Character Analysis Harry Greener


Harry Greener dies about half-way through the novel, and his role tends to be static. He is characterized largely through his relationship to Faye and in a series of retrospects about his theatrical career. A middle-aged vaudeville performer with a minimum of talent, Harry is down on his luck and out of work. His pluckiness in trying to earn a living — even by peddling fraudulent silver polish — and his dedicated devotion to a possible movie career for his daughter, Faye, earn him some sympathy. Harry's character is almost indistinguishable from the comic parts which he played in vaudeville, for he compulsively acts out these self-denigrating and slapstick roles in his everyday life. Nevertheless, his pleasure in trying to cajole and cheat his customers, shows a desire for revenge against the audience whom he must bow and scrape to in his stage performances, and he also shows similar aggression in his relationship with Faye. But since Harry's aggressions are harmless and his life is a ruin, he remains more likeable than the other Hollywood frauds.

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