Collected Short Stories Characters

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Collected Short Stories Summary & Study Guide Description

Collected Short Stories Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Collected Short Stories by Graham Greene.

Trevorappears in The Destructors

Trevor is a young boy who lives in England after the war with Germany. He and his family have been forced to move from their usual neighborhood because of financial difficulties to one where there has been considerable bombing, and his play area is now among the ruins. He joins a gang, and even though he is new, he soon takes over leadership. He is proud and ambitious, but reserved to his mates. When he proposes the destruction of Old Misery's house, it is the force of his personality that propels the gang to new heights of vandalism.

Although his given name is Trevor, that name is a little too high brow for the leader of such a gang, so the boys refer to him as T. During the entire story, T is on the edge of becoming an object of ridicule, but is supported by the previous leader, Blackie, to achieve his goal.

William Wilditchappears in Under the Garden

William is a middle aged man who has traveled much in his lifetime and comes home only when he is told he is dying. He aimlessly wanders the halls of his boyhood home where his brother George now resides, until he begins to remember a fantastic adventure when he was a child.

It is unclear whether he dreamed this adventure, created it as a story for a school magazine, or it actually happened. In it, William is a resourceful and courageous seven year old boy who spends three or four days under a tree in the garden in a fantastic warren of rooms and tunnels, occupied by an ageless old man and a squawking woman. William is able to escape, but not after hearing wondrous stories and learning all the secrets of life.

The story of the young boy reveals the character of the man. Faced with the news of his impending death, William is confused but stoic. It is only when he returns home to his childhood play area and relives the adventure that he begins to feel the sadness of all that he has lost in his life.

Mary Watsonappears in Cheaper In August

Mary is a thirty-nine year old woman who is bored with her marriage and her life and has decided to have an exciting affair in Jamaica. She pictures herself with a young virile man, creating a romantic memory she can carry with her into old age. She rejects the other women at the resort in Jamaica, preferring to leave herself available to a suitor.

Mary claims to love her husband, but she feels she is getting older and wants to be taken somewhere emotionally and physically that her husband can never take her.

After three weeks in Jamaica, she meets an overweight unhappy man named Henry and begins to spend time with him, out of pity. She finds out about his life, and is eventually seduced by this pity. At the last, she has sex with Henry, and is happy that it was not exciting and she feels no guilt.

Mary Bishopappears in The News In English

Mary is a young bride whose husband has gone missing during the war. She is living with her mother-in-law. When her husband's voice is recognized as delivering propoganda during radio broadcasts, she refuses to believe, as her mother-in-law does, that David is a traitor.

Her staunch belief in her husband, and her courage to go to the authorities and convince them that David is actually speaking in code to provide vital information regarding German troop movement, makes Mary Bishop the only woman in the collection of stories who is intelligent and forceful.

Mr. Chalfontappears in Jubilee

An aging gigolo whose appearance means everything, Mr. Chalfont carefully arranges his days and his wardrobe to reflect the air of a retired military man. He is careful not to show a frayed sleeve, or be seen at the wrong establishment at the wrong time. Mr. Chalfont even avoided the Jubilee celebrations so he would not be seen by some of his previous clients, ladies with money who had paid for his attention.

He calls his work "the game", and for many years he was very good at his work. He is deflated when a young savvy prostitute befriends him and gives him money out of pity instead of for services rendered.

The Popeappears in The Last Word

The man knows he was someone important at one time, but his memory is gone. He lives a simple life, out of habit, and talks to a statue he has saved out of the same habit. He considers the man on the crucifix to be a friend, although the meaning of the figure is lost to him.

At the end, the old habits are so strong and deep within him, he begins to speak Latin at the moment of his death. The Pope is a very strong character who continues to have a form of faith even though he no longer remembers what he is faithful to.

Mr. Thriplowappears in The Lottery Ticekt

Mr. Thriplow intentionally seeks locations for vacations that will make him happy to return home. He is not a person who desires pleasure of any sort, whether it is money, women, fame, or even nice scenery. He is a simple, almost unbelievable man who is just existing in life.

Handryappears in The New House

Handry has spent twenty years of his life creating a beautiful structure on paper and finally he has a chance to build that structure for Mr. Josephs. When Josephs doesn't like the drawing, Handry is too weak of a man to fight for his dream and convince Josephs to see his vision. Instead, Handry changes his life's work and builds the monstrosity Josephs wanted. Handry spends the next twenty years trying to see Josephs' vision instead.

William Harrisappears in May We Borrow Your Husband?

Harris is a middle aged writer who is on the fringes of a drama in this story, and chooses to listen and watch rather than offer advice beyond a few well chosen words to Poopy. He reports the action, sees what is going to happen before the participants even do, but removes himself from the story by choice.

Harris is a professional biographer, so it is probably habit for him to observe only, and not participate in the lives of others.

Poopyappears in May We Borrow Your Husband

Poopy is a woman on her honeymoon, and she has so little knowledge of the world she cannot see that two homosexuals, Tony and Stephan, have targeted her new husband as a potential lover. She blames their sexual problems on herself, and her solution is to cry all the time. She is made happy again when her husband, fresh from a sexual liaison with Tony, lets her know Tony is coming to live with them for a time to decorate their house.

Poopy is similar to many of the other female characters in this collection of short stories, and stays true to form by being concerned only about appearances.

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