Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Sidney Hopcroft, an up-and-coming businessman in his thirties who starts out running a general store but successfully expands into real estate development. He sports a thin mustache and, when first seen, wears a dated but well-kept suit. He is small in stature, dapper, very cheerful, and exuberant. His bustling energy, which the more urbane Brewster-Wrights find boring and gauche, suits his wife perfectly. An irrepressible handyman, he loves do-it-yourself projects and household repairs. He constantly fidgets and, when not under a sink fixing the plumbing, flits about nervously. His Christmas gift to his wife, a deluxe washing machine, is indicative of his no-nonsense, unromantic nature. Although serenely oblivious to the emotional state of others, his goodwill seems genuine and infectious. He is a spark plug, always trying to get others to have fun, even in the most unlikely situations. Much of the play’s hilarity springs from Hopcroft’s inappropriate activity for the circumstances, especially in act 2, when Eva Jackson repeatedly attempts suicide while Sidney tries to clean out her kitchen-sink trap.
Jane Hopcroft, Sidney’s wife, also in her thirties. Called “Admiral” by Sidney, she has an obsessive need to clean and scrub. In her delight with such tasks, she seems to parody the typical wife of television commercials. She has the habit of breaking into song when busy with domestic chores, making her seem silly and inane. Like her husband, she lacks imagination and sensitivity when it comes to others. She is not as gregarious as Sidney and does not like parties or drinking, accepting her role as hostess more as a...
(The entire section is 695 words.)
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