Tropic of Capricorn

Character List

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Henry Miller

The narrator and protagonist of the novel. He seems to correspond quite closely with the real-life Henry Miller, though certain discrepancies between Miller's life and the book's hero do exist. Miller is an aspiring writer, and the novel is, more than anything, a chronicle of his coming into his own as an artist.

MacGregor

Miller's close friend. He and Miller make a habit of painting the town red by night. Full of lust, perennially chasing after women, MacGregor indulges Miller's decadent lifestyle while chastising him for always borrowing money and only thinking of himself.

Roy Hamilton

A friend of Miller's who inspires him like no other. Miller meets Hamilton when the latter is searching for his biological father and staying on the East Coast with the MacGregor family. He seems a model of wisdom to Miller, nearly a prophet.

Grover Watrous

A childhood neighbor of Miller's. He is a foul-mouthed and ill-tempered youth who one year converts to Christianity and renounces his old behavior.

Mr. Miller

Henry Miller's father. A heavy drinker for most of his life, he goes on the wagon, falls ill, and finds God. When the minister who presided over his conversion leaves town, he feels deeply abandoned.

Valeska

A woman of mixed race who Miller meets in the offices of the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, and with whom he has an affair.

"Plunder-bird" lady

A Nameless woman who wears only black and foregoes underwear, and with whom Miller has an intense sexual relationship for a period of time.

Hymie

A coworker of Miller's at the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, and the man who originally rejects Miller for the job. He and Miller become friends.

Stevie Romero

Another of Miller's friends, described as "clean as an egg."

O'Rourke

The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company detective, who regales Miller with stories of murder, theft, and arson.

Curley

A seventeen year-old kid from Harlem who has no morals, and is therefore useful for Miller when he needs money.

Maxie

A friend of Miller's. Miller asks him for money and lusts after his sister, Rita.

Ulric

A man who tells Miller about his travels in Europe, inspiring Miller with the detail of his accounts and the vividness of his language.

Pauline Janowski

A nineteen year-old girl with whom Miller has a one-night stand.