August: Osage County

by

Tracy Letts

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Ivy Weston Character Analysis

The middle child of the Weston family, the quiet, sensitive, and emotionally aloof Ivy plays everything close to the chest. Ivy has lived in Pawhuska her entire life—she is the only one of her sisters who never moved away from their hometown. As such, the burden of caring for Beverly and Violet has fallen largely on Ivy, and she feels trapped by her claustrophobic and manipulative family; the only member of her family she can relate to is her cousin Little Charles, with whom she is having a romantic affair. Ivy harbors dreams of running away to New York with Little Charles and spends much of the play vacillating between resolving to bring the truth of their affair to light and keeping it hidden. At the end of the play, when Violet reveals that Ivy and Little Charles are not cousins, but brother and sister, Ivy is devastated, and flees the house, vowing never to return. Quiet and complicated, Ivy’s life has been structured around her role as her mother’s punching bag and caretaker, and the trauma of such a confining, suffocating existence is evident in Ivy’s isolation, self-destructiveness, and vivid fantasy life.

Ivy Weston Quotes in August: Osage County

The August: Osage County quotes below are all either spoken by Ivy Weston or refer to Ivy Weston. 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:
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theatre Communications Group edition of August: Osage County published in 2008.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

CHARLIE: Ivy. Let me ask you something. When did this start? This business with the shades, taping the shades?

IVY: That’s been a couple of years now.

MATTIE FAE: My gosh, has it been that long since we’ve been here?

CHARLIE: Do you know its purpose?

MATTIE FAE: You can’t tell if it’s night or day.

IVY: I think that’s the purpose.

Related Characters: Charlie Aiken (speaker), Ivy Weston, Mattie Fae Aiken
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

KAREN: I guess what I’m telling you is that I’m finally happy. I’ve been really unhappy for most of my life, my adult life. I doubt you’ve been aware of that. I know our lives have led us apart, you, me and Ivy, and maybe we’re not as close as we … as close as some families—

BARBARA: Yeah, we really need to talk about Mom, what to do about Mom—

KAREN:—but I think at least one reason for that is that I haven’t wanted to live my unhappiness in full view of my family. But now I’m … well, I’m just really happy. And I’d really like us to maybe get to know each other a little better.

Related Characters: Barbara Fordham (speaker), Karen Weston (speaker), Violet Weston, Ivy Weston, Steve Heidebrecht
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

VIOLET: Do you know where your father lived from age four ‘til about ten? Do you? (No one responds) Do you?!

BARBARA: No.

IVY: No.

VIOLET: In a Pontiac sedan. With his mother, his father, in a fucking car! Now what else do you want to say about your rotten childhood? That’s the crux of the biscuit: We lived too hard, then rose too high. We sacrificed everything and we did it all for you. Your father and I were the first in our families to finish high school and he wound up an award-winning poet. You girls, given a college education, taken for granted no doubt, and where'd you wind up? (Jabs a finger at Karen.) Whadda you do? (Jabs a finger at Ivy.) Whadda you do? (Jabs a finger at Barbara.) Who're you? Jesus, you worked as hard as us, you'd all be president. You never had real problems so you got to make all your problems yourselves.

Related Characters: Violet Weston (speaker), Barbara Fordham (speaker), Ivy Weston (speaker)
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:

BARBARA: Okay. Pill raid. Johnna, help me in the kitchen. Bill, take Ivy and Jean upstairs. (To Ivy.) You remember how to do this, right?

IVY: Yeah…

BARBARA: (To Jean) Everything. Go through everything, every counter, every drawer, every shoe box. Nothing’s too personal. Anything even looks suspicious, throw it in a box and we can sort it out later. You understand?

CHARLIE: What should we do?

BARBARA: Get Mom some black coffee and a wet towel and listen to her bullshit. Karen, call Dr. Burke.

KAREN: What do you want me to say?

BARBARA: Tell him we got a sick woman here.

VIOLET: You can’t do this! This is my house! This is my house!

BARBARA: You don’t get it, do you? (With a burst of adrenaline, she strides to Violet, towers over her.) I’M RUNNING THINGS NOW!

Related Characters: Violet Weston (speaker), Barbara Fordham (speaker), Ivy Weston (speaker), Karen Weston (speaker), Charlie Aiken (speaker), Jean Fordham
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

BARBARA: You might have told us [about the cancer].

IVY: You weren’t going to tell us about you and Bill.

BARBARA: That’s different.

IVY: Why? Because it’s you, and not me?

BARBARA: No, because divorce is an embarrassing public admission of defeat. Cancer’s fucking cancer, you can’t help that. We’re your sisters. We might have given you some comfort.

IVY: I just don’t feel that connection very keenly.

KAREN: I feel very connected, to both of you.

IVY: (Amused) We never see you, you’re never around, you haven’t been around for—

KAREN: But I still feel that connection!

IVY: You think if you tether yourself to this place in mind only, you don’t need to actually appear.

KAREN: You know me that well.

IVY: No, and that’s my point. I can’t perpetuate these myths of family or sisterhood anymore. We’re all just people, some of us accidentally connected by genetics, a random selection of cells. Nothing more.

Related Characters: Barbara Fordham (speaker), Ivy Weston (speaker), Karen Weston (speaker), Bill Fordham
Page Number: 76-77
Explanation and Analysis:

BARBARA: Aren’t you angry with him?

IVY: No. He’s accountable to no one but himself. If he’s better off now, and I don’t doubt he is, who are we to begrudge him that?

BARBARA: His daughters.

KAREN: Yeah—

BARBARA: And I’m fucking furious. The selfish son-of-a-bitch, his silence, his melancholy … he could have, for me, for us, for all of us, he could have helped us, included us, talked to us.

IVY: You might not have liked what you heard. What if the truth of the matter is that Beverly Weston never liked you? That he never liked any of us, never had any special feeling of any kind for his children?

Related Characters: Barbara Fordham (speaker), Ivy Weston (speaker), Karen Weston (speaker), Beverly Weston
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

MATTIE FAE: Y’know, I’m not proud of this.

BARBARA: Really. You people amaze me. What, were you drunk? Was this just some—?

MATTIE FAE: I wasn’t drunk, no. Maybe it’s hard for you to believe, looking at me, knowing me the way you do, all these years. I know to you, I’m just your old fat Aunt Mattie Fae. But I’m more than that, sweetheart … there’s more to me than that. Charlie’s right, of course. As usual. I don’t know why Little Charles is such a disappointment to me. Maybe he … well, I don’t know why. I guess I’m disappointed for him, more than anything. I made a mistake, a long time ago. Well, okay. Fair enough. I’ve paid for it. But the mistake ends here.

BARBARA: If Ivy found out about this, it would destroy her.

MATTIE FAE: I’m sure as hell not gonna tell her. You have to find a way to stop it. You have to put a stop to it.
BARBARA: Why me?

MATTIE FAE: You said you were running things.

Related Characters: Barbara Fordham (speaker), Mattie Fae Aiken (speaker), Ivy Weston, Charlie Aiken, Little Charles Aiken
Page Number: 84-85
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

IVY: Why did you tell me? Why in God’s name did you tell me this?

VIOLET: Hey, what do you care?

IVY: You’re monsters.

VIOLET: Come on now—

IVY: Picking the bones of the rest of us—

VIOLET: You crazy nut.

IVY: Monsters.

VIOLET: Who’s the injured party here? (Ivy staggers out of the dining room, into the living room. Barbara pursues her.)

BARBARA: Ivy, listen—

Ivy: Leave me alone!

BARBARA: Honey—

IVY: I won’t let you do this to me!

BARBARA: When Mattie Fae told me, I didn’t know what to do—

IVY: I won’t let you change my story! (Ivy exits. Barbara chases after her and catches her on the front porch.)
BARBARA: Goddamn it, listen to me: I tried to protect you—

IVY: We’ll go anyway. We’ll still go away, and you will never see me again.

BARBARA: Don’t leave me like this.

IVY: You will never see me again.

BARBARA: This is not my fault. I didn’t tell you. Mom told you. It wasn’t me, it was Mom.

IVY: There’s no difference.

Related Characters: Violet Weston (speaker), Barbara Fordham (speaker), Ivy Weston (speaker), Mattie Fae Aiken, Little Charles Aiken
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

VIOLET. Barbara? (Barbara grabs her purse, digs out rental car keys.) Barbara? (Barbara stands, listens to her mother.) Barbara, please. (Barbara exits the house.) Please, Barbara. Please. (Violet shuffles into the living room.) Barbara? You in here? (She crosses to the dining room.) Ivy? Ivy, you here? Barb? (She crosses to the kitchen.) Barb? Ivy? (She turns in a circle, disoriented, panicked. She crosses to the study.) Bev? (She reenters the living room, stumbles to the stereo, puts on Clapton ... stares at the turntable as the album spins ... attacks the record player, rakes the needle across the album. She looks around, terrified, disoriented.)

Related Characters: Violet Weston (speaker), Beverly Weston, Barbara Fordham, Ivy Weston
Related Symbols: “Lay Down, Sally”
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire August: Osage County LitChart as a printable PDF.
August: Osage County PDF

Ivy Weston Character Timeline in August: Osage County

The timeline below shows where the character Ivy Weston appears in August: Osage County. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy, Mattie Fae, and Charlie sit in the living room. Ivy is Beverly and Violet’s daughter;... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Charlie asks why this time is different, and Ivy replies that she believes her parents have stopped trying to repair their marriage. Mattie Fae... (full context)
Addiction Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...it’s so hot inside the house she’s sweating. Charlie laments the heat, too, and asks Ivy when her parents started taping up the shades. Ivy replies that they’ve been doing it... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
...if its absence means anything, Violet says, she seems despondent, and heads up the stairs. Ivy follows her. (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Upstairs, Violet asks Ivy if she has called Barbara—her daughter, and Ivy’s sister—yet. Ivy says she did, and tells... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy tells Violet she has called Karen—another sister—as well, and that Karen is going to try... (full context)
Addiction Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy asks Violet if her mouth is hurting, and Violet says she is in a lot... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
...Barbara holds Violet while she weeps. Violet recovers after a moment, and then Barbara greets Ivy. She remarks on how beautiful Ivy looks, and Bill agrees that Ivy looks great. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Upstairs, Violet, Mattie Fae, and Ivy—who is dressed in a black suit—look through a box of old photographs. Violet shows Ivy... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Violet goes to her closet and gets a dress for Ivy to try on. Ivy refuses to try the dress on and asks Violet why she’s... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...old fort, Little Charles attempts to apologize to Mattie Fae for missing the funeral, and Ivy fights off Violet’s persistent inquiries into the state of her romantic life.  (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
As Little Charles comes back up to the house from the car, Ivy meets him on the porch. He apologizes for missing the funeral, and for not being... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Back in the dining room, everyone but Violet, Little Charles, and Ivy is seated at the table. The men have removed their suit coats. As the family... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
...pointing out the sideboard, asks Barbara if she wants it—she tells Barbara, as she told Ivy earlier, that she is clearing out the house, getting rid of old things. Barbara says... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...Violet about how she took Steve out to see the fort where she, Barbara, and Ivy used to play cowboys and Indians. Violet corrects Karen, telling her she used to play... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Little Charles abruptly stands up. He announces that he, too, has a truth to tell. Ivy quietly begs Little Charles to sit back down—“not like this,” she says to him. He... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...from a sobbing Violet. She announces that she is starting a pill raid and instructs Ivy and Bill to go upstairs and start going through “everything” Violet owns. She orders Karen... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Addiction Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
It is nighttime—the window shades have all been un-taped and removed. Karen, Barbara, and Ivy sit in the study, drinking a bottle of whiskey. Charlie, Mattie Fae, Jean, and Steve... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Karen asks why one doctor would write so many prescriptions, but Ivy cuts her off, telling her that Violet is, and has been for a long time,... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...she doesn’t know. Karen admires their own parents for having stayed married for so long. Ivy points out that Beverly killed himself to escape his marriage. (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara asks Ivy outright if there is something going on between her and Little Charles, joking darkly that... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara says that if Ivy had told them, she and Karen might have been able to offer her some comfort,... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara asks Ivy when she got so cynical; Ivy replies that perhaps it was when she realized that... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara asks Ivy if she feels “comfortable” leaving Violet alone here. Ivy admits that she doesn’t, but also... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara tells Ivy that the other day, Violet told her she was Beverly’s favorite. Ivy says that’s not... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Karen, taking a stab at Ivy, tells Ivy that she must be taking Beverly’s suicide “kind of personally,” as his favorite.... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara asks Ivy when she and Little Charles are planning on leaving—Ivy says they could be leaving, perhaps,... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Barbara asks Ivy and Karen to leave the room so that she can talk to Violet alone for... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Downstairs, Ivy walks into the living room, where Little Charles is watching TV. She joins him on... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Little Charles goes over to the electric piano and asks Ivy to come sit beside him. He plays her a love song he’s written for her.... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
...to kick her into the highway. Mattie Fae, stunned, turns to face Charlie. Charlie tells Ivy and Little Charles to leave the room, and they do. Barbara is about to enter... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...was happening. Mattie Fae asks Barbara if Barbara thinks that something is going on between Ivy and Little Charles. Barbara attempts to deflect the question, but Mattie Fae asks Barbara to... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara points out that both Ivy and Little Charles have both always been different, and perhaps have found solace in one... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Mattie Fae tells a shocked Barbara that Little Charles is not Barbara and Ivy’s cousin, but rather their half-brother. Little Charles is Beverly’s child. Barbara asks Mattie Fae if... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara warns Mattie Fae that Ivy will be “destroy[ed]” by this information if it ever reaches her. Mattie Fae says that... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara and Ivy sit in the dining room. Ivy is dressed, but Barbara is still in pajamas. Ivy... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Johnna brings dinner in from the kitchen—she has made catfish. After she exits once again, Ivy asks why Barbara thinks Ivy shouldn’t tell Violet the truth. Barbara tells Ivy she needs... (full context)
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...and Violet grow belligerent with one another and begin cursing and shouting back and forth. Ivy interjects, telling Violet that she needs to talk to her about something. Barbara tells Ivy,... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy, frustrated, throws her plate on the floor, and it smashes. Barbara asks if they’re all... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy, shocked and believing that Violet is delirious, tries to go ahead with her confession, but... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Ivy is devastated. Violet says it’s time the girls knew: they are getting older, and “never... (full context)
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Barbara follows Ivy into the living room, begging Ivy to listen to her. She reveals that Mattie Fae... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...the house, where Violet is lighting a cigarette. She tells Barbara that they “couldn’t let” Ivy and Little Charles run off together—Ivy’s place is here. Barbara tells Violet that Ivy said... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
...deposit box. She admits that she probably should’ve called sooner—or called the police, or called Ivy—but she and Beverly had an arrangement. She reminds Barbara that to people of their generation,... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...kitchen, turning around and around, disoriented, trying to find her daughter. She starts calling for Ivy, too, and then Beverly. She winds up in the living room, where she puts on... (full context)