Portnoy's Complaint Character Descriptions

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 123 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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 determination that he not do so.

Shikses

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This section contains 412 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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