by John Updike
Character Role Analysis
Janice and Ruth
Janice has low, low self-esteem, is sexually inexperienced, sexually inhibited, a stay at home mom, and an alcoholic. Ruth has fairly decent self-esteem, used to be a prostitute, is sexually uninhibited, a single workingwoman, and only occasionally drinks. The two women are constantly in comparison with each other.
Tothero and Eccles
Tothero is old and senile and a drunk, living in The Sunshine Athletic Club, even though he has a wife at home. He doesn’t coach ball anymore. Eccles is young and physically active, happily (perhaps) married to the hot atheist Lucy Eccles. He can coach Rabbit not only on his golf game, but on his conscience. In short – even more than what he thinks Tothero did for him. But, while Tothero is almost indifferent to Rabbit, Eccles wants to hang out with him just a little too much.