Winter’s Bone

by

Daniel Woodrell

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Winter’s Bone Characters

Ree Dolly

The protagonist of the novel, sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly is the primary breadwinner for and caretaker of her family. Stubborn, resilient, and introspective, Ree is charged with the task of turning up her missing father Jessupread analysis of Ree Dolly

Sonny Dolly

Ree’s younger brother, a tough and hostile boy. He is ten years old, but already has a sense of responsibility and initiative, and is often shown to be itching to prove his maturity. He… read analysis of Sonny Dolly

Jessup Dolly

Ree’s father, a well-known crystal meth cook. Though he is not physically present in the novel, his absence drives the narrative. Before the start of the novel, in order to get himself out of… read analysis of Jessup Dolly

Uncle Teardrop

Ree’s uncle and Jessup’s brother, nicknamed Teardrop for the teardrop prison tattoos on his face. A fearsome figure and crystal meth cook, Teardrop seems at first to be the novel’s antagonist. His violent… read analysis of Uncle Teardrop

Gail Lockrum

Ree’s best friend from high school, forced to drop out after becoming pregnant. Gail is Ree’s ally and confidante, and helps her with both her hunt for her father and with the care of… read analysis of Gail Lockrum
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Merab

Thump Milton’s wife and the leader of a violent attack against Ree; she eventually brings Ree to her father Jessup’s body. Merab is tough but practical, and though her actions are brutal… read analysis of Merab

Blond Milton

A member of Ree’s extended family, he brings her to a long-ago-exploded meth lab in an attempt to deceive her into believing her father died there. Later, he offers to take in one of… read analysis of Blond Milton
Minor Characters
Harold Dolly
Ree’s youngest brother, eight years old and only eighteen months younger than Sonny. He tries desperately to be as tough as his older brother, but is much more sensitive.
Connie Dolly
Ree’s mother. The victim of a nameless mental illness, she has difficulty speaking. She spends much of her time seemingly trapped inside her own head, and throughout the novel experiences only a few small moments of clarity and coherence.
Sonya
Blond Milton’s wife and one of Ree’s cousins and neighbors. On several occasions throughout the novel she offers Ree help, food, and, in the wake of Ree’s attack at the hands of the Thump clan, painkillers.
Little Arthur
A crank cook and a volatile acquaintance of Ree’s father Jessup. Ree goes to him to seek answers to Jessup’s whereabouts, but the meeting ends only in harsh words and threats of violence.
Deputy Baskin
A police officer who visits Ree on several occasions to apprise her of Jessup’s disappearance and bond. Eventually, Ree delivers her father’s severed hands to Baskin as proof of Jessup’s death and the bond’s status as null and void.
April
Jessup’s former mistress. Ree and Gail travel to the Arkansas state line in order to ask April whether she knows anything of Jessup’s whereabouts.
Victoria
Teardrop’s third and fifth wife, a warm and kind woman. Ree looks up to her.
Floyd Langan
Gail’s husband. He is an unfaithful and controlling partner.
Ned Langan
Gail and Floyd’s infant son.
Thump Milton
The fearsome leader of the Thump clan of the Hawkfall valley.
Megan
One of Ree’s distant cousins from Hawkfall who eventually becomes complicit in the attack against her.
Mike Satterfield
The bondsman looking to collect on Jessup’s bail.