Character Bios – Sylvia

Sylvia by AR Gurney Character Bios

Greg is an introverted upwardly mobile older man who rejects success in both life and relationships to pursue personal hobbies or goals without supervision. This reflects negatively on his ability to interact with others, both peers and superiors. He is clearly college educated, yet he missed on some of the more important facets of mandatory socialization both before university and afterwards; this was doubtless lost on children who are now substituted by his obsession with a dog and not his wife, who also displays serious breaks from psychological norms in her hatred of the imposition on their new life as well as her obsession with her own success.
While Greg is pleased with his wife’s success and capabilities, he is also dismally unable to show this or put her before his own neurotic needs. In conversation with others he combines the unfavorable traits of both being a showboat as well as one completely without connection or compliance to the interests and needs of those around him. Fortunately, this creates an insular sort of charm in his behavior: he is unabashed in his pathological behavior and it is clear that he does so without malevolent intent.
He is able without manipulation or tricks to resolve his conflict with his wife, though he displays a chronic absentmindedness and abstention from consideration of other’s wants or desires, even in the setting of professional counseling. This is compounded to such a level that the counselor advises Greg’s wife to shoot his dog and divorce him for every penny he has. Ultimately the trial and tribulation he introduces the family to proves to have a stabilizing effect and his wife finds her love for him stronger than the transient needs of her career or social circles.
Tom is a classic New York City dog owner. He has a story and a book to read for just about any subject, all of which reflect on his obsession with the canine variety. He comes off as a bit friendly, and makes it clear that his friendship has come at the expense of his own marriage, and he highly expects the same to occur with his social circle.
He is not one who lets another person get a word in. Much time spent conversing with dogs has turned his desire for human socialization off. Yet he still has the incentive to reach out to another dog-lover. He has a certain Ancient Mariner behavior which appears to be the result of severe opposition to his personal choices. By reaching out to Greg with his miserable tales of domestic addiction, he finds himself passing the curse, one he does not himself recognize, on.
Phyllis is a dominant, sarcastic Southerner who has moved to New York City and settled in well. She travels in powerful circles and harbors a powerful addiction to alcohol. She has no love for animals or people who behave like animals, yet her social life has become a bit endemic to boredom for her. She weaves intricacies of humor and occasionally demeaning statements, though it is clear her Southern and well-off upbringing restrain her from making directly rude or mean statements.
She is a member of a secret society which prohibits the use of alcohol, but is still easily triggered into substance use. Her liver is shot and she becomes wasted quickly and on demand; it is probable that she was a light-weight from a young age. Her husband sneaks off to the aquarium and takes baths with his goldfish, her utter abhorrence aside. It cannot be sure if this anecdote is one provided for the purpose of secretly making fun of her college friend’s predicament or is a true cry for help.
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