These characters represent the range of Raveloe character and opinion, from Macey, the self-admiring authoritative old-timer, to Tookey, the defensively uncertain newcomer. Dowlas is the "negative spirit" of the group, almost a freethinker. Snell, the landlord, is the peacemaker, and Ben Winthrop is simply an average well-established inhabitant of Raveloe. None of the group is developed to any depth, but they are distinct individuals. Some of them — Macey and Dowlas, especially — are among the more forceful characters of the book. As a group, they give information about the background of the story, comment on the action, and are a source of broad comedy.