Mrs. Sommers, the protagonist and only major character in the story, is an impoverished, industrious young woman. Although her poor neighbors dwell on the fact that Mrs. Sommers was once richer and more fortunate (before… (read full character analysis)
Mr. Sommers is an invisible force throughout the story. The reader never meets Mrs. Sommers’s husband, and it is unclear whether he is dead or alive, but he is a strong patriarchal symbol in… (read full character analysis)
Janie, Mag and the boys are Mr. Sommers and Mrs. Sommers’s children. They are mentioned only at the beginning of the story when Mrs. Sommers lies awake at night, meticulously planning how to spend… (read full character analysis)
The clerkin the shoe department meets Mrs. Sommers shortly after she has bought and put on her new stockings. He is bewildered by the juxtaposition between the luxurious silk stockings and the rest of… (read full character analysis)
The shop assistant, described as a “young girl,” helps Mrs. Sommers find a pair of black silk stockings in the right size. Mrs. Sommers feels like a princess when the assistant asks if she would… (read full character analysis)
The neighbors are mentioned only in passing when the narrator describes how they chatter and gossip about Mrs. Sommers’s life before her marriage. It is implied that she enjoyed more wealth or a superior class status before marrying Mr. Sommers, who is evidently from a lower-class background.