The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor Characters

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The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor Summary & Study Guide Description

The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Literary Precedents and a Free Quiz on The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor by Flannery O'Connor.

Old Dudley

Dudley is the aged father of a woman living in New York City who has moved him up from the South to live his last days with her in an apartment. He is homesick and has trouble adjusting to his new environment.


Rayber is a white, middle-aged man in a small town who tries to argue against racism in the local barbershop to no avail.

Old Gabriel

Gabriel is a blind Negro who is terrified when left alone in his small shack and thinks he hears a wildcat scratching at the wall, trying to get in to attack him.

Miss Willerton

Miss Willerton is a single lady living with two other spinsters and a gentleman, who fancies herself as a writer and escapes into the world of her imagination with her own created characters.


Ruller is a young man, desperate to have the admiration of his peers, who accidentally stumbles upon a wounded turkey and tries to take it home, only to have it stolen from him by a group of tough men.

Hazel Motes

Motes is man who becomes interested in a couple he meets while watching a hawker demonstrate a potato peeler. He and a younger man named Enoch Emery go off together and meet up with several eccentric characters.

Enoch Emery

Emery is an employee of the city park in one story, and is obsessed with voyeurism as he spies on the sunbathing females around the pool.


Ruby, at thirty-four, is several months pregnant and doesn't know it. She fears motherhood more than anything because her mother had lost four babies who had died.

The Misfit

The Misfit is a cold-blooded killer who has escaped federal prison and who has no qualms about killing children and adults to get their car and continue his escape.

General Sash

Sash is a colorful veteran of one hundred and four, whose granddaughter shows him off at every celebration she can, including her graduation from college.

Mr. Shiflet

Shiflet is a one-armed conman, who scams a widow named Lucynell Carter and her retarded daughter of the same name.

Reverend Bevel Summers

Summers is an evangelist preacher who supervises baptisms in the river, which leads to the drowning of a neglected child.

Mrs. Cope

Mrs. Cope is a naive widow who owns a large farm and tries to be nice to manipulative delinquents, with dire results.

Mrs. McIntyre

Mrs. McIntyre is the naive widow operating a dairy farm alone with Negro workmen and Mr. and Mrs. Shortley, the inept handyman and his wife.

Mr. Head

Head is the grandfather of Nelson and they live together on the outskirts of Atlanta, where no blacks live. Nelson has never seen a Negro until they visit the city and get lost.

Mrs. Hopewell

Mrs. Hopewell is a naive widow managing a farm alone. She is manipulated by three scoundrel boys, who burn down her farmstead.

Francis Marion Tarwater

Tarwater is a young man who lives alone with his grandfather and when the older man dies while eating breakfast, his grandson has difficulty coping.

Mrs. May

Mrs. May is a widow living alone with scant help on a farm. When a stray bull frightens her, and she tries to have it killed, it eventually kills her.

Mr. Fortune

Fortune is a querulous, demanding grandfather who adores his granddaughter, Mary Fortune Pitts. He discovers he cannot control everything when she defies him and he ends up killing her. He then has a stroke and dies.


Ashbury is a morbidly dependent young man convinced that he is dying, but he is not. He moves back home to die and has to face his own convalescence from undulant fever.


Thomas is a young man still living at home with his mother, resentful of her habit of rescuing the needy of the world.


Calhoun is a bachelor of marriageable age visiting his great-aunts' home and becomes incensed about the unfair accusations against an innocent man named Singleton. He discovers Singleton is guilty as charged and belongs in the county asylum where he has been confined.


Sheppard is a father of misguided goals, heralding the virtues of a club-footed delinquent over the shy, withdrawn fears of his own little boy.

Mary Maud

Mary Maud is the mother of an only son who has to take over when his father has a massive stroke and he is still at home, without a job.

Mrs. Turpin

Mrs. Turpin takes her husband to the doctor and in the waiting room watches as a young woman goes berserk after the people there discuss their racial prejudices with self-righteous overtones.

O.E. Parker

Parker is a man covered in tattoos on the front of his body. To try and get his religious wife to love him, he has the face of Jesus tattooed on his back.


Tanner is an elderly man living with his daughter in New York City, longing to go home to the South to die, who plans to escape when his next check arrives. He has a stroke before he can get away and dies.

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