Thirteen Ways of Looking Characters

Colum McCann
This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Thirteen Ways of Looking.
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Peter Mendelssohn

Peter is the main character of the titular story, "Thirteen Ways of Looking." Peter is an elderly Jewish man, living in New York. Prior to the start of the story, Peter served as an aircraft pilot and later a county supreme court justice.

Peter acts like a stereotypical crotchety elder. He complains about his lack of mobility, the actions of his son, Elliot, and the face-paced nature of everyday life. He lives with his housekeeper, Sally, who has a nephew whom Peter inserted into his will for educational purposes.

Half of "Thirteen Ways of Looking" consists of the investigation of Peter's murder, as he is slain outside of a restaurant where he had lunch with Elliot. It turns out that Peter was murdered by Pedro, who was angry at Elliot for having an affair with his daughter.

Overall, Peter is kind yet frustrated and is killed without...

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This section contains 813 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Thirteen Ways of Looking Study Guide
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