- Based on the story, who is Johnny Bear and how is he portrayed by the author?
Johnny Bear is a character in the story named Johnny bear. He is best described as a half-wit. The narrator in the story says that Johnny is a big person who bears a resemblance to the real bear animal. He is big, hairy, and his feet and posture make him look as if he is disabled. Johnny, as Alex at the Buffalo bar describes him, is an invisible half-wit. He can imitate any graphic and voice.
Johnny would follow people and listen to their conversations and then repeat these conversations later to other people. He did this to earn favors from people. He would listen to a conversation then go to the bar and repeat them in their exact voice and in some cases body movements. He imitated the narrator and later on the aristocrat ladies of Loma, Amy and Emalin. Funny enough, Johnny is never seen or heard whenever he stalks his victims. It is believed he can come to a closed window and still hear the whispers in the house. The only way to notice Johnny is to walk with dogs, which will give an alarm if he is around. However, Johnny played an important role in Loma because he passed on the news to the people, most notably; he was the first to reveal that Amy was sick. Unfortunately, is believed that Johnny cannot understand what he says.
- Apart from Johnny Bear, who are the other notable characters in the story?
Loma is a small place with few residents. Most of the inhabitants are farmers. Mrs. Ratz is a landlord who is said to be very harsh. The narrator is one of her tenants. Mrs. Ratz is married to Timothy Ratz. He is mostly found at the bar playing solitaire. Fat Carl owns a bar in the small town. Amy and Emalin are two ladies, whose father was a congressman before his death. They are portrayed as humble, rich and generous individuals. However, their unhappiness is later on revealed by Johnny Bear when he repeated their conversation at the Buffalo bar. Alex tried to look out for Amy and Emalin’s reputation by stopping Johnny Bear from repeating their conversations.
Steinbeck, J. (1943). Johnny Bear. New York: Avon Book Company.