Character List and Analysis
Celia Rae Foote
A newcomer to Jackson, Celia desperately wants to belong to the Junior League but finds herself unwelcome because she married Hilly's ex-boyfriend, Johnny Foote. Celia hires Minny to secretly cook and to clean so Johnny does not discover her lack of womanly skills. Celia's backwoods upbringing and glamorous Hollywood looks cause her to be an outcast in the women's community to which she tries so desperately to belong. Celia eventually discovers that the love of her husband and good friend, Minny, are enough for her.
Celia represents the theme of growth and initiation. She is completely isolated from the community of Jackson, and her loneliness leads to desperate acts, such as phoning the society women repeatedly, showing up at their homes uninvited, and making a fool of herself at the Benefit, the biggest social event of the year. Through her rejection, though, she learns to stand up for herself. Celia defends herself and Minny one afternoon against an intruder, and the violent encounter propels her to take even more initiative in her life. She tells Johnny the truth about her many miscarriages and further entrusts Minny as a friend. Celia evolves from an outsider terrified of not belonging into a braver woman grateful for her roles as wife and friend. She learns that the society women aren't worth her degradation.