Bertrand Carnéjoux, the forty-five-year-old host of the dinner party and husband of Martine Carnéjoux. He is the editor in chief of Ring, a newspaper, and author of the book Sober Pleasures, an experimental novel. He has been having affairs with Marie-Ange Vasgne, Armande, the chambermaid, and his secretary, Colette. Throughout the dinner, he reminisces about Marie-Plum, the only woman he ever loved. He once slept with Lucienne Osborn, almost twenty years ago, but he does not recognize her until near the end of the party. He obsesses about his own death, giving the pair of jeweled cufflinks he would be buried in to Jérôme Aygulf. Bertrand is jealous of the dance Martine had with Gilles Bellecroix and fears there may be an attraction between them.
Martine Carnéjoux, nicknamed Pilou, the hostess of the dinner party and wife of Bertrand. She is twenty-five years old and has two children, Jean-Paul, age four, and Rachel, age two, who form the emotional nucleus of her life. Shortly before the party, she had a nose job. She knows about her husband’s numerous affairs, but despite this, she has been faithful to him throughout their ten-year marriage. She had a memorable dance with Gilles Bellecroix the previous January and is sexually attracted to him.
Marie-Ange Vasgne, a twenty-three-year-old French Canadian model. A country girl from Quebec, she was raped by a redheaded man when she was fourteen years old. This rape altered the course of her life. She became a prostitute, using men to advance her career. Eventually, she moved to France and became a magazine model. She comes to the dinner party hoping to seduce John Osborn so that he will give her a part in a movie he is...
(The entire section is 747 words.)