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Bless the Beasts and Children

Glendon Swarthout

Character List

Plot Overview

Character Analysis

John Cotton  -  A sixteen-year-old counselor. John adopts a leadership role in respect to the Bedwetters. He accepts these misfits into his cabin and works with them throughout the novel to help them improve themselves. His mother has had several boyfriends and husbands, and places a high emphasis on money. At the conclusion of the novel, Cotton dies when he crashes in a stolen pick-up truck.

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Lawrence Teft, III  -  Quiet, tall, skinny, and rebellious, fourteen-year-old Lawrence Teft originates from Mamaroneck, New York. His parents have high expectations that he constantly fails to meet, and he has become frustrated, and has an explosive temper and violent tendencies. His criminal abilities, however, help the Bedwetters through several difficult situations.

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Stephen Lally, Jr.  -  The older brother of Billy Lally. Stephen Lally, Jr., or Lally one, from Kenilworth, Illinois, demonstrates behavior bordering on the psychotic. Engaged in fierce sibling rivalry with his brother, he often acts vengeful toward his brother and his fellow campers. As a result of his parents' frequent absences, Lally one craves attention, even if it may be negative attention.

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Billy Lally  -  Lally one's younger brother. Billy Lally or Lally two is a shy, meek, and sensitive eleven-year-old boy. He suffers from a strong sense of insecurity, and exhibits signs of a lack of attention from his parents, such as low self-esteem. Despite these problems, Billy demonstrates a natural comfort and ease with animals, contrary to his brother, who often acts cruelly toward them.

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Gerald Goodenow  -  Fourteen-year-old Goodenow's father died when he was four years old, resulting in an over dependence on his mother. He also suffers from a profound fear of school and from a horrible relationship with his mother's new husband. Lacking athletic skills, he cannot make friends at school or at Box Canyon Boys Camp—until he meets the Bedwetters, who encourage him in his endeavors and boost his confidence.

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Sammy Shecker  -  A New York City native. Shecker is the son of a rich and famous comedian. Constantly reminded of his space in his father's shadow, as he does not possess nearly the same comedic skills, and often futilely attempts to use humor to hide pain. He overeats and chews his nails. He often finds himself in the middle of squabbles between his parents, each using him for their own ends.

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The camp director -  Endorses the cruel and competitive spirit rampant at the Box Canyon Boys Camp. The Bedwetters fear that he spots them on their way out of the camp gates en route to complete their mission, but they pass without notice.
The bowlers -  They hassle the Bedwetters in a bar in Flagstaff, until Teft threatens them by shooting a rifle at their car tire.
Wheaties -  Had been the Bedwetters' camp counselor before Cotton had taken pity on them and become their counselor and leader.

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