© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Character Role Analysis

Margaret Schlegel

Margaret, though only one of many possible protagonists in this novel, is the one who really stands out in our minds. She's undoubtedly at the heart of the action, and is also the most deeply developed, richly depicted character we encounter. Margaret is also the main psyche we explore here and, through her eyes, we see the main philosophical difficulty of the novel: how can one possibly reconcile the idealistic, castle-in-the-air fantasies of liberalism while also dealing with the down-and-dirty nuances of everyday life? Margaret's increasingly complex stance in between these two modes takes readers through the central journey of this text.