Hugo is a four-year old child who, unusually, is still breast-fed. Hugo’s doting mother and cynical father have undeniably spoiled him, and Hugo often appears to be out of control. When it looks as though Hugo is about to hit another child (Rocco) with a bat, Rocco’s father intervenes and slaps Hugo. Declaring, “No one is allowed to touch my body without my permission,” Hugo remains a spoiled and selfish child.


Hector is an attractive, middle-aged accountant of Greek descent. He is married to Aisha and they have two children together. Although they have not had sex, Hector and Aisha’s teenage assistant Connie have been seeing each other behind Aisha’s back. Hector appears to be a stable, law-abiding accountant but he uses drugs and is initially confused about his life. He especially finds it difficult to relate to his son, whom he views as being overly obsessed with video games. However, Hector changes a great deal, breaks off the affair with Connie, and feels regret for having betrayed his wife and family.


Anouk is an intelligent, down-to-earth writer of Jewish descent. When The Slap opens, she is writing for a soap opera. This is lucrative but she views it as a waste of her talent. She is attractive, pregnant, and approaching middle age. Anouk chooses to have an abortion and quits her job to pursue a career as a novelist. Anouk is critical of the way Rosie raises Hugo.


Harry is of Greek descent and is closely related to Hector. Although Harry appears to be a successful business and family man, he has a violent streak. Harry slaps four-year-old Hugo at Hector’s barbecue. No one knows that he has abused his wife and maintains a mistress with whom he does cocaine. Harry is fiercely protective of his son and family and is generally motivated by a desire to see his son succeed. He views Rosie’s lawsuit over the...

(The entire section is 807 words.)