America: God, Gold, and Golems Characters

America: God, Gold, and Golems Character List

Joseph Bainbridge ("The Revival")

In "The Revival," Joseph and his wife, Sarah, are traveling to Cane Ridge in order to take part in the revival activities, especially the preaching of Elijah Young, whom they hope will raise their daughter, Emma, from the dead. Joseph is the more pragmatic of the couple; he keeps his large feet firmly ground in reality, but despite this practical attitude, his faith is strong. He is also prone to anxiety, which is evident in the scene where he begins to hallucinate.

Sarah Bainbridge ("The Revival")

Sarah Bainbridge, Joseph's wife, is the main driving force behind their journey to Cane Ridge. Her faith, though perhaps a bit blind and dogmatic, is strong, and she firmly believes that God will raise their daughter from the dead through Elijah Young. When Elijah declares that Emma will not rise again until judgment day, Sarah refuses to accept this as truth, and she takes the child back, screaming at God to bring her back to life. This event shakes her, and she realizes that her faith is too self-centered; she learns to trust God and move on.

Elijah Young ("The Revival")

As the Bainbridges are traveling to Cane Ridge, they come across a fellow pilgrim, an old man who looks on the verge of death. They later realize this man's identity: Elijah Wood, the famous preacher they hope will heal their daughter. Elijah is a powerful preacher, and he does not promise miracles in vain: he performs some miracles in the name of the Lord, but only those which he believes to be called to do, so he does not raise the Bainbridges' daughter back to life.

Ned Weeks (“Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight”)

Weeks, one of the two men who co-owned the gold mine in Solomon's Gulch, takes his partner's death hard. He continually puts off paying his men because he's waiting to find gold to pay them with, so he keeps pushing hard and drinking harder in his greedy pursuits. Eventually, due to his stress and drinking, he has a mental breakdown and shoots Mae and the doctor before killing himself.

Mae Harper (“Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight”)

Mae Harper is the wife of the recently deceased Jem Harper, the co-owner of the mine with Weeks. Mae runs a boardinghouse for the less fortunate, and she is stubborn and fiercely loyal, bringing her into harsh conflict with Weeks (who eventually kills her).

Althea Harper (“Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight”)

Althea is the daughter of Jem and Mae, and she is a kindhearted young girl, making food for her mother's residents and caring for Skinny when he's sick. At the end of the story, she inherits Skinny's money, which Mae buried before she died, making Althea quite a rich orphan.

Skinny (“Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight”)

One of the older miners, Skinny collapses while working one day in the mines. He regains consciousness but never recovers his mental faculties, leading him to wander the town, enigmatically moaning the name "Iris." While rifling through his things, Althea discovers that Skinny is "loaded," although where this money came from is a mystery.

Noah Strauss (“The Golem’s Mighty Swing”)

Noah, the narrator of "The Golem's Mighty Swing," is the manager, coach, and oldest player of the Stars of David, a Jewish baseball team touring America. He is stubborn yet pragmatic, and it is said that he played for the Red Sox in his past. By the end of the story, he becomes disgusted with the deceptive showmanship into which manipulative marketing has turned the sport of baseball.

Mo Strauss (“The Golem’s Mighty Swing”)

Mo, Noah's younger brother, is one of the Stars' best players despite his young age of sixteen years. He deals with severe prejudice on the field, and he gets sick of it, working harder to make up for it and make a statement. He eventually gives up baseball, marries, and settles down.

Hershl Bloom (“The Golem’s Mighty Swing”)

Hershl is the sole "Negro Jew" on the team, and he has played for various teams because of his versatile ethnicity. He is eventually transformed into the Golem as a marketing plot, and when tensions flare at a game, he pitches at the head of the batter, sparking an all-out fight.

Victor Paige (“The Golem’s Mighty Swing”)

Paige is the crafty marketing man who comes up with the idea to make a lot of money by using the costume of the Golem. It is implied that he continues doing that after the Stars stop playing, and Noah grows irritated with what he's done to the sport of baseball. Paige represents corrupting greed in the story, as his deceptive stories turn baseball into a show, not a sport.

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