Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Mommy, the head of the household, who dominates the play. She complains about poor service in the department store and, in general, is fixated on her role as a consumer. Mommy’s main interest is to remain in control and make life convenient for herself, which means, among other things, getting rid of outspoken and quarrelsome Grandma, who has become a nuisance. Mommy and Daddy apparently have a child who somehow disappointed them. They hope that the visit from Mrs. Barker will result in disposition of Grandma, getting a new child, and restoring their sense of domestic bliss. Mommy does not seem to notice that she often contradicts herself. At the end of the play, she welcomes the appearance of the Young Man, who seems familiar to her, even though she cannot identify him.


Daddy, who acts in most ways as Mommy’s subordinate. He is a whiner and complains about how difficult it is to get anything fixed in the apartment. His comments seem infantile, and he doubts himself, so that Mommy has to keep propping him up by praising his masculinity. Like Mommy, he anticipates the arrival of a new adopted child as if it were a product from the department store. Almost never thinking for himself, he is quite willing to have Mommy or Mrs. Barker suggest the right course of action. He is inept, so that Mommy often repeats herself to make sure that he understands her. He even has trouble finding Grandma’s bedroom....

(The entire section is 587 words.)