Rabbit Hole Characters

The main characters in Rabbit Hole are Becca, Howie, Izzy, Nat, and Jason.

  • Becca is the play's protagonist. She is isolated by her grief over the recent death of her four-year-old son, Danny.
  • Howie is Becca's husband. He and Becca have grown distant since Danny's death, though he tries to connect with her.
  • Izzy is Becca's somewhat irresponsible younger sister. She has recently become pregnant.
  • Nat is Becca and Izzy's mother. Though she and Becca argue, she is a supportive figure who still grieves the death of her own son, Arthur.
  • Jason is the seventeen-year-old boy who accidentally struck Danny with his car. He visits Becca toward the end of the play.

Character List

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Last Updated on March 10, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 110

Becca

Becca is a grieving mother in her late thirties or early forties. Tough and uncompromising, she cannot tolerate insincerity or impracticality.

Howie

Howie, Becca’s husband, is a patient man who specializes in pretending everything is fine.

Izzy

Becca’s younger sister, Izzy, is in her late twenties or early thirties....

(The entire section contains 807 words.)

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Becca

Becca is a grieving mother in her late thirties or early forties. Tough and uncompromising, she cannot tolerate insincerity or impracticality.

Howie

Howie, Becca’s husband, is a patient man who specializes in pretending everything is fine.

Izzy

Becca’s younger sister, Izzy, is in her late twenties or early thirties. A perennial party girl who never grew up, Izzy is still trying to find herself.

Nat

Becca and Izzy’s mother, Nat, is an opinionated, though supportive, woman with a knack for saying the wrong thing.

Jason

Jason is the awkward and nerdy seventeen-year-old boy who accidentally killed Becca and Howie’s son when the little boy ran in front of his car.

Character Analysis

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Last Updated on March 10, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 697

Becca

Lindsay-Abaire created many challenges in Rabbit Hole’s protagonist, Becca. First, the character is often difficult to like: she’s distant from her husband, judgmental of her sister, and rude to her mother. Lindsay-Abaire risks alienating the audience even though Becca’s circumstances are horrible and her grief immense. One trait that helps balance her difficult side is her sense of humor. Though she occasionally employs it to biting effect, Becca manages to find irony and humor in the surreal circumstances of her life. She is not mean; she is just isolated by her grief and finds the way people around her go about continuing their daily lives funny. Another important aspect of Becca is her concern for her family. Beneath the nit-picking of her sister Izzy is a genuine interest in her happiness and well-being. She also shows sympathy for her mother, who lost a child too, albeit under very different circumstances. Most importantly, Becca recognizes that Howie’s grief is different from hers, but it has equal depth and complexity. Becca is a character standing still, who cannot understand why the rest of the world keeps moving right past her.

Howie

Howie is a challenging role because for most of the play, his actions are defined exclusively in terms of Becca’s needs. He constantly monitors Becca in an attempt to give her what she wants. It is clear early on that he has made many sacrifices (his dog, his house) for his wife’s grief. Never is this clearer than when he watches Danny’s videotape alone. He is so concerned with his wife’s feelings that he treats his own grief like a dirty secret. Yet hiding his feelings from his wife is precisely what is perpetuating the distance between them. His attempt to compartmentalize his life also explains why he flirts with a member of his grief-counseling group. If Becca is too immersed in her grief, Howie is attempting to hide from his.

Izzy

Izzy’s defining trait may be her rebellious nature. Lindsay-Abaire establishes this at the very opening of the play by having Izzy give a detailed account of a bar fight in which she participated. Izzy is clearly the black sheep of the family, and repeated references are made to her needing to grow up. Yet in many ways, Izzy is presented as the id to Becca’s ego. Every thought and emotion Izzy has comes out totally uncensored. Although she may be irresponsible, she is far more in touch with her feelings than the people around her are. What holds Becca back through much of the play is her inability to properly express her feelings. This presents no problem for Izzy, as exemplified by her direct and unapologetic confrontation of Howie at the beginning of the second act.

Nat

Nat is the halfway point between Becca and Izzy. She has some of Becca’s tendencies to alienate people, but she also has Izzy’s knack for making bad choices and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Lindsay-Abaire also suggests that Nat is an alcoholic, or at least a heavy drinker. Reasons for this are never given, but her son’s drug addiction and suicide must certainly have played a role. Despite these issues, Nat is also shown in a positive maternal light. In her scene alone with Becca in Danny’s room, she feels for her daughter’s difficulty in moving on after such a loss. She also cares for her daughter when Becca loses control at the grocery store. Overall, there is a great sense of regret and atonement in Nat, as if she wants to make up for poor parenting choices from the past.

Jason

Jason is an odd, socially awkward boy who had the misfortune of driving the car that Danny tried to run past. Underneath his remorse is a strong desire to meet Becca and Howie. His confession that he might have been going a few miles over the speed limit reveals that he still blames himself for Danny’s death. When he bristles at Becca’s mentioning of his absent father, Jason reveals that he may have family troubles and unresolved feelings of his own.

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