Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Author: Marjorie Kellogg

First published: 1968

Genre: Novel

Locale: A small U.S. town and a seaside resort

Plot: Social

Time: The 1960's

Junie Moon, a young woman with her face and hands severely disfigured from having acid poured on her by a sexually disturbed assailant. Although her maimed face masks her emotions and her occasional biting words hide her sensitivity, she is the emotional center for the three disabled friends who leave the hospital to set up housekeeping in a run-down shack. Repulsed by the sight of her own face, she nevertheless is sexually attractive to Arthur, with whom she falls in love and has a brief affair before his death, and Mario, with whom she and Warren live after Arthur's death.

Arthur, a young man with an undiagnosed, progressive neurological disease. Walking with a lurching gait and waving his hands wildly around his face, he disguises his feelings by his nervous tics, yet his expressive eyes reveal his deep sensitivity. Deserted by his parents at a state school for the mentally handicapped, he runs away after being humiliated by Ramona, a cook he loves. He works for a time as a Western Union messenger and later is the only one of the three friends to look for a job. Rejected by the fishmonger Mario as a sexual pervert, he disappears to the woods before returning to his friends in a weakened state with a pet dog. On a vacation to the beach, he confesses his love for Junie Moon. He has a brief affair with her, then dies in her arms when they return home.

Warren, a paraplegic who has the idea and makes the arrangements for the three friends to live together. Abandoned by his mother at birth, he lived with Guiles, a young man who was hit by a delivery truck and killed when Warren was seven years old. For the rest of his life, he searches for a man who will love and care for him, thus assuming the role of Guiles. He became a paraplegic at the age of seventeen, when he was shot in the back by Melvin Coffee in a hunting “accident” after confessing his love for his friend.

Mario, the owner of a fish store who befriends Junie Moon, then the two men. Not repulsed by disfigurement because his grandmother had been seriously burned by hot soup, he helps Junie Moon search for the missing Arthur after making the mistake of not hiring him because of the malicious gossip of a neighbor. He provides a truck and money for the three friends to go on vacation when he realizes that Arthur will soon die, and he later shares his home with Warren, Junie Moon, and Arthur's dog.

Minnie, a fifty-two-year-old roommate of Junie Moon whose greatest desire, to be taken from the hospital to live with the three friends, is fulfilled when a sympathetic resident arranges for an ambulance to take her to their home, then picks her up himself later in the afternoon.

Sidney Wyner, a nosy neighbor who spies on the three friends and calls Mario to tell him that Arthur is a sodomist.

Gregory, a wealthy, voyeuristic woman who takes the three friends to her home and tries to convince Warren that he can walk.

Beach Boy, an employee of the resort hotel Patty's Hide-away. He pampers rich people and temporarily takes the place of Guiles in Warren's mind.

Binnie Farber, a sympathetic social worker who helps the three friends obtain welfare money to enable them to live in their own home.

Miss Oxford, a straitlaced head nurse who jealously believes that sex is at the heart of the friends' plan to live together.

Categories: Characters