The Professor of Desire Characters

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David Kepesh

David Kepesh is the novel’s protagonist. All narration in the novel is written in the first person and is from David’s point of view. The narrative is mostly concerned with chronicling David’s sexual and romantic explorations, from his college years to his thirties. In college, David aspires to be “a rake among scholars, a scholar among rakes” (17), which is a phrase originally penned by Lord Byron. David becomes highly preoccupied with sex. David studies English in college and graduate school. Eventually, he becomes a professor of English.

When David is finishing up his graduate studies, he meets Helen Baird, a woman from a wealthy family who charms David with her beauty, forthrightness, and sexual hunger. However, their marriage turns sour as they realize the discordance between their dispositions and priorities. After divorcing Helen, David enters a relationship with Claire Ovington, a kind and charming...

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This section contains 1,260 words
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