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Characters: You Never Can Tell

 

Dorothea (Dolly) Clandon: The daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and twin sister of Philip Clandon, Dolly, eighteen years old, has "a rapidly clearing cloud of Spartan obstinacy on her tiny firm set mouth and quaintly squared eyebrows."
Mr. Valentine: A young dentist, Valentine, about thirty years of age, has tried a number of other occupations, as the mood has struck him over the years. "His professional manner evidently strikes him as being a joke, and is underlain by a thoughtless pleasantry which betrays the young gentleman still unsettled and in search of amusing adventures."
The Parlor Maid: Working in Valentine's office, the parlor maid appears infrequently.
Philip Clandon: The son of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and twin brother of Dolly Clandon, Philip, 18, is handsome and decisive. "Suavity and self-possession are points of honor with him" and he possesses "perfect manners and a finishe dpersonal style which might be envied by a man twice his age."
Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon: The mother of Dolly, Philip, and Gloria, Mrs. Clandon is the estranged wife of Mr. Crampton and the author of a number of modern feminist tracts. "She is distinctly old fashioned for her age in dress and manners. But she belongs to the forefront of her own period (say 1860-80) in a jealously assertive attitude of character and intellect, and in being a woman of cultivated interests rather than passionately developed personal affections."
Gloria Clandon: The attractive daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon, Gloria, in her early twenties, has been raised to be like her mother. However, "unlike her mother, she is all passion; and the conflict of her passion with her obstinate pride and intense fastidiousness results in a freezing coldness of manner." She does, however, fall in love with Valentine and is engaged to him at the end of the play.
Mr. Crampton: Valentine's landlord, Mr. Crampton is soon revealed as Mrs. Clandon's estranged husband and Dolly, Philip, and Gloria's father. "His capacity for suffering acutely from all the dislike that his temper and obstinacy can bring upon him is proved by his wistful, wounded eyes, by a plaintive note in his voice, and painful want of confidence in his welcome, and a constant but indifferently successful effort to correct his natural incivility of manner and proneness to take offence."
Walter Boon: The head waiter at the resort hotel, Walter is probably the most level, rational, and understanding of the entire play. He is the father of Walter "Bohun," an important attorney for the queen. "He has a certain expression peculiar to men who have been extraordinarily successful in their callings, and who, whilst aware of the vanity of success, are untouched by envy."
Finch McComas: A former close friend and suitor of Mrs. Clandon, Finch McComas is now her solicitor, helping her in simple business and legal matters, including explaining to her children who their father is. "He is about fifty, clean shaven, and close-cropped, with the corners of his mouth turned down purposely, as if he suspected them of wanting to turn up, and was determined not to let them have their way."
Cook
Jo: A waiter at the resort hotel, Jo works under the supervision of Walter Boon.
Walter Bohun: The son of Walter Boon, the waiter, the younger Boon has changed the spelling of his name and distanced himself from his father. He is now an attorney for the queen. "When he speaks, his powerful, menacing voice, impressively articulated speech, strong inexorable manner, and a terrifying power of intensely critical listening raise the impression produced by him to absolute tremendousness."


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