Ethan is a former soldier for the Confederacy and a veteran of the Mexican War. He is brave, but hot-headed and exceedingly racist. His salty attitude is part of what makes him such a competent and no-nonsense problem-solver, but he also lacks empathy when it comes to seeing the gray areas in any given situation. He is dogged in his pursuit of finding Debbie, but when he learns that she has integrated with the Comanche tribe, he thinks she would be better off killed than returned home. By the end of the film, he changes his mind, and decides to bring Debbie back to the Jorgensens.
Debbie is the youngest of the Edwards children, who is kidnapped by Comanches and spends five years living as one of them.
Martin Pawley is an adopted child of the Edwards family. A brave and compassionate young man, he joins Ethan on the five-year search to track down Debbie. Because he is 1/8 Cherokee, he has a more even-handed approach than Ethan towards the Comanches and wants to keep Debbie alive no matter what. He is also in love with Laurie Jorgensen, but not very good at expressing his feelings.
Laurie is the daughter of the Jorgensens back on the homestead. She has always been in love with Marty and expected to marry him, but his five-year search for Debbie puts a crimp in those plans, and she finds herself often disappointed in him.
The nickname that Ethan gives to the Comanche woman whom Marty accidentally buys as his wife. She is mistreated by Marty, who finds her to be a nuisance, and she is frequently the butt of Ethan's jokes.
An old friend of the Jorgensen family who comes to court Laurie in Marty's absence. On the night of his wedding to Laurie, Marty shows up at the last minute and fights Charlie for the right to Laurie’s hand.
An eccentric older man with a fondness for rocking chairs, who is instrumental in helping Ethan to finally track down the Comanche chief Scar.
The Comanche chief who kidnaps Debbie in vengeance for the deaths inflicted upon his people by white settlers.
The Searchers Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Searchers is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.