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Miss Lonelyhearts

Nathanael West

Character List

Miss Lonelyhearts The novel's otherwise unnamed twenty-six-year-old protagonist; a newspaper reporter turned advice columnist, he seeks faith for himself and his readers, but he never truly finds it.

Willie Shrike Miss Lonelyhearts' editor, a corrosively cynical intellectual who enjoys deflating and tormenting Miss Lonelyhearts and ridiculing all human and social values.

Betty Innocent and healthy minded, but a willfully naive girlfriend to Miss Lonelyhearts; she is finally and briefly his lover and fiancée.

Mary Shrike Shrike's attractive wife; she is both loved-starved and puritanical.

Fay Doyle Thirty-two-year-old correspondent of Miss Lonelyhearts; she meets him supposedly to seek advice about her marriage but, actually, she hopes to seduce him; she is the mother of an illegitimate girl, Lucy, by Tony Benelli.

Peter Doyle Forty-one-year-old crippled meter reader; unhappy husband to Fay.

Miss Farkis Sluttish bookstore employee; occasional companion to Shrike.

Ned Gates A fellow reporter and drinking companion to Miss Lonelyhearts.

George B. Simpson An old man who is taken to a speakeasy by Miss Lonelyhearts and Ned Gates, who abuse him.

Goldsmith Fellow reporter of Miss Lonelyhearts; he writes Miss Lonelyhearts' column when Miss Lonelyhearts is ill.

Sick-Of-It-All; Desperate; Harold S.; and Broad Shoulders Correspondents of Miss Lonelyhearts, they appear only in their letters to him.

Tony Benelli The alleged father of Fay Doyle's daughter, Lucy.

Jake Bartender at Delehanty's.