The aunt is a nameless character that Suki does not offer a description of. She accompanies her nephew and two nieces on a train ride. She is not very good with the children. All the kids are fairly small and their aunt is unable to capture their interest. She has trouble answering their questions regarding their surroundings, so she decides to tell them a conventional moral story that fails to entertain them. When a unknown man points out the flaws of her story, she challenges him to tell a better one. The children do indeed enjoy the man's story more, however the aunt finds it improper. The aunt is a rather flat character, posing as a conventional authority figure.
Cyril is one of the three children accompanied by their aunt in the carriage. Except the main character of the story within the story, he is the only character in The Storyteller that actually has a name. Cyril is the one who keeps annoying his aunt with questions that she finds hard to answer, which then leads her to tell the boring story.
The Small Girl
The bigger of the small girls listens to the aunt's story and challenges its ending. Afterwards she declares it was the stupidest story she ever heard.
The Smaller Girl
At the beginning of the story the smaller of the small girls starts to recite "On The Road to Mandalay" - more precisely the first line of the poem. When the aunt starts telling her story the smaller girl listens for a while, but she quickly loses interest and starts to recite the poem again. When the bachelor tells his story, the smaller girl listens attentively and at the end declares, that even though the beginning was bad (because of its similarity to the aunt's story), the ending was beautiful.
The bachelor is a man who just happens to be in the same carriage as the rest of the characters. He observes the aunt and the children and he cannot escape their conversation. After the aunt finishes telling the children her story with no success at keeping them quiet, he points out her story's flaws. As a result of that, he is challenged to tell a better story. The bachelor's story starts like the story of the aunt, however it develops into a less moralistic and more realistic tale. The story does not finish with a happy ending - as in the case of the aunt's story, it shows that being good is not always rewarded. The children find this story more entertaining and they also appreciate its realness.
Bertha is a character in the story within the story, told by the bachelor. She is a "horribly good girl" who received three medals for her goodness. When the prince of the town hears of Bertha's excellent behavior he decides to reward her. He allows her to take a walk in his gardens, where normally children are not permitted. Bertha enjoys her reward until a wolf comes into the park to fetch himself some dinner. Bertha hides behind a myrtle bush and almost manages to escape, however, the clicking of her medals against each other gives her away and the wolf eats her at once. Bertha is a stereotypical good girl, but she is the only character that undergoes development throughout the story. When she is hiding behind the bushes she thinks to herself that if she hadn't been so good, she would have been safe in the city.
The Storyteller Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Storyteller is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
To quiet the children, the bachelor tells an interesting story, though the aunt finds it inappropriate for children. The story surrounds a "horribly good little girl" who is eaten up by a wolf. The wolf finds her because her three medals of honour...