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Notes on Ayn Rand

  • Night of January 16th
  • We the Living
  • Sexual Situations
  • 'Initiations rites'

Notes on Night of January 16th

American novelist-thinker Ayn Rand is increasingly becoming the subject of academic and serious studies, especially since 09/11 (2001). The following is the list of characters and their "apparent" traits from her first significant stage play (in three acts) Night of January 16th.

Night of January 16th: Characters

Judge William Heath of the Superior Court 11 of the State of New York in 1933.

Appearance not described.

District Attorney Flint, Lawyer of the prosecution.

“A heavy, middle-aged man with the kindly appearance of a respectable father of a family and the shrewd, piercing manner of a pawnbroker [pp.21-2]”

Defense Attorney Stevens, Lawyer of Karen Andre.

“Tall, gray-haired, displaying the grooming and sophisticated grace of a man of the world [p.22].”

Karen Andre, the secretary-mistress of the late Bjnor Faulkner, 28.

“One’s first impression of her is that to handle her would require the services of an animal trainer, not an attorney. Yet there is nothing emotional or rebellious in her countenance; it is one of profound, inexorable calm; but one feels the tense vitality, the primitive fire, the untamed strength in the defiant immobility of her slender body, the proud line of her head held high, the sweep of her tousled hair. Her clothes are conspicuous by their severe, tailored simplicity; a very costly simplicity, one can notice, but not the elegance of a woman who gives much thought to her clothes; rather that of one who knows she can make any rag attractive and does it consciously [p.22].”

Dr. Thomas Kirkland, medical examiner of the United States.

Elderly, kindly, and indifferent [p.25].”

John Hutchins, night watchman at the Faulkner Building.

“A timid, elderly man, neat, but almost shabby; he walks to the stand shyly, cringing, nervously fingering his hat in both hands [p.27].”

Homer Van Fleet, private investigator.

“Tall, not very young, and can best be described by the word “correct.” His clothes are correct—smart, but not flashy; his manner is correct—cool, exact, strictly businesslike. He is diffident and dignified at the same time [pp.32-3].”

Elmer Sweeney, police inspector.

Round-faced, somewhat naïve [p.41].”

Magda Svenson, housekeeper.

“Waddles towards the witness stand. She is fat, middle-aged, with tight, drawn lips, suspicious eyes, an air of offended righteousness. Her clothes are plain, old-fashioned, meticulously neat [p.45].”

Nancy Lee Faulkner, widow of the late Bjnor Faulkner, 22.

“Blonde, slender, delicate, perfect as a costly porcelain statuette. Her exquisite white skin is a contrast to the somber, unrelieved black of her clothes; they are clothes of mourning, severe and in perfect taste [p.49].”

John Graham Whitfield, Nancy’s father.

“Tall, gray-haired, perfectly groomed, a thorough gentleman with the imperious manner of a wartime generalissimo [p.68].”

James Chandler, hand writing expert of the New York Police Department.

“Middle-aged, precise, dignified [p.74].”

Seigurd Jungquist, secretary of Faulkner since Karen’s dismissal.

“A man in his late thirties, a little timid in a quiet, reserved way, with a naïve face and questioning, as if constantly wondering, eyes. He is Swedish and speaks with an accent [p.76].”

“Guts” (Lawrence) Regan, Officially “unemployed” but reputed to be a gangster.

“Tall, slender, light-eyed young man in traveling clothes [p.88].”

Court Attendants

Source: Personal Notes of Khurram Ali Shafique (2007)

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