Study Guide

Goodbye, Columbus Characters

By Philip Roth

Neil Klugman

Twenty-three-year-old Neil is our leading man. He has a degree in philosophy and also spent some...

Brenda Patimkin

Brenda is our ultracompetitive, very beautiful leading lady. She's attending Radcliffe University...

Ronald Patimkin

The Boy

The boy enters Neil's life around the same time as Brenda. He's a young black child who comes...

Aunt Gladys

Gladys is Neil's aunt. He's lived with her since his parents moved to Phoenix for their asthma....

Mr. Ben Patimkin

Ben Patimkin is a hard-working, self-made man. His lousy grammar suggests that he built Patimkin...

Mrs. Patimkin

Julie Patimkin

Julie is Brenda's nine-year-old sister. The sisters seem to like each other for the most part,...

Carlota

Doris Klugman

Doris is Neil's cousin. Her family got rich and moved to the suburbs several years ago. We don't...

Harriet

Harriet is Ron's fiancée. We only meet her briefly, and Neil describes her as physically...

Leo

Leo is Mr. Patimkin's half-brother. He only appears in the story during the Harriet and Ron's...

Laura Simpson Stolowitch

Luther Ferrari

Mr. Scapello

Mr. Scapello is Neil's boss in the library. Just before Neil goes on vacation, he gives him a...

John McKee

John is Neil's co-worker, but we mostly remember him as that one racist jerk. He makes derogatory...

Martha Winney

Martha was Neil's coworker, until she fell off a stool when she was shelving a book and broke her...