Big Black Good Man Characters

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Karen Jenson

Karen is Olaf's wife. She appears in the story only in Olaf's thoughts, as conveyed by the narrator. Olaf never talks to her about what happens at the seedy hotel, implying that she is a proper woman.

Olaf Jenson

Olaf is the night porter in the hotel where Jim arrives asking for a room. The story begins on the night before his sixtieth birthday. He is an ordinary man, who is married, owns a home, and likes to garden. As he sits at his desk in the hotel office, he reflects that it would have been nice if he and his wife had had children and if he had saved more money. But, all in all, he is content.

From the moment when Jim first arrives at the hotel, Olaf is overwhelmed by revulsion and terror. It seems to be neither Jim's race nor his size alone...

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This section contains 494 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Big Black Good Man Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Big Black Good Man from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.