Dick Diver, a brilliant young psychiatrist who inspires confidence in everyone. As a young man, he met a woman who became a patient and whom he married. He devoted most of his time during the next several years to helping her regain a certain normality. In the process of helping his wife, he loses his own self-respect, alienates most of his friends, and drowns his brilliance in alcohol. His professional position deteriorates to that of a general practitioner in successively smaller towns across the United States.
Nicole Warren Diver
Nicole Warren Diver, Dick’s wife, a fabulously rich American. As a young girl, she had an incestuous relationship with her father and subsequently suffered a mental breakdown. She marries Dick while still a patient and is content to let him guide her in all things for several years. When he begins to drink heavily and make scenes in public, she tries to stop him; in doing so, she begins to gain some moral strength of her own. In a short time, she no longer needs Dick, has a brief affair, and divorces Dick to marry her lover. Apparently aware of her part in Dick’s downfall, she continues to be somewhat concerned for him.
Rosemary Hoyt, a beautiful young American film actress. Having fallen in love with Dick, who is several years her senior, on their first meeting, she later has a brief affair with him. When she finally recognizes the decline in him, she is powerless to do anything about it. Although she retains her...
(The entire section is 635 words.)