Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 241
The characters of "Absurd Singular Person" are:
A businessman who goes from owning a general store to expanding into real estate development. He is an energetic, small man who likes to fix things around the house. Although he is not the most romantic person, he's willing to bring positivity in every situation.
Jane is Sidney's wife who is obsessed with cleanliness and domesticity. She plays the role of the typical TV housewife, doing whatever it takes to keep the house in order.
Ronald is a bank officer with an intimidating appearance who struggles with understanding women. Because he belongs to the managerial class, he relies on others to fix things for him.
Marion is Ronald's sophisticated, second wife, who looks down on those whom she thinks is beneath her. She is hypocritical and deals with life's problems by drinking alcohol.
An architect who is also a shameless womanizer., Geoffrey's arrogance prevents him from recognizing the flaws in his designs and his marriage, but he is eventually humbled by his mistakes and learns to appreciate his wife more.
Eva is Geoffrey's unstable wife, who is unhappy with her marriage and uses tranquilizers as a way to cope. Her drug use prevents her from having healthy interactions with people and keeping the house clean. After a failed suicide attempt, she tries to get her life together and, along with her husband's newfound appreciation, begins to regain stability.
Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 695
Sidney Hopcroft, an up-and-coming businessman in his thirties who starts out running a general store but successfully expands into real estate development. He sports a thin mustache and, when first seen, wears a dated but well-kept suit. He is small in stature, dapper, very cheerful, and exuberant. His bustling energy, which the more urbane Brewster-Wrights find boring and gauche, suits his wife perfectly. An irrepressible handyman, he loves do-it-yourself projects and household repairs. He constantly fidgets and, when not under a sink fixing the plumbing, flits about nervously. His Christmas gift to his wife, a deluxe washing machine, is indicative of his no-nonsense, unromantic nature. Although serenely oblivious to the emotional state of others, his goodwill seems genuine and infectious. He is a spark plug, always trying to get others to have fun, even in the most unlikely situations. Much of the play’s hilarity springs from Hopcroft’s inappropriate activity for the circumstances, especially in act 2, when Eva Jackson repeatedly attempts suicide while Sidney tries to clean out her kitchen-sink trap.
Jane Hopcroft, Sidney’s wife, also in her thirties. Called “Admiral” by Sidney, she has an obsessive need to clean and scrub. In her delight with such tasks, she seems to parody the typical wife of television commercials. She has the habit of breaking into song when busy with domestic chores, making her seem silly and inane. Like her husband, she lacks imagination and sensitivity when it comes to others. She is not as gregarious as Sidney and does not like parties or drinking, accepting her role as hostess more as a grim domestic duty than a pleasure. With dust rag in hand, she is effusive and cheerful but otherwise rather stiff and apprehensive. In the final scene, however, fortified with several drinks, she unwinds and joins in the fun with atypical abandon.
Ronald Brewster-Wright, a bank officer. A well-bred man in his forties, he is fairly imposing in appearance but not particularly distinguished. Although capable of wry observations, he is rather stuffy, deliberate, and reserved, in striking contrast to Sidney Hopcroft. Now in his second marriage, he admits that women are incomprehensible to him. Belonging to the managerial class and thus relying on servants and tradesmen, he is incompetent as a handyman. He comes close to electrocuting himself while attempting to repair a light fixture in the Jacksons’ flat.
Marion Brewster-Wright, Ronald’s wife, somewhat younger than him. Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, she has a patronizing attitude toward those she considers beneath her. She is also two-faced, exuding charm and warmth when face to face with the Hopcrofts but making unkind comments behind their backs. On the weary and bored side, she drinks excessively, presumably to cope with life’s disenchantments. Ultimately, she is incapacitated by her alcoholism, becoming an increasing embarrassment to her husband.
Geoffrey Jackson, an architect. He is a handsome man in his mid-thirties and is a self-styled “sexual Flying Dutchman” who womanizes shamelessly. He has a rather arrogant self-esteem but is not the creative genius he imagines himself to be. He is humbled somewhat when the ceiling of a building he designed caves in and his professional prospects diminish. Ironically, in the building’s ruins, his marriage begins to be rebuilt. He finally learns to value the emotional support and loyalty his wife offers him.
Eva Jackson, Geoffrey’s wife, also in her thirties. Initially, she is distraught and desperately unhappy in her marriage. She feels abandoned by her husband and uses tranquilizers to cope with her misery. Fear of madness and the numbing effect of drugs make it difficult for her to socialize or perform simple household chores, and she becomes as untidy and careless as Jane Hopcroft is neat and orderly. When Geoffrey announces that he is moving out to take up with another woman, Eva, at an emotional ebb, makes an ineffectual attempt to kill herself. As if spiritually refortified by her seriocomic failure at suicide, she begins to put her life in order. In the last act, strengthened by the new demeanor of her husband, she reveals remarkable good sense and emotional stability.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support