Liz Coates

Liz is the main character in the story, as indicated by the fact that the narration follows her and focuses on her perspective on the events.

Outer characterization

Liz's outer characterization tells us that she lives in Horton Bay and works for the Smith family, probably as a maid or servant. Her physical portrait focuses on the fact that she is always neat and clean, which suggests she is an attractive woman:

Liz Coates worked for Smith's. Mrs. Smith, who was a very large clean woman, said Liz Coates was the neatest girl she'd ever seen. Liz had good legs and always wore clean gingham aprons and Jim noticed that her hair was always neat behind. (ll. 6-9)

Her neatness might also be symbolic of her moral virtue and the fact that she is a virgin before Jim assaults her.

Inner characterization

Liz’s inner characterization is conveyed mostly in relation to Jim but also to her employer, Mrs. Smith.

The fact that she and Mrs. Smith work to cook food for the men before they leave to go hunting suggests a hard-working attitude...

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