Portnoy's Complaint Character Descriptions

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Alex Portnoy - This is the book's central character and its narrator.

Alex's Mother (Sophie) - This is the book's dominant female presence. As a home-maker she is portrayed as house proud, gossipy, domestically competitive, and subtly racist.

Alex's Father (Jake) - This character has inflicted his share of emotional and psychological harm. Physically absent for much of the main character's life and suffering from chronic constipation, he is seen as a failure.

Hannah and Morty - This character (and spouse) is portrayed as an overweight non-entity. The spouse is a liberal whose politics reflect social activism.

Dr. Spielvogel - This is the character to whom the main character's narrative is addressed.

Cousin Harold (Heshie) - This character functions as an inspiration to the main character, in terms of his desire for dating non-Jewish girls, his success at doing so, and his initial defiance of his father's...

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