Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 223

Don Birnam

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Don Birnam, an unsuccessful writer who becomes an alcoholic. Even though his friends and relatives try to help him, he has no wish to overcome his alcoholism. When sent to a rest farm for a cure, he manages to find liquor there. He is left alone one weekend; to get liquor, he takes the housekeeper’s money, tries to steal a purse in a restaurant, and finally manages to borrow some money. He is hospitalized for a few hours; upon his release, he immediately goes to get more whiskey to satisfy his need.

Wick Birnam

Wick Birnam, Don’s brother. He tries to help Don break away from alcohol in every way he can. Wick is spending a weekend in the country when his brother has his nightmarish experiences.


Helen, Don’s friend, who tries with Wick to help the alcoholic. She even takes Don to her apartment. When she does, he steals her fur coat and pawns it for a few dollars for whiskey.


Gloria, a hostess at Sam’s Bar. She agrees to go on a date with Don after he tells her a fiction about having a frigid wife and several children. He forgets the appointment.


Bim, a male nurse in the alcoholic ward of a hospital where Don is taken after he loses consciousness.

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