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A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
A little boy, five-years-old. He is often sent to baby-sitters, while his parents are having parties and hangovers. He is a curious child, still not sure of the world's limits and possibilities. He is simple, and somewhat trusting-in many ways, a typical little boy.
She is, for the first time, Harry's baby-sitter. She has several other children, and a penchant for healing preachers. She is nice to Harry, and indignant when she learns about his worthless parents.
Reverend Bevel Summers
The healing preacher. He is very young, and doesn't like to be referred to as a healer, but a preacher. He is anxious, however, for people to join him in the "river of Christ."
An older man in the town who goes to all the prayer/healing meetings, but has gotten cynical. He still goes, and makes sarcastic comments. But he is interested in seeing good acts, and tries to look after Harry when he goes off on his own.
Harry, a curious child, somewhat neglected, is left to his own devices. He has ideas, after his encounter with the preacher. Harry looks for a comfortable place for himself in the river.
Protagonist and Antagonist
Harry is certainly the protagonist, and the antagonists may be his parents (who don't take care of him very well), or Mr. Paradise (who accidentally chases him into the river), or Mrs. Connin (who puts ideas in his head).
When Harry goes into the river, will he find what he is looking for and how far will it take him?
After deciding that there is no peace to putting his head under water (it pushes him back and makes him choke) he is startled by Mr. Paradise, who is actually coming to pull him out. Harry puts his head under one more time--trying to get away from the scary man who is coming after him--and the river current pulls him under and he finds the weird peace of the flowing water. And drowns.