Explore this guide to the Demon Copperhead characters for an in-depth guide to the nearly two dozen important characters in the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Oprah’s Book Club selection by Barbara Kingsolver that gave a very memorable identity to the plight of many Americans in Appalachia.
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This guide to Demon Copperhead characters is meant to aid the reader. There are necessarily some spoilers because the characters cannot be described without conveying their role, which gives some plot details. Still, I tried not to give away too much, but rather just assist the reader in consuming this very character-driven book.
Demon Copperhead Characters
Damon Fields (“Demon Copperhead”): The protagonist of the novel, which begins at his birth as a poor boy in Lee County, Virginia (Appalachia)
“Mom” Fields: Demon’s single mother, a poor and drug-addicted teen
Mr. and Mrs. Peggott: an older couple who are neighbors, and often caretakers, to Demon in his childhood years
Matt Peggott “(Maggot”): Demon’s closest childhood friend and the Peggotts’ grandson, for whom they care while his mother is in jail
Murrell Stone (“Stoner”): Demon’s stepfather, who is abusive to Demon and his mother
Emmy: Maggot’s cousin, a good friend to both Demon and Maggott
June Peggott: Emmy’s aunt and guardian, a nurse and a stable parental figure who is against the opioid epidemic
Miss Barks: Demon’s social worker, who is overworked and underpaid
Mr. Crickson (“Creaky”): Demon’s first foster parent, a struggling tobacco farmer who uses foster children for labor
Tommy Waddell (“Waddles”): Demon’s friend in foster care, a genuinely good person
Sterling Ford (“Fast Forward”): Demon’s friend in foster care and the high school quarterback — a charismatic star with a dark side, including drug use
Mr. and Mrs. McCobb: Demon’s chronically insolvent second foster parents, who are both abusive and neglectful
Betsy Woodall: Demon’s paternal grandmother, who cares for girls and gets him into a better foster placement
Dick: Betsy’s brother, a smart man who is physically handicapped
Coach Winfield: Demon’s football coach and his final caretaker, who is generally well-intentioned, but struggles with alcohol addiction, grief, and an unhealthy obsession with football
Agnes (“Angus”): Coach Winfield’s daughter, who is bright, competent, loving, and anti-drugs
Ryan Pyles (“U-Haul”): a “helper” of the Wilfields who takes advantage of them
Hammerhead Kelly (“Hammer”): a distant Peggott cousin by marriage and Emmy’s first “real” boyfriend
Dori: Demon’s drug-addicted high school girlfriend
Frequently Asked Questions
In Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Angus is a girl. She is Coach Winfield’s daughter, and her real name is Agnes.
In Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Aunt June is Emmy’s aunt and guardian, a nurse and a stable parental figure who is against the opioid epidemic.
In Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Dori, who was pregnant for a short time, becomes so drug-addicted that she miscarries, and then, she overdoses and dies.
These Demon Copperhead characters are part and parcel of a once-in-a-lifetime type of novel that has resonated immensely with readers.
The unforgettable Demon and the supporting cast of characters have made a lasting mark on me, and I hope it either already have or will soon on you too. If you read it with your book club, be sure to check out these discussion questions for Demon Copperhead,
Keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts or any remaining questions you have in the comments below.
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