Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Harry Riley

Harry Riley, a janitor working in the dressing room (changing room) of a professional rugby team in northern England. Of all twenty-two characters in the play, Harry is the only one who seems to share no joy or comradeship in the work performed by the team. He works, he says, only for the team owner, Sir Frederick Thornton, and in twenty years he has never witnessed a rugby game at the stadium. Nevertheless, Harry is the focal point of the play. He asserts that modern living has softened team players, and he maintains that people living with the innovations of “progress” are diminished because they have distanced themselves from hard physical work, which is necessary for a sustaining, substantive life. Harry is a split character, on one hand often superstitious and ill-informed, but on the other able to accurately diagnose a change in team players. Harry is the first character on stage and the last to exit. His regular sweeping motion as he cleans the floor throughout the play is symbolic of the physical work that Harry believes is important.

Ken Walsh

Ken Walsh, a team forward who earns a measure of respect from other team players and supporters because of his levity. A laborer by profession, Walsh enjoys the comradeship of playing the game and is a main figure in the interaction between characters that makes up the advancement of the play.

Clifford Owens

Clifford Owens,...

(The entire section is 587 words.)