Absent Friends – Character Analysis
Paul is the husband of Diana in the play. His character is quite proud and he has many self-illusions about himself. He tells everyone that he beats everybody in squash everyday indicating that he is very haughty. He doesn’t treat his wife well and always looks down on her making her feel bad and dumb. When he has an affair with Evelyn and he goes and meets her he doesn’t even bother to make a good excuse to his wife, because he thinks that she is too dumb to realize that he doesn’t like her and has love affairs with other women.
He doesn’t leave any opportunity to embarrass his wife like when she jokingly said that when he came to visit her and her sister he never really liked him only John, and Paul took it seriously and tried to put her down by saying that he never came to visit her anyway and it was always his sister he had fancied. Overall I don’t think that Paul is a very likeable character and that he is too full of himself to consider and think about others especially someone so close to him as his wife.Diana:She is Paul’s wife in the play. She is a very over doing character who takes even the most intricate of details very importantly and is very talkative. She likes to socialise which is quite obvious as she set up the meeting in the first place. She is a very pessimistic person and always finds faults in herself.
She loves Paul dearly but feels that she isn’t good enough for him and says that she wouldn’t mind if he had an affair with someone unless he told her about it. She feels that she isn’t smart enough for Paul and that he outwits her by a lot. She doesn’t believe in his lies but she never talks to him about it until in the play when the tea party is being hosted.She always hoped that he would come up and tell her but he never did, she even had suspicions on Evelyn which turned out worthwhile as he was having an affair with her but it turned out that he was sleeping with a lot more women rather than only Evelyn. Diana’s best friend in this play is Marge and they love to talk to each other and have lengthy conversations in the play.
Their conversations though are like Curley’s wife and Lennie’s because they both talk to each other but never listen to each other. She thinks that Collin and Paul are best friends but it turns out that Paul doesn’t like Collin and Diana unknowingly invites Collin for tea at their house.John:He is married to Evelyn in this play. He is a restless character and has a nervous tension in him. He is always on his toes ‘jiggling’ about and never sitting down and resting.
He jokes about and doesn’t take things to seriously even though the situation gets very tense. His humour though comes unanswered as everybody else is very tense and have nothing to cheer about. In this play he is the one who has to answer the phones and the doors while everyone else is arguing. He doesn’t get involved in the arguments and is a bystander. He is a guy who is looking for anything that is cheap to buy. Every chance he gets he tries to get something for cheap and gives it to Evelyn who hates that because the things he buys are hardly ever useable.
He knows about the affair his wife and Paul are having and does nothing about it probably because Paul helps him with his business and for John his work comes before pleasure and it seems before his wife as well.Evelyn:She is married to John and to some extent she is the cause of the problem between Diana and Paul. She is a very cold hearted character and throughout the play she hasn’t shown any sign of emotion towards anyone. She doesn’t get involved in the arguments that are happening around her and maintains a calm and assertive air around her. She doesn’t like anyone in the room and she only came to the party because she was invited and John probably made her come. She doesn’t socialize with anyone in the room and all she does is read her magazine and chew some gum.
When she is asked to join in on conversations she just replies to questions but never continues the conversation and she annoys the other two women when they are trying to get her to talk by reading from a magazine more than she was asked to! Her character is very crude and mean towards everyone, there is no one who she acts nice to or feels affection for. Her sarcasm makes her a very unlikable person as she is sarcastic at wrong moments and with rude comments.Colin:We don’t see Colin until now in the play but it seems like no one likes him in this play and it was a forced invitation from Diana’s part. It also seems like that there was a misconception between Diana and Paul that caused this tea party to even come about because Diana thought that Paul and Colin were very good friends but there was no such thing. Colin right now is going to be very depressed as his fiancï¿½e has just died but meeting old ‘friends’ should make things better for him. He is entering the play at a climax point were everyone is fighting each other bitterly and aggressively.
Marge:She is married to a man called Gordon who is not seen in this play. She acts like an overprotective mother towards her husband and even though he is a hypochondriac she treats him like he is really sick all the time. She doesn’t realize that it is probably her fault of being over protective that her husband is now a hypochondriac. She doesn’t have any kids and has more disposable income which she uses to buy presents for Diana and other people, she might be doing this to act friendly or to show that she is a rich person. She loves to change topics during conversations especially if they are tense ones, she starts talking about petty things like her shoes and kitchen paper holders. She is also obsessed with clothing and tries to introduce clothes in as many conversations as she can! Her sense of conversation and what to say at what moment is completely random and she admits to not knowing what to say when.
She brings comic relief into the play by changing conversation in tense situations and bringing laughter from the audience.