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This paper addresses several novels by the Georgia-born writer Harry Crews. Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit, A Feast of Snakes, and Body each involve comparable female characters and potentially anti-feminist commentaries. Whether the author intends to convey anti-feminist messages or merely to depict faithfully the attitudes of the male, “grit” inhabitants of southern Georgia and northern Florida remains unsettled in critical accounts. Previous criticism also fails to explore a connection between women and another class of characters, Crews’s freaks. Crews has said, “freaks are human beings who happen to be ‘enterable,’” that is, their physical appearance leads to revelations of character and of human nature in general. This paper demonstrates the ways in which the novelist accesses character through physical appearance, and it traces the problems that arise from this approach. Moreover, it pursues the relationship of character and perspective to Crew’s attitudes toward the genre of the novel itself. Perspective—the vantage points of narrators, characters, the novelist, and the readers—informs not only the political messages evidenced by Crews’s fiction, it also sheds light on the ideological underpinnings of the novel, which derive from its form. Crews asks whether a form that claims to encompass not only the socioeconomic, symbolic, and historical forces behind a particular narrative, but also the private psychologies of the individuals involved, is really well-suited to such endeavors, or whether the novel itself does not have certain limitations for which its practitioners must account. The paper charts Crews’s struggle to reconcile his characters’ humanness with their status as fictional beings.