Myra Breckinridge (MI-rah BREHK-ehn-ridj), the novel’s protagonist, who believes that the highest contemporary art form is the television commercial. She inherits her dead husband’s half share in an acting academy when she is twenty-seven years old. Myra’s co-owner of the academy, Buck Loner, her dead husband’s uncle, tries to force himself sexually upon Myra, but she considers him repulsive. Myra represents the “New Woman,” asserting that contemporary woman is living at the beginning of the age of “Women Triumphant, of Myra Breckinridge.” Myra is less self-assured than her outward demeanor suggests. An anger seethes within her. She sets as her goal to use “men the way they once used women.” To this end, she humiliates Rusty Godowsky, unaware that he relishes the humiliation she visits upon him. Finally, however, when Myra is involved in an automobile accident, her hormonal balance is upset, her breasts disappear, and she sprouts a beard. Then, in a surrealistic turn, it is revealed that Myra is actually Myron, her supposedly dead husband, a homosexual, who did not commit suicide by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry after all, but who changed sexes and passed himself off as the lusty widow.
Buck Loner, Myra’s co-owner of the acting academy and her supposedly dead husband’s uncle. He has deteriorated from...
(The entire section is 574 words.)