Nat Miller: The head of the Miller household and the owner of a local newspaper, Nat Miller, in his late fifties, is a warm, wise, and understanding man.
Essie: Nat's wife, Essie Miller, is around fifty years old and the mother of four. She runs a well kept but lived-in house, in a “bustling, mother-of-a-family way.”
Arthur: The oldest of the Miller children, Arthur is nineteen years old and a football linesman and student at Yale University.
Richard: The second son of Nat and Essie, Richard is almost seventeen. He sees himself as a radical and a poet, although most of his words and actions are quite tame. He is in throes of first love, and is sure he loves Muriel McComber with a passion and depth that no one has experienced before.
Mildred: The other daughter of Nat and Essie, Mildred is fifteen years old and considered attractive and vivacious. She is just old enough to be a great tease to her older brothers.
Tommy: The youngest child in the Miller family, Tommy is eleven years old and bursting with energy.
Sid Davis: Essie's forty-five year old brother, Sid is a gambler and an alcoholic. He was once engaged to Lily, who broke off the engagement because of his drinking and carousing.
Lily Miller: Nat's forty-two year old sister, Lily is a schoolteacher who is unmarried and childless. “She conforms outwardly to the conventional type of old-maid school teacher.”
David McComber: Muriel's father, David McComber he is a local businessman who advertises in Nat’s newspaper. He at first disapproves of Richard and Muriel’s relationship, but later accepts it. He is a “thin, dried-up little man.”
Muriel McComber: The daughter of David McComber, Muriel is almost sixteen. She is a pretty girl who is in love with Richard.
Wint Selby: A classmate of Arthur's at Yale, Wint is nineteen years old and a bit of a “hell-raiser.”
Belle: Twenty years old, Belle is a pretty, peroxide-blonde prostitute.