The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

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Paul Edgecombe

The narrator and protagonist of The Green Mile. As the supervisor of E block, Paul takes his job very seriously, believing that all prisoners should be treated with compassion and respect so that their… read analysis of Paul Edgecombe

John Coffey

Despite his intimidating size, John Coffey is sensitive and non-violent. He is mostly illiterate (the only thing he can spell is his own name) and, like a child, is afraid of the dark. In prison… read analysis of John Coffey

Percy Wetmore

A particularly cruel guard who makes the atmosphere on E block violent and unpredictable, Percy is despised by inmates and guards alike. As the nephew of the governor’s wife, his characteristic cowardice is offset by… read analysis of Percy Wetmore

Brutus “Brutal” Howell

Nicknamed Brutal because of his size, Brutus is a sensitive, thoughtful guard who assists Paul in some of his most challenging tasks and only uses force when it is absolutely necessary. Brutal believes strongly in… read analysis of Brutus “Brutal” Howell

Eduard “Del” Delacroix

Convicted for raping and murdering a young girl, and then involuntarily setting fire to the adjacent building (leading to the deaths of six more people), Delacroix shows no sign of cruelty by the time he… read analysis of Eduard “Del” Delacroix
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Mr. Jingles (also “Steamboat Willy”)

This mouse, which appears on E block one evening, shows signs of quasi-human, supernatural intelligence. It peers into the cells along the Green Mile as though it were looking for someone, and Paul later concludes… read analysis of Mr. Jingles (also “Steamboat Willy”)

William Wharton

Wharton, who thinks of himself as “Billy the Kid” but is nicknamed “Wild Bill” by the guards, is a violent inmate who takes pleasure in scaring and hurting other people. Paul is amazed by Wharton’s… read analysis of William Wharton

Janice Edgecombe

Paul’s wife is a kind, thoughtful woman who supports Paul in all his moments of difficulty. She proves brave and compassionate when visiting her friend Melinda Moores, who is clearly suffering from the… read analysis of Janice Edgecombe

Elaine Connelly

Paul’s companion at Georgia Pines is a fierce, compassionate woman who encourages Paul to write down his memories even if it proves to be a difficult task. Unafraid of facing danger herself, she takes… read analysis of Elaine Connelly

Hal Moores

Hal Moores is described as the most honest warden that Paul has worked with during his career as a guard at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Hal’s combination of integrity and political savvy allows him to maintain… read analysis of Hal Moores

Melinda Moores

Hal Moores’s wife is a kind woman devoted to the community. Her persistent headaches soon prove to be a brain tumor, which causes her health and sanity to deteriorate rapidly. She is healed by… read analysis of Melinda Moores

Harry Terwilliger

A regular guard on E block, Harry tries to warn Paul about not causing Percy trouble, so that he might not lose his job. He is a responsible guard, and he does not hesitate to… read analysis of Harry Terwilliger

Dean Stanton

Dean is a responsible—if occasionally too serious—guard on E block. He is nearly strangled to death by Wharton on the day Wharton arrives on the block. Dean has two young children. Because of his family… read analysis of Dean Stanton

Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck

First elder of his tribe on the Washita Reservation and member of the Cherokee Council, Bitterbuck is a relatively calm, reserved man. He is convicted for drunkenly murdering a man over a trivial matter, smashing… read analysis of Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck

Robert McGee

Deputy Sheriff Rob McGee is a competent, responsible man who generally fills in for Homer Cribus’s responsibilities. Capable of leadership in moments of danger and stress, he leads the search party that ultimately finds… read analysis of Robert McGee

Homer Cribus

The Trapingus County high sheriff is an incompetent alcoholic who depends on others (such as Deputy Rob McGee) to get his job done. His racist attitude constitutes a significant obstacle to reopening Coffey’s… read analysis of Homer Cribus

Burt Hammersmith

The man who reported on the case of the Detterick twins. Hammersmith believes that there is no doubt John Coffey is guilty of raping and killing the two nine-year-old girls, whatever his past history of… read analysis of Burt Hammersmith

Curtis Anderson

The warden’s chief assistant proves a good judge of character. He recognizes William Wharton as a wild, uncaring, animal-like criminal and also proves unafraid to tell Percy what he thinks of him after Delacroix’s… read analysis of Curtis Anderson

Toot-Toot

An old man who sells snacks to prisoners. During execution rehearsals, he plays the role of the condemned prisoners. While most men enjoy Toot’s French accent and humor, Paul sees him as a weaker version… read analysis of Toot-Toot

Kathe and Cora Detterick

The nine-year-old blonde twins whose rape and murder make the headlines for weeks in Trapingus County. They were kidnapped from the porch of their home, where they had been sleeping, by William Wharton. Johnread analysis of Kathe and Cora Detterick

Klaus Detterick

The father of Kathe and Cora. He sets off immediately with his son Howie when he learns of his twins’ disappearance. Upon discovering John Coffey with the bodies of his two daughters, he attacks… read analysis of Klaus Detterick

Marjorie Detterick

The mother of Kathe and Cora. While she fears for her husband and her son’s lives when the two men set out in search of the twins, she soon proves capable of handling the… read analysis of Marjorie Detterick

Beverly “Matuomi” McCall

A woman who kills her abusive husband—a barber—with one of his own razors in retaliation for his cheating. Paul uses her story as a counterpoint to John Coffey, showing that there is a clear… read analysis of Beverly “Matuomi” McCall
Minor Characters
Brad Dolan
A nursing home employee who reminds Paul of Percy Wetmore, Brad Dolan finds pleasure in cruelty and harasses Paul throughout his time at the nursing home. Like Percy, he demonstrates a combination of aggressiveness and cowardice, using his position of authority to inflict harm on weaker individuals.
Arthur “The President” Flanders
Convicted for throwing his father out of a window, The Pres sees his death sentence commuted to life—according to Harry, because the mere fact that he is white. He is murdered twelve years later in prison, drowned in dry-cleaning fluid.
Bill Dodge
A “floater” (i.e., an irregular guard) on E block in charge of other floaters. He is described as a responsible worker. With Dean Stanton, he attempts to protect the mouse Mr. Jingles from Percy’s wrath, and chastens Percy for upsetting the prisoners with his outbursts of violence.
Howie Detterick
Klaus and Marjorie’s son. He is the first to discover that the twins have disappeared. While searching for his sisters, he gives in to fear, almost fainting when he sees a blood-filled patch of grass in the woods that held his sisters’ bodies.
Jack Van Hay
The man in charge of the switch room during executions. Percy asks Jack a lot of questions about the role of the sponge in executions, suggesting that his sabotage of Delacroix’s execution was premeditated.
Bobo Marchant
The man whose dogs lead the search party in charge of finding the Detterick girls. Paul describes him as an ignorant Southerner.