Neeley (Cornelius) is Francie's brother. He is a year younger than his sister. The two children are close and share the poverty of their childhoods without seemingly being aware of how little they have in their lives. As he grows up, Neeley begins to resemble his father physically. He even has his father's singing voice. But Neeley is unlike his father. He has inherited his mother's work ethic and dislikes alcohol. Neeley is obedient and loving, a good son and brother.