Everyman

by: Philip Roth

Nancy

Like Howie, the everyman’s daughter Nancy is another source of purity and goodness. She remains loyal to the everyman even after he leaves her mother Phoebe for Merete. Yet she is willing to confront him when he chooses to give up his life’s passion, painting, and to encourage him to continue on with it and to push past his malaise and re-engage with life. Nancy is well-off enough to hire a nanny to help raise her twin children, and to provide for Phoebe after her stroke. However to the everyman, Nancy sometimes appears kind and trusting to the point of naivety. Her marriage was ill-advised, because she was unable to see her husband’s flaws through her love for him. The everyman still sees Nancy as the teenage girl whose dreams of athletic success were destroyed by an ill-timed injury and whose happiness he thwarted by divorcing her mother Phoebe. To the everyman, Nancy is a vulnerable, loving, pure being that he feels the need to shield from life’s harshness.