August: Osage County

by

Tracy Letts

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Little Charles Aiken Character Analysis

Mattie Fae and Charlie Aiken’s adult son. Little Charles is thirty-seven years old but stunted in almost every way—he is unmarried, unemployed, and seemingly has trouble even taking basic care of himself. He is tender and creative, though, and has found a secret love with his cousin Ivy. It is eventually revealed—to nearly everyone but Little Charles himself—that Little Charles is actually Beverly’s illegitimate son, making him Ivy’s half-brother; Mattie Fae had an affair with Beverly some time ago and has been passing Little Charles off as Charlie’s boy since his birth.

Little Charles Aiken Quotes in August: Osage County

The August: Osage County quotes below are all either spoken by Little Charles Aiken or refer to Little Charles Aiken. 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 3, Scene 1 Quotes

CHARLIE: I don’t understand this meanness. I look at you and your sister and the way you talk to people and I don’t understand it. I just can’t understand why folks can’t be respectful of one another. I don’t think there’s any excuse for it. My family didn’t treat each other that way.

MATTIE FAE: Well maybe that’s because your family is a—

CHARLIE: You had better not say anything about my family right now. I mean it. We buried a man today I loved very much. And whatever faults he may have had, he was a good, kind, decent person. And to hear you tear into your own son on a day like today dishonors Beverly’s memory. We’ve been married for thirty-eight years. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But if you can’t find a generous place in your heart for your own son, we’re not going to make it to thirty-nine.

Related Characters: Mattie Fae Aiken (speaker), Charlie Aiken (speaker), Beverly Weston, Little Charles Aiken
Page Number: 83
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:
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August: Osage County PDF

Little Charles Aiken Character Timeline in August: Osage County

The timeline below shows where the character Little Charles Aiken appears in August: Osage County. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...Charlies—his and Mattie Fae’s own son—but Mattie Fae protests that Beverly is “nothing” like Little Charles; someone has to be smart to be complicated, and she feels her son is not... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...New York City on Beverly’s first book tour, Mattie Fae remarks that her son, Little Charles, has been talking about moving to New York, but she thinks he wouldn’t last a... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
Out on the porch, Charlie arrives with Little Charles. Little Charles worries that his mother will be furious with him for missing the funeral.... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...with one another—Karen tells Barbara about how she just showed Steve their old fort, Little Charles attempts to apologize to Mattie Fae for missing the funeral, and Ivy fights off Violet’s... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...of the TV; she doesn’t want to get stuck at the kid’s table with Little Charles. Bill tells her she needs to be on her best behavior, and she reluctantly follows... (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.... (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... (full context)
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Little Charles attempts to ask Bill about the poems he found, but Violet interrupts and asks Bill... (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... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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 if there is, the two of them “shouldn’t consider children.” Ivy reveals... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...soon, and won’t feel any guilt at all. When Barbara asks what Ivy and Little Charles could possibly be planning to do in New York, Ivy replies that the two of... (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, in just a few days.... (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 the couch. Little Charles asks Ivy if she’s... (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... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Charlie tries to get Mattie Fae to quit picking on Little Charles, but she will not stop. Charlie raises his voice, telling Mattie Fae that if she... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
...never treated one another so terribly. Charlie tells Mattie Fae that to tear into Little Charles on a day like today—a day when their family buried a man whom Charlie “loved... (full context)
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...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 just come on... (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 another at last.... (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.... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Barbara asks if Beverly knew that Little Charles was his, and Mattie Fae admits that he did. Barbara asks if it was a... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...she’s nervous, and Barbara realizes that Ivy wants to tell Violet about her and Little Charles’s relationship tonight. Barbara begs her sister not to mess up the uneasy rhythm she and... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...tell Violet the truth. Barbara tells Ivy she needs to rethink her entire relationship with Charles, before urging her to be quiet and eat her catfish. Ivy says she has hoped... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...spill” in the dining room. Ivy begins to tell Violet her secret, referring to Little Charles as “Charles.” Barbara says that if Ivy doesn’t refer to him as “Little Charles” Violet... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...world, and continues speaking. She reveals that she has always known the truth about Little Charles—no one slips anything by her. Barbara urges Ivy not to listen to Violet, but Violet... (full context)
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...“never know when someone might need a kidney.” Violet says, though, that the sensitive Little Charles should be protected from the truth. Violet looks at Ivy and asks how Ivy found... (full context)
Parents, Children, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
Violence, Abuse, and Power Theme Icon
Familial Responsibility and Entrapment Theme Icon
...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 she plans on... (full context)
Patriarchy and American Memory Theme Icon
Addiction Theme Icon
...to Beverly “at the end,” she would’ve told him not to kill himself over Little Charles and all the “ancient history” between himself and Mattie Fae. Violet says if she had... (full context)