The Wasp Factory


Iain Banks

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Francis “Frank” Leslie Cauldhame / Frances Lesley Cauldhame

The protagonist and narrator. Frank is the child of Angus and Agnes, the brother of Paul and the half-brother of Eric. Frank sees himself as abnormal but essentially sane. He believes he is… read analysis of Francis “Frank” Leslie Cauldhame / Frances Lesley Cauldhame

Eric Cauldhame

Frank’s half-brother; the son of Angus and Mary. Once a sweet, bright, sensitive child, he suffered a mental breakdown in medical school that completely changed his personality. Eric has been incarcerated for “disturbing… read analysis of Eric Cauldhame

Angus Cauldhame

Angus is father to Frank, Eric, and Paul. He is around forty-five years old. Frank describes him as tall and slim, almost feminine. Agnes broke his left leg almost fourteen years ago… read analysis of Angus Cauldhame


Frank and Paul’s mother. She is in their lives only briefly. Frank meets her twice, once when he is born, and once when she returns to give birth to Paul. Agnes, like Angus was… read analysis of Agnes

Paul Cauldhame

Frank’s little brother, and the son of Agnes and an unknown man. Paul was born on the same day that Old Saul supposedly castrated Frank, and Frank believes that he is a reincarnation of… read analysis of Paul Cauldhame
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Esmerelda Stove

Frank’s little cousin, the daughter of Harmsworth and Morag. A sweet, trusting, easygoing child, Frank kills her because he feels he has killed too many boys and needs a girl to balance it… read analysis of Esmerelda Stove

Blyth Cauldhame

Frank and Eric’s cousin. Blyth would spend the summers visiting and terrorizing the island. Rude and violent, one year Blyth used a flamethrower to massacre Frank and Eric’s pet rabbits. This devastated Eric and… read analysis of Blyth Cauldhame


Frank’s best and only friend. Jamie is kind and ordinary, a stark contrast to Frank, who does not divulge any of his darkest secrets or strangest behavior to his friend. Jamie genuinely cares about… read analysis of Jamie

Old Saul

The old Cauldhame family bulldog who supposedly castrated three-year-old Frank. Old Saul was always mean and combative, but his attack on Frank was the final straw—afterwards Angus strangled the dog and buried him behind… read analysis of Old Saul

Mrs. Clamp

A local woman and family friend comes to the island every week to deliver supplies to Angus and Frank. She cares about the wellbeing of the family, but is not privy to any details… read analysis of Mrs. Clamp
Minor Characters
The local policeman. He and Angus have a friendly relationship, but Diggs does not trust Frank, who he suspects was involved in the deaths of Blyth, Esmerelda, and Paul.
Mary Cauldhame
Eric’s mother and Angus’s first wife. Frank knows very little about her, other than that she died in childbirth.
The barkeep at the Cauldhame Arms. He and Angus are friends, and he calls Angus to keep him updated on Frank’s whereabouts and drinking habits.
Harmsworth Stove
Esmerelda’s father, and Morag’s husband. He and his wife looked after Eric during his early childhood because they were concerned with how Angus was raising their nephew. Harmsworth committed suicide the year after Frank murdered his daughter.
Morag Stove
Esmerelda’s mother, and Harmsworth’s wife. She and her husband looked after Eric during his early childhood because they were concerned with how Angus was raising their nephew.
The owner of the local gun and tackle shop.
Mrs. Stuart
The owner of the local café.
Colin Cauldhame
Angus’s father and Frank’s grandfather.