- Emily—A shy nineteen-year-old girl. She is the oldest of five children. Emily had a very difficult childhood, but has recently developed a talent for comedic acting. She is cynical about life, and the world, despite her youth. She believes the atomic bomb will soon destroy everything; so there is no point in caring about anything.
- Emily's father—deserted the family so as not to "share poverty with them" less than one year after Emily's birth.
- Emily's mother—A mother who is filled with regrets and worries about her daughter. She worked hard to support her family and take care of them, but in retrospect she realizes there are many things she would have done differently if she could.
- Emily's stepfather—called away to fight in WWII.
- Susan—the second child, golden and curly haired, chubby, quick, articulate and sure. By the time Susan was born, her mother had remarried and gained enough experience to show more affection than when Emily was born.
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