Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 232
Rose Maurrant, the daughter of New York tenement dwellers. She is escorted home by her employer, Harry Easter, who wants to establish her in an apartment and remove her from poverty, an offer that she refuses. Sam Kaplan appears to sympathize with her family problems. Later, Rose tells his sister that she is only slightly attracted to Sam. The next morning, she returns to find that her father has killed her mother and her mother’s lover. Rejecting the proffered help of Easter and of Sam, Rose prepares to leave New York, for she feels that no person should belong to another. Perhaps later something will develop for Sam and her.
Frank Maurrant, her father, a stagehand. Although he extols family happiness and propriety, he kills his wife and her lover.
Anna Maurrant, his wife. Her husband kills her and her lover.
Harry Easter, the manager of the office in which Rose works. He tries to establish her in an apartment, but she refuses his offer as well as his proffered help after her mother’s murder.
Sam Kaplan, a law student in love with Rose. She will not accept his love, but she holds out a faint hope for the future when they are older and wiser.
Shirley Kaplan, Sam’s sister.
Abe Kaplan, Sam’s father.
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1964
Daniel Buchanan is a tenant in the apartment building. He is a nervous expectant father whose wife is in labor. Buchanan has Rose call the doctor and his wife’s sister for him. In the morning at the beginning of act 2, he is the semi-proud father of a new baby girl.
Harry Easter is the office manager who is Rose Maurrant’s boss. Despite the fact that he is married, Easter is enamoured with his employee. He wants to be involved with her. Easter offers to get Rose her own apartment and start her on a new career as a stage actress. Rose turns him down, but Easter is persistent. In the morning, at the beginning of act 2, Easter shows up again, offering Rose a ride to the funeral. Again, she refuses him. At the beginning of act 3, Easter shows up at the tenement and wants to take care of Rose and her brother. Rose finally dismisses him without taking a thing. Easter finally accepts that Rose does not want him in her life at the moment, either as a friend or lover.
Filippo Fiorentino (also known as Lippo) is the husband of Greta Fiorentino. He is an Italian immigrant. Mr. Fiorentino makes his living as an accordion player and musician. He belongs to the musician’s union. Mr. Fiorentino is generous with his money. On this hot day, he brings home several ice cream cones for his neighbors and gives money to Mrs. Hildebrand and her children when Alice Simpson, the charity worker, is critical of their going to the movies. He also plays music for his neighbors and dances with Mrs. Maurrant. While Mr. Fiorentino is a lively, happy man, he also is a bit callous towards the feelings of others. He chides his wife for not yet having children, when the subject is touchy for her. He does the same thing to others who live in the tenement, but his happy-go-lucky demeanor makes up for it to some degree.
Greta Fiorentino is the rather large, loving wife of Filippo Fiorentino. She is a German immigrant and a musician. She makes her living giving children music lessons in her tenement apartment. Mrs. Fiorentino is frustrated by the fact that she has not been able to have children of her own. She gets slightly annoyed by her husband’s generosity and his callousness towards her over her barrenness. She is one of the women who spends much time gossiping on the stoop of the tenement but is generally kind.
(The entire section contains 2196 words.)
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