The Acid House

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

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Ronnie is probably the closest friend of Brian in the novella, although the paradox is that Brian does not like him very much. Ronnie is a sketchy personality type in the story, because he is unfailingly stoned on drugs, mumbling and only partially conscious. He tends to stumble in and out of scenes, saying very little, staring into space, and falling asleep often. In one scene, he is so catatonic that Brian and his other so-called friends cover him in filth and leave him, worried about his rage when he awakens, because he apparently has the potential to be violently vengeful. He later forgives Brian, does not seek revenge, and Brian becomes his best man at his wedding. How Ronnie manages to attract a bride is part of the black comedy that pervades this book. At first, his girlfriend seems oblivious that he is a hopeless addict, and when she finally realizes it, she accepts it with a shrug. Only later, when Ronnie takes up Nintendo, does his new wife complain that she liked him better when he was obsessed with drugs. Brian is relieved when Ronnie marries, because the new domestic situation takes Ronnie off his hands. This is significant, because Brian actually needs to wash his hands of all his friends, who have no interests beyond getting stoned and causing mayhem. Ronnie is the extreme example of how the wrong friends in the wrong environment can lead to a dead-end life.