Characters

The most important characters in the short story “Born of Man and Woman” by Richard Matheson are the child-narrator and its parents. The child is unnamed, and its gender is not revealed. The story suggests that the child is severely deformed and might even be a monster and, consequently, is hidden by its parents in the cellar. 

The child’s parents can be analyzed together, as they share their hatred of the child. They are both extremely violent with the child and seem to be ashamed and afraid of it. 

The story then mentions the “little mother” – probably the child’s sister – and other children playing outside. There is also a mention of “the people” who are upstairs, with the child’s parents. They all represent a world from which the child is excluded.

You can read a full characterization of the child and the parents in the following pages.