Character List


May Arnold A middle-aged widow; Riesling's lady friend in Chicago.

George F. Babbitt A middle-aged real-estate broker. To some extent, Babbitt is merely a stereotype and a caricature of a middle-class businessman; this is particularly true in regard to his speech patterns, his political and social ideas, and the organizations to which he belongs. He vaguely senses that his life is not a good one, and blindly he strikes out, trying to assert himself and find happiness. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the courage or the ability to succeed and, despite his yearnings, he is destined to remain what he was at the beginning of the novel: a small-minded, intolerant, poorly educated conformist "leader of society," concerned primarily with appearances and prone to attack whatever he does not understand.

Myra Babbitt A dowdy, middle-aged woman; she is a devoted and efficient housewife, but she lacks the imagination and feelings to understand Babbitt during his long period of discontent. She is much too impressed by her husband's aggressive personality and "brilliance," and she is too conscious of the conventions of the middle-class social world.

Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" Babbitt The Babbitts' son, a teenager. He is a good mechanic and athlete, a poor student, and is concerned primarily with girls, cars, parties, clothing fads, and making money. He is just entering adulthood and already reflects some of his father's same dullness and lack of creativity. Ted is in the midst of his adolescent rebellion against parental authority, and, like all young men, he thinks that he knows more than his father.

Verona "Rone" Babbitt The Babbitts' oldest daughter, recently graduated from Bryn Mawr. She feels smugly superior to most people in Zenith because of her education and sophisticated ways. She considers herself to be a sensitive, serious, and enlightened member of a new, radical generation, but most of her ideas are quite shallow and superficial. In fact, Verona is much like her mother, although she would never admit this fact.

Katherine "Tinka" Babbitt The family's youngest child; she is a cute and intelligent little girl, but is rapidly becoming spoiled by her family.

Fulton Bemis One of Tanis Judique's friends; a member of "the Bunch."

Sir Gerald Doak A British industrialist whom Babbitt meets in Chicago.

Seneca Doane An attorney and liberal candidate for mayor; a leader of leftist sentiment in Zenith. Babbitt comes under his influence for a while.

Reverend Dr. John Jennison Drew Minister of Chatham Road Presbyterian Church, which Babbitt attends.

William W. Eathorne President of the First State Bank of Zenith; one of the town's richest and most influential citizens; he and Babbitt are members of the Sunday School Committee.

Kenneth Escott A young reporter on the Advocate-Times who eventually marries Verona Babbitt. He is an undereducated, pseudo-intellectual college graduate, the masculine counterpart of the type represented by Verona.

Sidney Finkelstein Babbitt's friend and a fellow club member; a department store executive.

T. Cholmondeley "Chum" Frink Babbitt's friend and fellow club member; an advertising writer and nationally syndicated newspaper poet. (Note: "Cholmondeley" is pronounced "Chumley.")

Stanley Graff Babbitt's outside salesman; he is fired after it is discovered that he has been cheating a customer.

Vergil Gunch Babbitt's friend and fellow club member, a leader of the Good Citizens' League; president of the Boosters; Zenith's largest coal dealer.

Beecher Ingraham A liberal minister; formerly a member of the Congregational Church, he is now devoted to the advancement of the working class.

Orville Jones Babbitt's friend and fellow club member; owner of Zenith's largest commercial laundry.

Tanis Judique An emancipated and bohemian middle-aged widow with whom Babbitt has an affair. He rapidly discovers that the conventions of her way of life are as stifling as those he is attempting to escape.

Eunice Littlefield Ted Babbitt's girlfriend and later his wife; she is a caricature of a typical, teenage girl of the 1920s.

Howard Littlefield Eunice's father; Babbitt's friend and fellow club member, as well as his neighbor. He is an executive of the Zenith Street Traction Company and holds a Ph.D. in economics; hence, he is considered an authority on nearly any subject.

Theresa McGoun Babbitt's stenographer.

Charles McKelvey A millionaire building contractor, one of Zenith's most influential people and a leader of the Good Citizens' League. He and Lucille, his wife, are the town's social leaders. The Babbitts attempt to climb the social ladder by inviting the McKelveys to dinner.

P. J. Maxwell Paul Riesling's defense attorney.

Opal Emerson Mudge Zenith leader of the American New Thought League.

Caleb Nixon A leading businessman and colonel of the Zenith National Guard unit.

Carrie Nork One of Tanis Judique's friends, a member of "the Bunch."

Jake Offutt A corrupt and influential political boss.

Ed Overbrook An unsuccessful college classmate of Babbitt's; he attempts to improve his social position through a dinner invitation to George and Myra.

Joe Paradise Babbitt's Indian guide in the Maine woods.

Lucas Prout A wealthy Zenith manufacturer. Babbitt assists in his successful mayoralty campaign.

Professor Joseph K. Pumphrey Babbitt's friend and fellow club member, owner of the local business college.

Ida Putiak A young manicurist with whom Babbitt has a date.

Paul Riesling Paul has been Babbitt's closest friend ever since he and Babbitt attended college together. Paul is sensitive, introspective, quiet, and passive. He is unhappy because he was unable to become a violinist and because he doesn't have the strength of character to either control his wife or leave her. Paul's greatest weakness is that he lacks the moral courage to do the things he wants to do.

Zilla Riesling Paul's wife. She does not understand her husband at all; she is selfishly concerned with her own needs and pleasures. She blames all her marital problems on Paul and is unwilling to share the burden of building a happy marriage. She is a merciless shrew and enjoys pretending to be a martyr.

Cecil Rountree A wealthy Zenith realtor; leader of the delegation to the convention in Monarch.

Sheldon Smeeth Choir leader at Chatham Road Presbyterian Church.

Colonel Rutherford Snow Powerful owner of the Advocate-Times and a leader of the Good Citizens' League.