Characters

The main characters of the short story “One of My Best Friends” by Peter Goldsworthy are the narrator and Willy. The narrator is a white Australian, whose father is a police officer and who often moves because of his father’s job. Willy is a half-Aboriginal boy whom the narrator befriends when moving to a new school. The story follows the two characters’ childhood friendship and focuses on their reunion when they are adults. The relationship between the narrator and Willy reflects the narrator’s prejudiced attitude towards Aboriginals and demonstrates how such attitudes build resentment in the Aboriginal community.

The narrator’s father appears only briefly in the story. However, he seems to influence the narrator’s own prejudiced views. When Willy is sent to a reform school, the narrator’s father remarks: “ ‘Once a boong, always a boong!’ ” (p.80, l. 3), which echoes the narrator’s own remark at the end. 

You can read a full characterization of the narrator and Willy in the following pages.