The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus Characters

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The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus 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 Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris.

Uncle Remusappears in All

Uncle Remus has apparently been with Miss Sally's family for many years. In the story of "Brother Fox Catches Mr. Horse," he begins by saying that he'd watched Miss Sally - the lady of the house and the first little boy's mother - rush around, wiping away dust that wasn't there and plumping pillows that didn't need anything. Uncle Remus says he knows Miss Sally well enough to know that her actions mean that she's tired of Uncle Remus sitting around the house or that she's waiting for a chance to "preach" to her husband. The little boy is amazed at the statement and Uncle Remus says he's known Miss Sally for years. His age is never given, though Uncle Remus at one point says that folks his age know more than they can remember.

Uncle Remus continually insists that his stories are true. He says that he stands behind them - except for those told to him by the Jamaican. He readily launches into his stories at the slightest question from any of the children and if no one asks, will begin a conversation to prompt them to ask so that he can tell his stories. He seems to have an almost limitless supply of stories to draw from.

Miss Sallyappears in All

The woman who had apparently owned Uncle Remus before slaves were set free. Uncle Remus remains on the plantation, though the details of the situation aren't known. What is known is that Uncle Remus at one point tells of Miss Sally calling for him and when he arrives, she wants him to make her an "ash cake". Uncle Remus says that he does and then Miss Sally sits down in the floor, just as she did as a child, with an ash cake and buttermilk, and eats the treat, though she tells Uncle Remus after she's done that it wasn't cooked right. Uncle Remus says that Miss Sally knows about the neighbors, the Favers, who are worthless people. Uncle Remus says that's the complete opposite of the Abercromies, Miss Sally's people.

The Fisrt Little Boyappears in Sections 1 through 4, 9

Though never called by name, the little boy was Miss Sally's son. He loves the stories told by Uncle Remus and spends many hours near the old man in order to hear more of the tales. He often interrupts to ask questions and pesters Uncle Remus to tell a story, though Uncle Remus seldom needs any real encouragement. The little boy is often in trouble and Uncle Remus stands up for him, often successfully, as in when the little boy was sent from the dinner table and Uncle Remus tells the little boy's father that the child is "crying his eyes out", prompting the father to let the child remain in Uncle Remus's cabin and sending a plate of food for him. It's important to note that Uncle Remus does correct the child himself when he believes it to be necessary.

Second Little Boyappears in Sections 5 through 8

Miss Sally's grandson and the son of the first little boy. Uncle Remus says there's an incredible difference between the two boys, with the second being so well-mannered that Uncle Remus sometimes doesn't know how to act around the child. This boy also questions, but the questions are different. Rather than asking things that will prompt explanations in the form of additional stories, this child wants to know why the animals steal and why they can get away with being cruel to each other.

Daddy Jackappears in Sections 2 and 3

Also called African Jack, he came from Africa as a man of about twenty and remains an important person on the river plantation, though he is advanced in years. He also tells stories and his dialect varies greatly from that of Uncle Remus - a sign of his African ties. He courts a young woman on the plantation and eventually wins her favor, though there seems to be an incredible difference in their ages.

Aunt Tempyappears in Sections 2 and 3

Aunt Tempy is an important figure in the household. It's noted that she and Uncle Remus are the two most important of the slaves and apparently remained once they were freed. It seems there is a rivalry between the two, though they carefully conceal their jealousy of each other. Aunt Tempy tells a few stories and admits that she's as bad as the children for wanting to hear others tell the tales.

'Tildyappears in Sections 2 and 3

Another of the servants, she is pursued by Daddy Jack and pretends to have nothing but animosity for the old man, though she eventually gives in to his pursuit and marries him. She also loves to hear the stories and ventures out with one of her own.

The Second Little Boy's Mamaappears in Sections 5 through 8

Miss Sally's daughter-in-law. She is very strict with the little boy, and when he relates pieces of the tales told by Uncle Remus, she dismisses them and urges the little boy to do the same. She is - at least to some degree - tender hearted when it comes to the little boy, as noted on the occasion when Uncle Remus is talking to the child through the window because he's being forced to remain in the parlor and the little boy's mama realizes that she was harsh and lets him go out to play.

Calryappears in Section 9

The Negro girl who is charged with watching after the first little boy. She is asleep when the little boy gets into trouble and Uncle Remus chastises her for it, threatening to tell on her. She begs him not to and he promises to relent, but only if she helps him get the little boy cleaned up before taking him in to his mama.

Brer Rabbitappears in All

Uncle Remus presents Brer Rabbit as one of the most important characters of his stories. The author suggests that this is a reflection of the fact that the rabbit was a central figure in African myth and folklore.

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