In the novel The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren, the character of Molly Novotny is a nightclub hostess in her early twenties who falls in love with the protagonist, Frankie Majcinek, known as “the man with the golden arm” for his steady and precise ability to deal cards. Molly works at the Club Safari and lives in the apartment below Frankie and his disabled wife, Sophie (nicknamed Zosh).
Molly’s domestic life is very difficult. She is in an abusive relationship with an older man, Drunkie John, whom she supports even though he causes her emotional and physical harm. She becomes smitten with Frankie and pities his difficulties. Molly even hides him from the law. Her hopes of running off with Frankie and having a better future are extinguished when Drunkie John alerts the police of Frankie’s hiding place.