The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff Characters

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The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff Summary & Study Guide Description

The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff 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 on The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff by Alice Walker.

Rosie Tante

A known rootworker who has been around a long time. Rosie Tante practices rootworking and is teaching the trade to her apprentice. Rosie Tante is very knowledgeable and keeps files on black people who may or may not come to her. She is well-versed in curse-prayers and healing, and for a price she uses her powers to do their will.

The Apprentice

The narrator of this short story. She is in the process of learning the rootworking trade. She is the one who, on Hannah Kemhuff's behalf, finally confronts Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley and helps cause Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley's eventual suffering and downfall.

Hannah Kemhuff

Hannah Kemhuff is the one in need of the rootworkers' services. She has come seeking vengeance on Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley for the wrong that was done by her years ago during the Depression. Hannah is a rundown woman who has had a miserable life. She looks older than her years. Hannah has a crushed spirit, a broken heart, and no more pride. Hannah has never recovered from the events that happened during the Depression due to the actions of Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley. Hannah has lived a life of bitterness and is still haunted by the grinning of Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley. Hannah wants Miss Sadler/Mrs. Holley to suffer in life as she has, for then she will feel that justice has been served. After Rosie Tante agrees to help Hannah, Hannah regains her pride and is more at peace and can die knowing justice will be hers. Hannah dies before Mrs. Holley does.

Miss Sarah Sadler/Mrs. Holley

During the Depression, Miss Sadler, a white woman, has her upcoming wedding on her mind more than the people she is passing out food to. Miss Sadler makes a snap judgment on Hannah and her family and chastises them for trying to take food from people who need it. Despite Hannah's pleas, she and others laugh at Hannah. Miss Sadler never gives Hannah or her family a second thought. She marries, becomes Mrs. Holley and has children and grandchildren. Mrs. Holley lives in a big house and has had a good life. When she first hears that the rootworkers have been commissioned by Hannah, she is scornful of the black magic and is full of disbelief that any of that rootworker nonsense works. Later, Mrs. Holley becomes obsessed with making sure that none of her personal items will be able to be collected by the rootworker or Hannah Kemhuff. She eats her nail parings, collects her stray hairs, and collects her feces and urine and stores them in barrels that she keeps in the house. She is overcome with anxiety and has a frown on her face, which only her eventual death erases.

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