2 Addie Bundren She’s the dead lady that Cash is making the coffin for. Mother of Cash, Jewel, Dewey Dell, Darl and Vardaman (who at one point suggests that she is a fish)Former schoolteacher—bitter about her life with husband AnseFavors Jewel among her kids.Doesn’t have much to say in the book but more than you might expect from a dead person.
3 Anse Bundren He’s the dad, a poor farmer. Hunchback Lazy, self-pitying, incredibly selfishNot in the running for “Father of the Year”Not held in high regard by those who know him
4 Cash Bundren Oldest Bundren offspring Skilled and careful carpenter Stoic and selfless, the opposite of his dadHis stoicism gets a little ridiculous at the end.As close to normal as the Bundrens get
5 Darl Bundren Next oldest after Cash The sensitive “artistic” Bundren Articulate, which makes his sections interesting but sometimes difficultMore than any of the others, Darl is bummed about hauling dead Mom’s coffin all over the countryside
6 Jewel Bundren Illegitimate child of Addie and the local minister. Like another ministerial mistake, Pearl, he is very willfulA little hard to understand his motivation sometimesDedicated to the coffin ideaYour view of him will change by the end of the novel.
7 Dewey Dell Bundren Only daughter 17 and secretly pregnant Desperate to end the pregnancy100% ignorant of biological issues
8 Vardaman Bundren Youngest child Seems, at first, to be a little mentally challenged, but by the end you understand him better.Strangely connects his dead mom with a dead fish—this does not speak well of either the mom or the fish
9 Vernon Tull A neighbor to the Bundrens Also a farmer but a more successful oneHelps the Bundrens but is a critic of the dadComparatively reliable voice in the book
10 Cora Tull Vernon’s wife Deeply religious—to the point that it can cloud her judgementIs with Addie when Addie diesThinks Addie was impious, sinful, and full of pride
11 Cast of thousandsThere are 8 or 10 more characters that inhabit this novel.I know it seems like a lot of folks to keep track of, but you will come to know the Bundrens so well that they will be easy.These other characters all have their function in the novel but are minor compared to the Bundrens and the Tulls.