The Union Buries Its Dead Characters

The Union Buries Its Dead Character List

The Three Drunk Shearers

Although not a part of the funeral procession, these group of men are bystanders to the funeral procession. In spite of their inebriation, two of the shearers immediately pay their respects by “covering their right ears with their hats”. However, the third shearer had to physically reminded to pay respects with the help of a kick. The narrator noted that the third drunk made great effort to gather his composure and show his respect. The third drunk did indeed gain his composure as his took off his hat and placed it atop his foot. The names of the three drunk shearers are unknown.

The Priest

The Priest is another anonymous figure who has no name. The narrator does note the Priest as being a “quiet young fellow” and similarly comparing him to the “Devil”. The Priest is similarly characterized as being passive, dismissive, or nonchalant as one of the funeral goers blatantly disrespects the funeral procession. This character, the Publican is noted as being an active member of the church. Although both characters are members of the church, the Priest does not seek to correct or address the Publican’s lack of respect for the dead man and the funeral procession.

The Publican

This character is a fellow funeral goer. However, he is the only character that blatantly disrespects the dead man and the funeral procession. All characters introduced by the narrator go to great lengths to pay their respects to the deceased man and adhere to the social order of such a proceeding except this character. The narrator continues in brief detail to describe the Publican as being extremely vain and ignorant with a big bull neck and heavy features. The publican does not lower his straw hat throughout the entire funeral procession which is a blatant form of disrespect for the procession.

The Narrator

Much about the narrator is unknown. The narrator never reveals his name or any other identifying information about himself. All that is known about the narrator is that he briefly met and interacted with the deceased shortly before the deceased’s untimely death.

James John Tyson

James Tyson is the main character of the story who succumbs to an untimely demise by drowning. Although this is the name attributed to the deceased, readers later discover that this is merely an alias. The true identity of the deceased remains unknown. Additionally, this character is anonymous and vague in his characterization. Tyson does not have any immediate family nor friends to attend his funeral. Furthermore, nothing is known about the deceased outside of his occupation as a drover.

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