Character Analysis Betty


Betty's name, her manners, memories, and acts suggest that she is an innocent country girl trying to make her way in the frightening city. She displays enough solicitude, kindness, and patience with Miss Lonelyhearts to fool some readers into thinking her to be an attractive voice of sanity. But the novel implies that she is naive, somewhat manipulative, coy, and willing to exploit her sexual appeal. Rather than being a virtue, her innocence suggests an unwillingness to look squarely at the evil around her. She thinks, or pretends, that a healthy country life and conventional courtship and marriage could provide solutions for Miss Lonelyhearts' inward pain, a pain which she can only slightly understand. Considered as Miss Lonelyhearts' good angel, as opposed to Shrike as Miss Lonelyhearts' bad angel, she is a weak figure because she can't affirm any values except her own narrowly personal ones. Betty is incapable or afraid of thinking about the specific dilemmas that are crushing Miss Lonelyhearts.

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