The most important characters in “Up in Michigan” by Ernest Hemingway are Liz Coates and Jim Gilmore.

Liz Coates works as a serving girl in the small town of Hortons Bay. She is arguably the main character, as we mostly get the story from her perspective, and the reader is led to sympathize strongly with her as the story progresses.

Jim Gilmore works as a blacksmith in Hortons Bay, but also fishes and hunts for sport. He is the object of Liz’s obsession, but we only receive very little insight into his mind, so we have to guess at much of his characterization through his thoughts and actions. At the end, it is revealed that he is an aggressive and callous man, as evident in the rape he commits.

The story also feature other characters in the small town of Hortons Bay, though they mostly play secondary roles in the plot. The story is clearly focused on the interactions between Jim and Liz.