Mrs. Warren's Profession

Which characters are sentimental, and which are practical?

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Gabriella L.

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From the first act to the fourth, Praed sets himself up as Vivie's emotional foil. He craves sentimentality and culture and is convinced that everyone else should, as well. Mrs. Warren is manipulative but, when it comes to her relationship with her daughter, quite sentimental. She has hoped that they would be able to reconcile and live together, and displays emotional outbursts stereotypical of women when her requests are denied. Vivie is, in contrast, decidedly practical. She refuses to be moved by her mother's emotional outbursts and disdains the cultural pastimes Praed so enjoys. But in telling Frank that his chiding "keeps me from being sentimental" (93), she reveals that although she is practical by nature, this personality trait is also something she nurtures within herself as a conscious choice. Frank, too, is practical; he is able to throw aside any romantic feeling for Vivie when it becomes clear that he cannot marry her for financial reasons, but he doesn't plan a dramatic exit that will disallow him from remaining friends with her. Crofts is more practical than sentimental, as he outlines all the financial reasons Vivie should marry him. He also uses cynical justifications for why he went into the prostitution industry.