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Written by Timothy Sexton
Mr. Blake is a business man who holds an important enough executive position to warrant having a private secretary. He is petty and snobbish and almost certainly suffering some manner of a personality disorder dependent on an elevated level of narcissism for diagnosis. He punishes both wife and son for what he views as their betrayal of his authority and he wields that authority like a club at the workplace. His alienation and isolation from genuine emotional contact with other people has endowed him with a false impression of his own intelligence and cleverness which ultimately leads to his downfall at the hands of Miss Dent, a woman he views as lacking such necessary attributes to cause him lasting harm.
Miss Dent is the worst possible type of woman to get involved with an unfeeling narcissist like Blake. She was hired as a temporary secretary and made the mistake of falling for the false charm of Blake. Almost immediately after ejaculation during their lone sexual encounter, Blake is overcome with revulsion at himself which—being a narcissist—he projects outward so that it transforms into a revulsion toward Miss Dent. The next day while she is at lunch, he makes arrangements for her to be informed her services are no longer needed and then abandons the office so he’s not there when she gets back and learns the news. This double-barreled rejection of the woman with a fragile emotional state leads to her seeking the help of mental health professionals and when they fail to provide that help, she decides to take matters into her own hands and provide Blake with something he’s never gotten before: forced insight into the black hole where his soul should be.
Blake’s wife, whom he only married because of her looks. Now those are gone and she’s hitting the sauce big time. He has moved into an adjoining bedroom and blocked up the entrance so she can’t get in without his approval. She looks to her neighbor Mrs. Compton for comfort.
Neighbor of the Blakes and frequent neighbor on the train home from the city. She despise Blake for the way he treats Louise and the smile always falls from her face upon meeting his stare
Mr. Watkins is another neighbor of Blake’s who also sometimes is on the train home. The bad blood between Blake and Watkins provides insight into the mental deterioration resulting from Blake’s narcissism: Blake is a renter who wears sandals on the train and makes his living by creating commercial art. All of which are deemed by the superior Blake to be transgressions of decency.
Charlie is Blake’s oldest son whose transgression can quite possibly never be forgiven. He has become best friends with the son of the Mr. Watkins and has all but left the house to move in with the neighbors full time.
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