Kathy (Kath), a dowdy Englishwoman in early middle age. An outwardly respectable symbol of bourgeois life and values, Kath is a woman with an illegitimate child in her past. She lives with her father in a small home, and her passion for the young lodger she takes in forms one of the play’s central story lines. Although she makes frequent protestations regarding her own morality and honor, she is at heart selfish and easily able to rationalize her less-than-respectable actions. This attitude typifies the play’s portrait of the British middle class.
Mr. Sloane, an attractive, ruthless, and utterly amoral young man. Sloane is the catalyst for the play’s action, arriving as a lodger in Kath’s home in the opening scene and establishing volatile relationships with each of the other characters. Although his background is mysterious and probably criminal, he clearly is a member of the working class and, therefore, an intruder in the social norm of Kath’s household. A figure of menace and violence throughout the play, Sloane appears to be an avaricious manipulator, successfully exploiting the other characters’ weaknesses for his own ends. The story’s conclusion finds him caught in a trap of his own device.
Ed (Eddie), Kath’s selfish, bullying brother. Ed is a pompous, greedy hypocrite with a keen interest in young men. He is trying to take...
(The entire section is 402 words.)