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The Father is a "fattish" man in his fifties with thin, reddish hair, a thick moustache, and piercing, blue oval eyes. He is "alternatively mellifluous and violent." Along with the Step-Daughter, he is the Character who most fervently insists on the staging of the Characters' drama. In some sense, he figures as the drama's progenitor, having produced the situation of the step- household, a situation that culminates in an inadvertent sexual encounter with his Step-Daughter. Though the Father ostensibly seeks remorse, Pirandello intimates a number of times that a "deal" has perhaps been struck between the Father and Manager, the play's two authorial figures. Thus the Son and Step- Daughter warn against reading the play according to his word alone. As the Manager laments, the Father is the play's philosopher, continually stepping out of his role to sermonize about ideas of the inner workings of the Characters' drama and the relations between the Characters and Actors. His excessive tendency for preaching would mark him as a roughly drawn character and as a double for the author. In particular, the Father insists on the "reality" of the Characters, a reality he poses over and against that of the company. Unlike the "nobody" Actors, the Characters are "real somebodies" because their reality—the reality of both their drama and role—remains fixed and independent of the vagaries of time. This reality has little to do with the plausibility nor the codes of the "actable." Thus, both he and the Step-Daughter relate the sense of estrangement in seeing their reality rendered by the Actors.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Six Characters in Search of an Author!