Character Analysis Doctor Frank Gibbs


Like Mr. Webb, Doc Gibbs represents the professions and functions as just another citizen helping to give believability and realism to the street scene. In Act I, Dr. Gibbs introduces the concept of birth by his announcement that he has just delivered the Goruslawski twins. An opinionated man, he takes an active interest in his son's ambition to be a farmer and smirks at Mrs. Fairchild's citified notions that doors should be locked against burglars.

Like his counterpart, Doc Gibbs takes a keen interest in history. His wife says he is never so happy as when he visits Antietam and Gettysburg, "stopping at every bush and pacing it all out " He is a master of child psychology in his handling of George's laxness at home. By doubling the boy's allowance, he puts the burden on George to earn his fifty cents per week by being more helpful to his mother. It is quite realistic that the doctor concerns himself with others' troubles, such as Joe Crowell's knee, Mrs. Wentworth's stomach, and Simon Stimson's alcoholism. He dominates his wife with a light hand, makes light of her participation in the church choir, and ignores her dutiful attempts to get him to rest after his late-night obstetrical call. Yet long after her death, he pays tribute to her with a handful of flowers.