Characters

The story “Greyhound Tragedy” by Richard Brautigan includes only unnamed characters: the girl, the girl’s parents, the Ford salesman, the bus station salesman, and the elderly couple. The fact that none of the characters is named suggests that the story is meant to illustrate typologies and to imply that the events presented could happen to anyone. The most important characters in the story are the girl and her parents, whom we will analyze next.

The girl

The girl is the female protagonist of the short story. According to her outer characterization, at the time of the events she is three years out of high school so is probably around 20 years old. She lives in Oregon and she is the daughter of a store manager which implies that she belongs to the middle-class of the 1930s.

Inner characterization

The girl’s inner characterization is conveyed by following her thoughts and perspective and through her actions.

From the beginning of the story, we find out that she has a dramatic view on life and that she dreams of becoming a movie star: “She wanted her life to be a movie magazine tragedy like the death of a young star with long lines of people weeping and a corpse more beautiful than a great painting…” 

Her desire for a tragic death at an early age is probably influen...

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