The Acid House

Who is Olly from The Acid House and what is their importance?

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Olly, which is short for Olivia, is Brian's girlfriend for a while in the novella. She first enters the story as a woman who supposedly had sex with Brian's bisexual friend, which bothers Brian, because Olly had once rebuffed his advances. After an acquaintance hits Brian in the face with a glass at a bar, Olly takes him to the hospital and later brings him home. Their affair is blackly comic, in that they appear to be using one another for sex, and yet neither of them feels used, because this is the norm for both of them. At one point, Brian reflects to himself that he prefers to make love with someone he cares about, rather than merely having sex, but he also seems quite comfortable with the casual arrangement. After the two break up, they encounter each other socially and are friendly, but neither one pines for the other. Brian thinks Olly was trying to be like her friends when he first met her, and her friends were trying to be like other people, but later he believes she has progressed to simply wanting to be like the other people that her friends want to be like. This characterization of someone as envious of the envious is a cruel but witty assessment of the hapless Olly.