Daniel (Dan) Martin
Daniel (Dan) Martin, a British playwright turned Hollywood screenwriter. Dan is a forty-five-year-old man in emotional and artistic exile. Reared as a vicar’s son in Devon and educated at the University of Oxford, Dan is a comfortable atheist, a tentative socialist, and a skilled dialogue technician. He sees life through the distorting and limiting eyes of a filmmaker, objectifying or reinventing reality to fit his needs. Accordingly, he can be quick and clever (and often evasive and patronizing) in real emotional situations; after a failed marriage, he has had numerous satisfying but double-edged romances. He is very self-aware and senses his alienation and the echoes of his past. In going to the deathbed of his estranged friend Anthony, Dan faces that past (what Anthony, Jane, Nell, and he meant to one another) and rediscovers lost honesty and passion, his love of nature, and his belief in meaningful art. In subsequent travels in England and the Middle East, he falls back in love with Jane, the one with whom he suspects he should have spent his life.
Jane Mallory, Dan’s former sister-in-law. A forty-five-year-old widow, Jane emerges from years of unfulfilled marriage to Anthony a withdrawn, confused, and defensive woman. She is intelligent, well-spoken, and newly interested in Marxism and sociopolitical reform, but these sentiments cloak the internal battle to accept responsibility for the subterfuges of the past and to find a new direction in life. Jane is a deeply intuitive woman, responsive less to logic than to “right feeling” and as expressive in silence as in words. By accepting Dan’s concern and, ultimately, his love, she becomes strong, open, and trusting once again.
Jenny McNeil, Dan’s girlfriend. Jenny is a twenty-five-year-old British actress learning the ways of Hollywood. She is a shrewd and challenging woman who loves both Dan and the games and repartee their relationship entails. Modern and independent,...
(The entire section is 842 words.)