie Blacksmith and Veronica Costello

Timothy Cavendish is a man who seems accustomed to getting what he wants. However, when what he...

Johns Hotchkiss

Johns Hotchkiss is a horrible son, and he's Timothy Cavendish's ticket out of Aurora House. This...

The Hoggins Brothers

It seems like The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish starts with Dermot Hoggins, the author of...

Denholme and Georgette

We get the feeling that Cavendish has asked his brother, Denholme, for favors many times before,...

Mrs. Latham

Mrs. Latham is the loyal secretary and bookkeeper for Cavendish Publications. In other words, she...

Sir Felix Finch

In Cloud Atlas, people with bird names are jerks. Adam Ewing has Dr. Goose. Frobisher mentions a...

Nurse Noakes

Nurse Noakes gives One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's Nurse Ratched a run for her money. Noakes...

Other Aurora House Staff and Residents

Most of the other staff and residents of Aurora House are flat, incidental characters. Mrs. Judd...

Sonmi-451

Sonmi-451 is Cloud Atlas's most fascinating, most iconic, and most didactic character. She talks....

Hae-Joo Im

Hae-Joo is the Unionman who shows Sonmi what it means to be alive. She might know about life from...

Boom-Sook Kim

Boom-Sook Kim is the graduate student Sonmi is forced to stay with after she's taken from Papa...

Yoona-939

Yoona-939 ascended before Sonmi-451 and guided her out of ignorance into a world of knowledge....

Wing-027

Wing-027 is another example of how poorly fabricants are treated in Nea So Copros. Described as...

The Archivist

The Archivist exists to give Sonmi someone to bounce her ideas off of. He doesn't even have a...

Seer Rhee

Seer Rhee is Sonmi's boss, for lack of a better word. By boss, we mean "shift leader at...

Chang

Union's mysterious driver, Chang, doesn't have much of a personality. He shows up, picks up...

Dr. Aloi Mephi

Dr. Mephi is behind Sonmi's release from Papa Song's. He takes her to Taemosan University and...

An-Kor Apis

While on the run with Hae-Joo, Sonmi talks with An-Kor Apis of Union twice. The first time, he's...

The Abbess

It's doubtful that the Abbess in Sonmi's time and the Abbess in Zachry's time are the same...

Seer Kwon

Seer Kwon is the despicable man Sonmi sees throwing a living fabricant off a bridge. His behavior...

Zachry Bailey

Although many of Cloud Atlas's characters remind us of other characters in other timelines...

Meronym

Back in the Luisa Rey section, when Luisa is doing research on Swannekke, Fay Li makes an...

Villagers of the Nine Valleys

Aside from Zachry and Meronym, we don't get to know the other villagers of the Nine Valleys all...

Duophysite

Duophysite must mean "info dump" in Meronym's language, because that's pretty much all he...