The main character of the story; a twenty-six-year-old young woman from Maycomb, Alabama in the Deep South, now working in New York. She comes down to visit family for a two-week vacation. She is a staunch believer in equal rights for all, and is uniquely progressive for her time. She must find a way to separate from her father’s ideologies and determine her own conscience.
The Finch patriarch; Jean Louise and Jem’s father, and Henry Clinton’s adoptive father. He is a lawyer, now seventy-two years old, who once defended a young black man in a rape case and won a stunning acquittal. However, his daughter soon discovers that he is more of a white supremacist than previously thought. He is calm and level-headed, and has a simple way of living that displays transparency and good-heartedness.
Alexandra Finch (Aunty) Hancock
Atticus’s sister; Jean Louise’s aunt. She is imposing, seemingly emotionless, and very picky; she and Jean Louise often degree. Aunt Alexandra puts emphasis on “being a lady,” and socializes with the other women of the town, whom Jean Louise cannot stand. She has been married once, and has a son, but is contentedly estranged from them. She has moved in with Atticus to take care of him at this time.
Henry Clinton (Hank)
A family friend of the Finches’ who grew up across the street, Henry was taken in by Atticus after Jem Finch’s death as his unofficial son and protégé in the law office. Henry is in love with Jean, and constantly proposes to her. He is thirty years old and well-respected in town, despite coming from a “trash” family of drunks.
Charles Baker Harris (Dill)
The Finch children’s good summertime friend, who stayed with his aunt Miss Rachel, while living next door to the Finches. He is described as having a “square build” and the “cunning of a stoat,” and was very agreeable to play with. Dill was based off of Harper Lee’s real best friend, Truman Capote, who also became a famous writer. During the story, Dill has gone abroad, most likely to Italy; Jean Louise comments that Dill was like a caged, restless animal, and needed to wander.
The Finches’ old black cook and maid, who practically raised Jem and Jean Louise as her own children. She functioned as a substitute mother whom Jean Louise could talk to about being a woman and feminine issues, and was so distraught at Jem’s death that she ran away from home. At the time of the story, Calpurnia has moved to a different area with her relatives and other black people, and no longer welcomes Jean Louise as she did when Jean Louise was a child. She still believes that Atticus will do the right thing for her son who committed manslaughter.
Dr John Hale Finch (Uncle Jack)
Atticus’s brother; Jean Louise’s uncle. He is known around town for being an eccentric, and especially well-read in Victorian literature, despite being an actual medical doctor. Extremely intellectual and philosophical, he taught Jean Louise many things outside of school during her youth in Maycomb. Jean Louise is close to him, and trusts him to provide her with answers. He is an ultimate voice of reconciling reason in the book.
Jean Louise’s deceased brother, who died only two years ago of a heart attack, right in front of Atticus’s law office. Jem and Jean Louise used to be close as children, but drifted apart as teenagers. He was voted most handsome of the senior class in high school.
Calpurnia’s son. His son, Frank, ran over a drunk white man while he, too, was drunk. Frank is referred to as “Zeebo’s son” the few times he is mentioned in the book. Zeebo has complicated marital affairs, which are talked about by white people condemning him as sinful and shiftless.
Hester Sinclair and Claudine MacDowell
Two of the ladies who come to Jean Louise and Alexandra’s coffee. They are typical Maycomb ladies, shallow, bigoted, and prone to listen to whomever tells them what they like to hear; Jean Louise argues a bit with them, but to no avail.
The young preacher in the Methodist church the Finches attend. He is disagreeable and unfriendly. He delivers the eponymous line of the book, and his name is a referral to the bigotry prevalent in the novel.
A de facto town leader whom Jean Louise says “is the last of his kind,” but a menace nonetheless. While Willoughby does not hold any actual offices, his insular worldview coupled with his involvement in town politics makes him able to spread his prejudices and despotism.
A highly racist, demagogic speaker who travels around the South speaking at Citizens’ Council meetings. He speaks at the one in Maycomb, and Atticus gives him a brief, neutral introduction. Jean Louise is disgusted with him, and with Atticus’s allowance of O’Hanlon onto the podium.
Go Set a Watchman Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Go Set a Watchman is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.