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The first thing we learn about Lena is that she is homeless thanks to having been kicked out of their home by government authorities prior to the beginning of the story.  She is a black South African, and at the beginning of the story they are carrying their bundles, hers...

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The first thing we learn about Lena is that she is homeless thanks to having been kicked out of their home by government authorities prior to the beginning of the story.  She is a black South African, and at the beginning of the story they are carrying their bundles, hers on her head, and she has led an entire life of poverty and struggle and the effects of that show in her face and demeanor and their clothes.

Lena is looking for someone to listen to her, to act as a story teller and to know the story of her life, similar to the role Horatio may have played after the end of Hamlet.  She is hoping to find someone who will understand her and the places she's been as her husband is reluctant to fill that role.

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