Study Guide

Charity Chater in Arcadia

By Tom Stoppard

Charity Chater

Mrs. Chater is one of the play's invisible characters, never appearing on stage, but she haunts the corners of the action. She's like that phantom person who's Facebook friends with all your friends but whom you've never met. And like that phantom person, we only know about her through the other characters' wall-to-walls to and about her. We get vague glimmerings of what she's like as an actual person, but mostly she's just the sum of others' desire for her (or disgust with her). Mrs. Chater seems like a blank screen for other characters to project their emotions. This draws attention to the fact that our understanding of other people often says more about our issues than theirs.

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