The Way We Live Now Characters

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The AIDS Patient

The unnamed AIDS patient is the focus of the story. Diagnosed with AIDS, he is the subject of his friends' concern. His struggle with the illness is narrated exclusively through their observations and descriptions.

The man is described as a sophisticated urbanite, a collector who lives in the penthouse of a pretentious apartment building in Manhattan. He lived a "risky" lifestyle before his illness—smoking, using drugs, and having unprotected sex with men and women. His circle of friends becomes a "family he's founded without meaning to."

Aileen

Aileen has a close but somewhat ambiguous relationship with the AIDS patient. She rarely visits him and considers herself as a coward because of her behavior. She speculates that he is attracted to her, but others speculate that she is in love with him.

Betsy

Betsy is a friend of the AIDS patient. She recommends a diet...

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This section contains 687 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Way We Live Now Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Way We Live Now from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.