Absurd Person Singular

Jane Hopcroft is Sidney Hopcroft’s long-suffering wife. Obsessed with cleaning her house (and, at times, cleaning other people’s houses), she lacks much of a sense of empathy or understanding for other people’s thoughts and feelings. She is, in some ways, the most sympathetic character in the play, since she’s never shown to do anything to hurt another character, and seems not to be greedy or interested in “getting ahead.” At the same time—and this probably isn’t a coincidence—Jane is probably the least fully developed character in the play: compared with the five other cast members, she has the smallest number of lines.

Jane Hopcroft Quotes in Absurd Person Singular

The Absurd Person Singular quotes below are all either spoken by Jane Hopcroft or refer to Jane Hopcroft. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Middle Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Absurd Person Singular published in 1994.
Act One Quotes

SIDNEY: [chuckling knowingly] I don't imagine the wife of a banker will particularly choose to spend her evening in our kitchen. Smart as it is.

Related Characters: Sidney Hopcroft (speaker), Jane Hopcroft
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

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JANE: No, but it's special tonight, isn't it? I mean, with Mr. and Mrs. Brewster-Wright and Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. It's important.
SIDNEY: Don't forget Dick and Lottie Potter. They're coming, too.
JANE: Oh, well, I don't count Dick and Lottie. They're friends.

Related Characters: Sidney Hopcroft (speaker), Jane Hopcroft (speaker), Ronald Brewster-Wright, Marion Brewster-Wright, Geoffrey Jackson, Eva Jackson, Dick Potter, Lottie Potter
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

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MARION: Just look at these working surfaces and you must have a gorgeous view from that window, I imagine.
SIDNEY: Well…
MARION: It must be stunning. You must look right over the fields at the back.
SIDNEY: No—no.
JANE: No, we just look into next door's fence.
MARION: Well, which way are the fields?
JANE: I've no idea.
MARION: How extraordinary. I must be thinking of somewhere else.

Related Characters: Sidney Hopcroft (speaker), Jane Hopcroft (speaker), Marion Brewster-Wright (speaker)
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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MARION: [bending to read the dial] What's this? Whites-coloureds—my God, it's apartheid.
JANE: Beg pardon?

Related Characters: Jane Hopcroft (speaker), Marion Brewster-Wright (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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RONALD: Ah. Well, as long as you know about him. Might have been after your silver. I mean, you never know. Not these days.
SIDNEY : No, indeed. No, he—he was from the off-licence.

Related Characters: Sidney Hopcroft (speaker), Ronald Brewster-Wright (speaker), Jane Hopcroft
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

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SIDNEY: These people just weren't anybody. They are people in the future who can be very, very useful to us...

Related Characters: Sidney Hopcroft (speaker), Jane Hopcroft
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act Two Quotes

JANE: I must clean that oven if it kills me.

Related Characters: Jane Hopcroft (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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JANE: Shall I tell you something—Sidney would get so angry if he heard me saying this—but I'd far sooner be down here on the floor, on my knees in the oven—than out there, talking. Isn't that terrible. But I’m never at ease, really, at parties. I don't enjoy drinking, you see.

Related Characters: Jane Hopcroft (speaker), Sidney Hopcroft, Eva Jackson
Related Symbols: Alcohol
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act Three Quotes

MARION: Why don't you just go in the hall and shout "Go away" through the letter-box?
RONALD: Because he happens to have a very large deposit account with my bank.

Related Characters: Ronald Brewster-Wright (speaker), Marion Brewster-Wright (speaker), Sidney Hopcroft, Jane Hopcroft
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jane Hopcroft Character Timeline in Absurd Person Singular

The timeline below shows where the character Jane Hopcroft appears in Absurd Person Singular. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...play begins “last Christmas” in the kitchen of the suburban home of Sidney Hopcroft and Jane Hopcroft, both in their thirties. Their home is modest, but it has modern appliances, such... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Materialism Theme Icon
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As Jane scrubs, Sidney notes that he has “a few games lined up .... just in case.”... (full context)
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Sidney asks Jane for a “Christmas kiss,” but Jane instead says that Sidney’s tie smells like fly spray.... (full context)
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Sidney ducks back into the kitchen, where Jane is still spraying. Jane remembers that she’s been wearing slippers—she’s left her dress shoes by... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Jane and Sidney leave the kitchen, and the sound of laughter and conversation from offstage fills... (full context)
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A moment later, Jane, Sidney, and Ronald Brewster-Wright—a man in his mid-forties who is “impressive without being distinguished”—burst into... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Materialism Theme Icon
...and forgotten about. Marion also notices the washing machine, which was Sidney’s Christmas present to Jane. She notices the dial that reads, “Whites-coloreds” and jokes, “it’s apartheid,” a comment that Jane... (full context)
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The doorbell rings, and Jane leaves the room to greet the guests. Marion asks Sidney, who she calls “Mr. Hopcraft,”... (full context)
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...her children, finds Dick Potter’s jokes horrible, and doesn’t like the drinks. Ronald complains that Jane spilled soda on his trousers while pouring him a drink. (full context)
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...away from your divine kitchen,” but she and Ronald follow Sidney out. A moment later, Jane returns with an empty bowl, which she fills with chips. Sidney follows her, explaining that... (full context)
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Jane and Sidney continue looking for the tonic water, and Sidney complains that she’s “let us... (full context)
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A moment later, Jane arrives at the back door, soaking wet, with a carton of tonic waters. She finds... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
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Back in the kitchen, Sidney asks Jane what happened, and Jane explains that she went out for tonic water—Ronald Brewster-Wright let her... (full context)
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Suddenly, Jane appears outside the back door. Sidney waves her away, without his guests seeing him. Meanwhile,... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
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Fortune  Theme Icon
...overcoat, come back into the kitchen. Marion thanks Sidney and tells him that he and Jane should visit them sometime—assuming he can ever find Jane. Alone in the kitchen, Sidney smiles... (full context)
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Jane knocks on the back door and Sidney lets her in. Jane is a “sodden mess”—she... (full context)
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Materialism Theme Icon
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Sidney tells Jane that he’ll watch some television now—since it’s Christmas Eve, there should be something good on.... (full context)
Act Two
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...kitchen, explaining that the “bloody Hopcrofts” have arrived. He cleans some glasses and complains that Jane Hopcroft is too fussy about cleanliness. Just then, he notices that Eva is standing by... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Fortune  Theme Icon
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...Eva writes another note. Then, she turns to the oven and sticks her head inside. Jane walks into the room, carrying some glasses. Eva tries to sit up, and bonks her... (full context)
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Geoffrey walks back into the room, and Jane asks him if she could borrow an apron. Geoffrey nods and explains that he’s called... (full context)
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Alone with Eva, Jane tells her that George is getting big. She adds that Dick Potter is very good... (full context)
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Sidney enters the room and sees Eva and Jane. He explains that the Brewster-Wrights have arrived. Seeing that Eva is trying to fish something... (full context)
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...him Lottie Potter’s laughter can be heard. He notices Eva standing on the table, and Jane tells him, “Bulb’s gone.” Ronald offers to fix the bulb for Eva. Meanwhile, Sidney has... (full context)
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Materialism Theme Icon
While Jane, Sidney, and Ronald work, Eva writes yet another suicide note, and then finds a tin... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Materialism Theme Icon
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...the ceiling, begins to “vibrate” and moan. Marion turns off the light, and Sidney and Jane carry Ronald down. The guests cover Ronald, who seems cold and weak, in “an assortment... (full context)
Materialism Theme Icon
Fortune  Theme Icon
...offers Ronald a drink, and Ronald replies, in a strained voice, “I feel very peculiar.” Jane goes to wash her hands in the sink, and when she turns on the sink,... (full context)
The Middle Class Theme Icon
Materialism Theme Icon
Fortune  Theme Icon
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...sing, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” After each verse, a guest joins in—first Marion, then Jane, then Ronald, then Sidney. In the distance George barks. Suddenly, Geoffrey walks in. He’s astounded... (full context)
Act Three
The Middle Class Theme Icon
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Sidney opens the back door, even though Jane tells him not to. He shoots back, “I haven’t yet forgiven you for that business... (full context)
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Ronald offers Sidney and Jane drinks, and Sidney mentions that he’s just come from Walter Harrison’s party. He turns to... (full context)
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Jane offers Ronald and Marion their presents, which they open, confused. Jane and Sidney explain that... (full context)
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Ronald tells Sidney and Jane, “You’ll have to excuse us if we’re not our usual cheery selves.” However, Marion says,... (full context)
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Sidney and Jane tell the others, “We’re going to get you all jumping about.” Sidney proceeds to tell... (full context)
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The game begins, and everyone but Jane and Sidney begins dancing. Marion dances in a shaky “classical ballet style,” while the others... (full context)