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Free Study Guide for The Member of the Wedding-McCullers

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A small southern town (unnamed) in the early 1940s.


Major Characters

Frances "Frankie" Addams
Renames herself "F. Jasmine Addams," the protagonist of the novel, a young girl who begins the novel at twelve years old.

Berenice Sadie Brown
The African-American housekeeper of the Addams household, she is Frankie’s only mother figure.

John Henry West
Frankie’s young cousin, who spends time with Frankie and Berenice in the Addams’ kitchen. He dies of meningitis.

Minor Characters

Helen Fletcher
A girl a year older than Frankie who asked her why she smelled funny when she had used a bitter-smelling ointment for boils. Frankie suspects that Helen has spread the news that she smells bad.

Jarvis Addams
Frankie’s brother who has been living in Alaska and is returning to marry a woman from Winter Hill.

Janice Evans
Jarvis’s fiancee.

Aunt Pet
John Henry West’s mother and Frankie’s aunt.

Uncle Ustace
Married to Aunt Pet, John Henry’s father.

Berenice’s foster brother.

John’s wife. Berenice was initially jealous of her, but came to love her.

Evelyn Owen
Frankie’s best friend, who owns a football suit and a Spanish shawl, which the girls wear around town. Evelyn’s family moves away, leaving Frankie without a friend.

Barney MacKean
A boy with whom Frankie commits "a secret and unknown sin" in his parents’ garage.

Ludie Freeman
A brickmason and Berenice’s first and favorite husband. He died after nine years of marriage.

T. T. Williams
Berenice’s beau.

Honey Camden Brown
Berenice’s foster brother.

Mr. and Mrs. Marlowe
A couple who rented the front room from the Addamses before Frankie came upon them while they were having sex and Mr. Addams asked them to leave.

Uncle Charles
John Henry’s uncle who lives in the country and dies in Book 2.

Lily Mae Jenkins
A man Berenice tells about who fell in love with Juney Jones and changed into a girl so he could be with Juney.

Mr. Schwarzenbaum
The piano tuner.

Jamie Beale
Berenice’s second husband, whom she falls for because he has a thumb like her beloved Ludie’s thumb. He turns out to be a "no good liquor drinker" and she leaves him.

Henry Johnson
Berenice’s third husband, whom she falls for because he wears Ludie’s old coat. He has emotional problems and the marriage ends quickly.

Willis Rhodes
The last of Berenice’s husbands and the worst. He was violent and mean. He gouged her eye out and now she wears a glass eye.

Big Mama
A woman who reads fortunes. She lives with Berenice.

Officer Wylie
The police officer who catches Frankie as she tries to run away from home.

Marry Littlejohn
Frankie’s new best friend at the end of the novel.


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