Karl Childers
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Karl Childers

Sling Blade

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About Him

Grew Up… mentally challenged in a very dysfunctional family. His parents didn’t want him around much, so they built a shed in back of the house where Karl slept on the dirt with a quilt. Karl was constantly made fun as a kid– especially by his father’s boss Dixon and his son Jesse. By the age 9, Karl had had enough. When Karl walked in on his mother having intercourse with Jesse, he flew into a rage, decapitating his mother and her lover with a sling blade. He was sent away to Arkansas State Hospital for the criminally insane.

Living as a free man after 25 years. He has been deemed “cured” and released from the hospital. He is now back his hometown in Arkansas where he has become close friends with a 12-year-old name Frank Wheatley. Frank’s father committed suicide, so Frank seems to look up to Karl as a father figure. And Linda, Frank’s mom, has also become close with Karl and even invited him to live in their garage. Karl also likes Linda’s gay friend, Vaughan, who is the manager of the dollar store where she works. Vaughan and Karl have bonded over the fact that they both face intolerance– Vaughn for being gay, and Karl for his mental handicap.

Profession… mechanic. Herepairs engines at a fix-it shop in Millsburg. The owner used to go to church with Woolridge. It’s a paltry wage and there’s nothing but an army cot and a toilet there. They order from Dairy Queen at noontime usually. It's a small operation.

Interests… religion. He lives inside his own heart, which is the domain of the Lord. He tries to read the Bible, but he doesn’t understand much.

Relationship Status… difficult to maintain. Karl is not the smoothest guy; he utters "uh-huh"s every few words and is constantly rubbing his hands together. And whoever he’s after, he usually gets run off by her family if they're home. The Bible says to not do anything until you’re married, so Karl’s content to wait for the right woman to come along.

Challenge… getting away from Doyle, Linda’s boyfriend. He is a mean drunk who constantly torments everyone around him. Karl is used to insensitivity, but he hates to see Linda and Frank treated so badly by Doyle.

Personality… depressed and angry but at times caring. Karl has a low IQ, but that doesn’t make him simple. He is very complex, showing some signs of caring (especially with Linda and Frank), but also showing a dark side. 

Karl Childers's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #5055 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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