Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 432

Author Curtis Sittenfeld presents a variety of characters in her short story collection You Think It, I'll Say It. The characters depicted include women from a variety of different backgrounds. In this response, I'll focus on summarizing just a few of the important characters and how they're represented within their respective stories.

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The Unnamed Democrat in "The Nominee"

One of the memorable characters from You Think It, I'll Say It is the unnamed member of the Democratic Party that serves as the focus of "The Nominee". This character's career arc shares similarities with real-life politician Hillary Clinton's failed bid to become President. In the story, the protagonist squares off against a female journalist she has encountered over many years. This provides ample opportunity for Sittenfeld to depict the sexist behavior women can enact against each other. An example of this behavior is the journalist's focus on the politician's outfit choices. It's notable that in "The Nominee," the politician is not overly worried that she will lose due to her perception of her Republican opposition as deeply unintelligent. This might reflect how many political commentators did not initially take Donald Trump's bid for the presidency seriously.

Graham and Julie in "You Think It, I'll Say It"

Graham and Julie are the lead characters in this story. They are acquaintances that play a game while attending a couple's 20th wedding anniversary celebration. In this game, Graham's prompting for her to say what he's thinking encourages Julie to feel free to make unkind comments about the couple. This game continues on as Graham and Julie attend further social gatherings. Through playing this game, Julie falls in love with Graham. But over a year later, Julie is taken aback when Graham reveals to her that she wasn't saying what he was thinking at all. Instead he notes: "You were saying what you thought. I was just listening." This simple statement shifts the power dynamics in their relationship and fundamentally challenges the sense of intimacy Julie had presumed they shared.

Maggie in "A Regular Couple"

In "A Regular Couple," a successful lawyer named Maggie runs into a woman who bullied her in her younger years while she is on her honeymoon at a resort. This woman, named Ashley, is on her honeymoon too. While Maggie is powerful and has a high-flying career, Ashley serves as a reminder of her youth and stirs up deeply felt resentments. Maggie finds Ashley's husband boring and worries that her own husband is only interested in her for her money. Ultimately, Maggie decides to enact revenge on this woman from her past.

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