"Crime", by George Lippard is full of many intriguing characters. Lippard introduces many of these characters under negative circumstances, but then, throughout the story, he reveals different sides of each character and the reader is given the chance to see a more sensitive or affectionate side to them. By showing that these characters are not all inherently bad, Lippard is asserting that these characters' social surroundings influence who they will become, concluding that a lot of the "evil" " they may contain is because of past hurts they've experienced. There are numerous characters in .
"Crime" who verify this conclusion, but the best examples are Devil Bug, Mr. Livingstone, and Bess.
Devil Bug is a very unsettling character and is introduced to us in a very negative way. Right from the start, his appearance is one of pure ugliness (44). As more pages reveal who Devil Bug is, the reader learns that Devil Bug is as ugly on the inside as on the outside. He finds joy in causing others pain and misery and also will kill just about anyone without guilt. He is asked by Fits-Cowles (through Dem) to kill The Jew (191), and by Dora Livingstone to kill Luke Harvey (235). On his own, he kills Widow Smolby after she tries to attack him for breaking into her house (204). He attempts to kill Burnwood multiple times and in new ways, such as carbon dioxide poisoning and burying him alive (102, 254). It should be noted that he does all these things with a smile or a grin upon his face, only confirming that he is truly evil (235, 262).
Just when you think that Devil Bug could not possess any goodness, Lippard, through the narrator, surprises the reader by introducing Ellen and Mable. Ellen is Devil Bug's past and, it seems, his only lover. A man brought her to Monk-Hall one night, and when he hit her, Devil Bug knocked him down. Ellen stayed at Monk-Hall with Devil Bug for a year. He recounts the memory like this: "Gal liked me from that hour.