- Jimmie Johnson: An eldest brother of Maggie and Tommie's brother, who first appears in the beginning scene fighting a gang war of some sort with the Rum Alley Children. Serves as a foil to Maggie.
- Pete: A teenager, in the beginning, who is an acquaintance of Jimmie, and saves Jimmie in the fight. Later, he seduces Maggie and breaks her of her romantic viewpoints.
- Father: The brutal, drunkard father of Jimmie, Maggie, and Tommie.
- Maggie Johnson: The Johnson's middle child, protagonist of the story, apparently immune to the after-effects of the negative family. She is seduced by Pete and is seen as effectively ruined. She is implied to have become a prostitute at the end of the novel and dies an early death.
- Tommie Johnson: The youngest Johnson child who dies an early death.
- Mary Johnson: The drunkard and brutal mother who drives Maggie out of the house.
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