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Andrew is a professor of political philosophy at a small college in Boston. He lives alone in an apartment and has befriended his neighbor Georgie, appointing himself her ‘‘teacher.’’ He is engaged to be married to Lydia. As the play opens, Andrew is fastidious, cautious, and tends not to take risks. However, during the course of the play he becomes less restrained because of Georgie’s influence on him.

Edward is an old friend of Andrew’s. Their personalities are very different, though; Edward is aggressive, extroverted, demanding, and at times a little sleazy. He is a criminal defense lawyer and, as a favor to Andrew, has hired Georgie to be his secretary even though she has not attended college. He dated Andrew’s fiancée, Lydia, before Andrew began dating her.

Georgie is Andrew’s neighbor and Edward’s secretary. She comes from a working-class background and has not attended college. She is lusty, earthy, sarcastic, and fatalistic, especially in her relationships with men. Six months before the play begins, Andrew has decided to become her friend and to try to diminish her self-destructive tendencies. In befriending her, Andrew has also tried to ‘‘improve’’ her by giving her books to read and encouraging her to speak more properly. She has responded to Andrew’s friendship by falling in love with him.

Lydia is Andrew’s fiancée and Edward’s exgirlfriend. She is from an old, upper-class Boston family. In many ways, she is described as the opposite of Georgie, and the characters talk about her a great deal before she ever actually appears. Edward describes her as cold and unemotional, and Andrew wants to keep her pure, in a way. When she does appear, she is quite fiery, convinced that Georgie is trying to steal Andrew from her. Georgie comes to like her when she sees that Lydia is not the ‘‘vampire’’ Edward has portrayed her to be.

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