The Taste of Watermelon


Borden Deal

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The Taste of Watermelon Characters

The Narrator

The story’s narrator is a sixteen-year-old boy who has just moved to a rural Southern community, and the story traces his coming of age. In the beginning, he still feels like an outsider to his… read analysis of The Narrator

Mr. Wills

Mr. Wills is the best and most intimidating farmer in the community. While he can grow anything on his land, his method of farming involves yelling and “fight[ing] the earth.” Combined with his large physical… read analysis of Mr. Wills


Willadean is the narrator’s sixteen-year-old neighbor, a tall, slender girl who, in the past year, has begun to mature. Freddy Gray remembers how the year before, Willadean had played children’s games. But this year… read analysis of Willadean

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray is one of the narrator’s new friends in the neighborhood. Along with J.D., the three teenage boys form a “bunch.” Their relationships to each other are still childish: they are “still… read analysis of Freddy Gray

Mrs. Wills

Mrs. Wills is Mr. Wills’s wife. She has been sick all year, and as a result, she is a very thin woman with pale skin. She sometimes sits on the porch for an hour… read analysis of Mrs. Wills
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The narrator’s father

The narrator’s father does not farm like the other fathers. Instead, he still works in the town the family moved from. He seems to have grown up in a similar rural community, as he… read analysis of The narrator’s father
Minor Characters
J.D. is one of the narrator’s best friends, along with Freddy Gray.