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Here are the characters in Neil Simon's play Barefoot in the Park:

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  • Corie Bratter: a free-thinking young woman who has just married Paul Bratter and who tries to decorate their apartment. Her main objective is having new adventures, and she isn't very practical.
  • Paul Bratter: is a young lawyer who marries Corie and is far more concerned with practical matters than she is. He does not like their uncomfortable, small apartment in a bohemian section of New York City and would prefer a more staid lifestyle than his wife.
  • Ethel Banks: is Corie's widowed mother. She lives a placid, boring life in New Jersey and can not really stomach Corie's lifestyle. She can barely even get up to Corie's apartment, and she tends to complain a great deal about anything new and about her bodily ailments until she finds Corie's adventurous neighbor, Victor Velasco.
  • Victor Velasco: is Corie and Paul's eccentric, womanizing neighbor who is a gourmet cook and who shares Corie's sense of fun and adventure. A middle-aged man, he lives in the attic above Corie and Paul's small apartment. He eventually winds up in a couple with Ethel after Corie sets them up on a blind date.
  • Telephone repairman: he goes up, huffing and puffing, to Corie and Paul's new apartment in an attempt to fix the phone, and he witnesses their marital discord.

Characters Discussed

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Corie Bratter

Corie Bratter, a newlywed, married only six days at the beginning of the play. She is young, pretty, and full of enthusiasm for the future. Impulsive and fun-loving, she considers herself a doer, not a watcher. Her impetuosity is not shared, at first, by her mother or husband, and they are aghast when she cheers the crazy antics of Victor, a neighbor. Corie eventually learns to appreciate dependability and quiet strength.

Paul Bratter

Paul Bratter, Corie’s husband, a twenty-six-year-old attorney in his first job. Both his dress and his outlook are very conservative. Extremely proper and dignified, he always knows the right thing to say. He is levelheaded and practical, and he keeps his emotions in check, perhaps too much so. After Corie accuses him of lacking playfulness, he shows her that he, too, is capable of...

(The entire section contains 568 words.)

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Critical Essays