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Mrs. Doyle is perhaps the most virile person in Miss Lonelyhearts. She is physically imposing, pursuing Miss Lonelyhearts and ordering him around in their sexual entanglements. Indeed, she has a penchant for emasculating the men in her life. It is not difficult for her to emasculate her crippled husband, Doyle, whom she married out of convenience; the dominant-submissive nature of their relationship is made clear when she hits him with a newspaper and he plays the role of the dog. Fay later calls Doyle and Miss Lonelyhearts "fairies" when she sees them holding hands. She then sends Doyle out for liquor while she violently attempts to seduce Miss Lonelyhearts. While Mrs. Doyle has had a difficult life, her selfish, brutish desires—and her essential dishonesty, capped by her claim that Miss Lonelyhearts has tried to rape her—make her far less deserving of sympathy than the other grotesques in the novel.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Miss Lonelyhearts!