Miriam Aarons, a twenty-eight-year old stage actress who stars in musical comedies, is part of Mary’s social circle. Early in the play Miriam is having an affair with Howard Fowler, Sylvia’s husband. While in Reno, Sylvia learns that Miriam is the woman for whom Howard has divorced her and that he plans to marry Miriam after the divorce. Upon hearing this, Sylvia physically attacks Miriam, and the two women engage in a vicious hairpulling fight. After Miriam marries Howard, she is referred to as the second Mrs. Fowler. Toward the very end of the play, Miriam helps and encourages Mary to trick Crystal Allen into admitting that she is cheating on Stephen.
With Crystal Allen, Luce portrays a workingclass woman who is able to improve her socioeconomic status through being the mistress, then wife, of a wealthy man. Crystal is a young shop-girl who is having an affair with Stephen Haines, the husband of Mary Haines. Crystal first met Stephen while working at the perfume counter of Saks Fifth Avenue. As the play opens, Crystal has been living for several months as Stephen’s mistress in a fancy apartment in the Hotel Waverly.
Crystal is described by one character as a ‘‘terrible man-trap.’’ She first appears in the play at a women’s clothing store, where she is trying on clothes to be paid for by Stephen. When Mary confronts Crystal in the dressing room of the store, Crystal is...
(The entire section is 2257 words.)
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