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The main characters of the story remain the same throughout the novel.
The narrator of the novel, most likely based on Jerome himself. J. has a dog named Montmorency, and two friends, George and Harris. He sees himself as intelligent, hard-working, and competent, but his behavior in the novel suggests otherwise. Like his friends, J. is a hypochondriac.
A good-natured banker, and one of J.'s best friends. Of the three men, he is portrayed as the only one who is seriously dedicated to his job. He brings a banjo on the boat trip and tries to learn how to play it.
A friend of George and J., who joins them on the trip. Although the novel's flashbacks suggest that J. and Harris (full name William Samuel Harris) have known each other for a long time, J. actually dislikes Harris a great deal. He constantly criticizes Harris for being lazy and uncultured, and writes that "there is no poetry about Harris – no wild yearning for the unattainable" (18).
J.'s lively, belligerent fox terrier. He enjoys both fighting with other dogs and hunting.