The narrator of the story is known simply as the boy. Like the heroes in many of Dahl’s other stories, the narrator is a brave, kind and intelligent child. Thanks to his grandmother’s stories, the boy is able to identify witches in disguise (though he is turned into a mouse). Once he is turned into a mouse, the boy hatches a plan to save all the children in England from a similar fate and successfully wipes out all the witches of England. Though the boy remains a mouse, the story ends happily.
The narrator’s grandmother is a story-telling, cigar-smoking, brave character. She is an expert on witches and tells her grandson countless stories to protect him. After her grandson is forever transformed into a mouse, she remains a kind and loving figure.
The Grand High Witch
The Grand High Witch is the most terrifying witch of them all, she is their ruler and strikes fear even in the hearts of witches. Though she dons the traditional disguise like the other witches, she also wears a mask to hide her grotesque face.
A greedy boy that is lured into a company of witches by the promise of candy. He is the first to be transformed into a mouse.
The boy's parents
The boy's parents show up only very briefly at the beginning of the story before they die tragically in an automobile accident in Norway. However, it is their belief that the boy should continue being educated in England that leads the boy and his grandmother to move back there from Norway and to meet the witches they encounter in the story.
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins are the parents of Bruno Jenkins, the other child The Grand High Witch successfully turns into a mouse. The Jenkins' are a wealthy family and adhere strictly to their roles in the family as determined by gender and age. Mr. Jenkins is a businessman who doesn't want to put up with the grandmother's nonsense when she tells him his son has been turned into a mouse. Mrs. Jenkins clearly plays second fiddle in their relationship; she is shown doing stereotypically feminine things such as knitting and screaming at the sight of mice.
The manager is the gruff man who owns the hotel the boy and the grandmother visit. He is eager to please his guests, fawning over the witches in disguise and trying to eject the boy and the grandmother from the hotel for having mice. His presence adds to the story's suspense because the reader fears if he finds the boy in mouse form that he would likely dispose of him quickly to keep up the hotel's reputation.
The Witches Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Witches is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Luke's parents were killed when their car skidded off a road and into a ravine. According to Chapter One, Luke's grandmother knew all about witches because she was Norwegian, and Norway was where the first witches came from.