| Quote #1
She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty. (1.2)
Muriel comes across as being one of those popular, beautiful, materialistic girls. There's a shallowness to her character that contrasts with, say, Sybil's pureness.
| Quote #2
She washed her comb and brush. She took the spot out of the skirt of her beige suit. She moved the button on her Saks blouse. She tweezed out two freshly surfaced hairs in her mole. When the operator finally rang her room, she was sitting on the window seat and had almost finished putting lacquer on the nails of her left hand. (1.1)
Materialism is a hallmark of the adult world in this short story.
| Quote #3
She went over to the window seat for her cigarettes, lit one, and returned to her seat on the bed. "Mother?" she said, exhaling smoke. (1.44)
Notice that Muriel is indoors, and surrounded by smoke and nail polish. The atmosphere is very different from that in which Seymour is placed – outside, on the beach, in the sun and the clean air.