Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Bev Stoller Character Analysis

A white woman in her forties. Bev is married to Russ, and is the mother of Kenneth. Bev is outgoing and peacemaking. She enjoys cultivating friendships in the neighborhood, and is disturbed by her husband’s social withdrawal. She criticizes Russ for his new cynical outlook on life, attempting to deal with her grief by putting on a happy face. However, she is clearly still devastated by the loss of her son, and her days are empty without him. Bev is open-minded about the idea of integration, and does her best to treat Francine, her black maid, with respect, but is still ignorant about racial and class differences, and can be unintentionally offensive. She is played by the same actor who plays Kathy in Act II.

Bev Stoller Quotes in Clybourne Park

The Clybourne Park quotes below are all either spoken by Bev Stoller or refer to Bev Stoller. 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:
Race and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Clybourne Park published in 2011.
Act 1 Quotes

But that’s nice, isn’t it, in a way? To know we all have our place.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Russ Stoller, Mr. Wheeler
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: Well, you’re being ugly, and I don’t like ugliness.
Russ: — private matters, matters that are between me and the memory of my son —
Bev: I think his mind has been affected, I really do.
Russ: — and if the two of you want to talk about Kenneth on your own time, if that gives you some kind you comfort
Bev: And what’s wrong with comfort? Are we not allowed any comfort anymore?

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller (speaker), Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

I tell you, I don’t know what I would do without a friend like Francine here, and on a Saturday, I mean she is just a treasure. What on earth are we going to do up there without her?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Francine, Albert
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

Now, Russ, you know as well as I do that this is a progressive community.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Jim, The Younger Family
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: It’s a colored family.
Jim: Sorry, don’t we say Negro, now?
Karl: I say Negro —
Jim: Well, it’s only common courtesy, and I’m —
Karl: — I say them interchangeably
Jim: — not trying to tell you how to conduct your business.
Karl: — and of course I said Negro to them — No I think we both know what you’re doing.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Jim (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Ted Driscoll, The Younger Family
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: Bev, they are one hundred percent. And if I don’t know how much time any of you have spent in Hamilton Park, but Betsy was waiting in the car and I can tell you, there are some unsavory characters.
Russ: Karl?
Karl: But in the case of Gelman’s: I think there was some mistrust at first, having been Kopeckne’s Market for such a long time, but in the end of all Murray Gelman found a way to fit in.
Bev: And they hired the Wheeler boy.

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), Mr. Wheeler, The Younger Family
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

And fitting into a community is really what it all comes down to…Now, some would say change is inevitable. And I can support that, if it’s change for the better. But I’ll tell you what I can’t support, and that’s disregarding the needs of the people who live in a community.

Related Characters: Karl Linder (speaker), Bev Stoller, Jim, Murray Gelman, The Younger Family
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

Karl: And what happened to love thy neighbor? If we’re being so principled.
Bev: They would become our neighbors.
Karl: And what about the neighbors you already have Bev?
Bev: I care about them, too!
Karl: Well, I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), Russ Stoller, Jim, The Younger Family
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: Francine and I have, over the years, the two of us have shared so many wonderful—remember that time the squirrel came through the window?
Francine: Yes, I do.
Bev: That was just the silliest—the two of us were just hysterical weren’t we?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Francine (speaker), Karl Linder, Jim, Albert
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Jim: —You do find differences in modes of worship. If you take First Presbyterian. Now, that’s a church down in Hamilton Park and I’ve taken fellowship there and I can tell you, the differences are notable.
Bev: Jim?
Jim: Not a value judgment. Apples and oranges. Just as how we have our organ here at Saint Thomas, for accompaniment, whereas at First Presbyterian, they prefer a piano and, occasionally…well, tambourines.

Bev: What’s wrong with tambourines?

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Jim (speaker), Karl Linder, The Younger Family
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: And for all we know this family could be perfectly lovely.
Karl: Well, that’s hardly the point, is it?
Bev: Maybe it’s a point to consider.
Karl: Bev, I’m not here to solve society’s problems. I’m simply telling you what will happen, and it will happen as follows: First one family will leave, then another, and another, and each time they do, the values of these properties will decline, and once that process begins, once you break that egg, Bev, all the kings horses, etcetera—

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), The Younger Family
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

Russ: If you honestly think I give a rat’s ass about the goddamn—
Jim: Okay. Okay.
Russ: —what, ya mean the community where every time I go for a haircut, where they all sit and stare like the goddamn grim reaper walked in the barber shop door? That community?
Karl: My wife is two weeks away from giving birth to a child.
Russ: Where, Bev stops at Gelman’s for a quart of milk and they look at her like she’s got the goddamn plague? That the community I’m supposed to be looking out for?

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Karl Linder (speaker), Jim (speaker), Bev Stoller, Betsy Linder, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

And Francine walking in at nine in the morning to find him there. You be my guest, Karl. You go ahead and tell those people what kind of house they’re moving into and see if that stops ‘em, because I’ll tell you what, I don’t care if a hundred Ubangi tribesman with a bone through the nose overrun this goddamn place, ‘cause I’m through with all of you, ya motherfucking sons of bitches. Every one of you.

Related Characters: Russ Stoller (speaker), Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Francine, Jim, Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

I think they’re all a buncha idiots. And who’s the biggest idiot of all to let yourself get dragged into the middle of it? Whatcha gonna be now, the big peacemaker come to save the day?...Let ‘em knock each other’s brains out, for all I care. I’m done working for these people two days from now, and you never worked for ‘em at all, so what the hell do you care what they do? And now I am going to the goddamn car.

Related Characters: Francine (speaker), Russ Stoller, Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Albert
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Bev: What about this chafing dish? Did you see this dish?
Albert: Well, we got plenty of dish—
Bev: Not one of these. Francine told me.
Albert: Well, that’s very kind of you, but—
Bev: She said you didn’t have one and somebody should take it and—
Albert: But we don’t need it, ma’am.
Bev: —make use of it, so if you let me just wrap it for you.
Albert: Ma’am, we don’t want your things. Please. We got our own things.
Bev: Well.
Albert: Trying to explain to you.
Bev: Well, if that’s the attitude, then I just don’t know what to say anymore. I really don’t. If that’s what we’re coming to.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Albert (speaker), Francine
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

Steve:… Are you “offended”?
Kevin: Nope.
Steve: Neither am I.
Lindsey: You can’t be offended, you moron —
Steve:…I can’t?
Lindsey: — because you’ve never been politically marginalized, unlike the majority of people in the world —
Steve: How can a majority be marginal?
Lindsey: — and, by the way, all women, everywhere, and it’s your classic white male myopia that you’re blind to that basic fact.
Lena: Why is a white woman like a tampon?
Lindsey: Why is what?
Lena: It’s a joke.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Bev Stoller, Karl Linder, Francine, Kathy, Kevin
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:

But you know, I think things are about to change. I really do. I know it’s been a hard couple of years for all of us, I know they have been, but I really believe things are about to change for the better. I firmly believe that.

Related Characters: Bev Stoller (speaker), Kenneth Stoller
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Clybourne Park LitChart as a printable PDF.
Clybourne Park PDF

Bev Stoller Character Timeline in Clybourne Park

The timeline below shows where the character Bev Stoller appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
...across the stage. It is clear the white couple living in the house, Russ and Bev Stoller, is in the process of moving out. (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...carton. Although it is midafternoon, he’s barefoot and dressed in a pajama top and chinos. Bev comes downstairs and begins to pack a box. She tells Russ he doesn’t have to... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...a black woman dressed in a maid’s uniform, enters from the kitchen to talk to Bev. Bev tries to give Francine a chafing dish that she never uses. Although Francine admits... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Bev continues packing boxes in the living room. She sees Russ’s ice cream and considers the... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev looks for grammatical rules that govern the naming of people from cities that end with... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Riffing on residents of the Congo, called Congolese, Russ wonders why people don’t say Mongolese. Bev tries to correct him, suggesting “Mongol-oid,” but is immediately embarrassed when Russ reminds her that... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...starts the game again. He has remembered the capital of Mongolia, which does not impress Bev. It does remind her, however, that Russ was supposed to change the mailing address of... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Unamused by Russ’s joke, Bev asks if he has moved the footlocker down from upstairs like she asked. He says... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Bev asks Russ not to shrug off her question and say “what’s the point,” because, by... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...man on the phone, who announces himself as Karl Linder, a neighbor, is interspersed with Bev and Russ’s conversation. Bev tells Francine that she’ll call Karl back, and promptly returns to... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev takes the phone from Francine and tries to convince Karl not to come visit, explaining... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Russ asks Bev if Karl is coming over. She ignores the question and starts talking to Jim about... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...had entered from the kitchen and waited patiently for a break in the conversation, asks Bev if she is free to go. Bev asks her to move the footlocker she’d asked... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev offers Jim lunch, but he declines. She jokes about Russ’s ice cream, and Russ responds,... (full context)
Alone again, Jim and Russ make small talk. Jim overheard Bev tell Karl that Russ was under the weather, so Jim asks Russ what’s wrong. Russ... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...minutes. Russ also says that he’s getting a new, carpeted corner office. Jim asks how Bev is doing, and Russ responds she’s fine, but that she worries and gets over excited.... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Russ is clearly uncomfortable, and looks for Bev in hopes she’ll come back into the room. Jim tells Russ that Bev cares about... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...to his country. This is the first time the audience has heard of Russ and Bev’s son, but Russ clearly does not want to discuss him: he talks over Jim. Jim... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Bev reenters from the kitchen, and notes the mood in the room has changed. Russ has... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Russ moves toward the staircase. He tells Bev and Jim they can discuss his son, Kenneth, on their own time if it comforts... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...pick her up. Russ exits upstairs. Jim doesn’t know whether to invite Albert in, so Bev does and makes small talk before letting him sit and wait for his wife. Jim,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Albert gets up to wait outside. Bev doesn’t understand why he’s leaving and calls for Francine, who eventually comes out dressed in... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
As Bev says goodbye to Francine she mentions the footlocker, which still needs to be taken care... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Once again, Bev asks Francine if she wants the chafing dish, and once again she declines. As Albert... (full context)
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Bev invites Karl inside, but he hesitates, revealing his wife is in the car. Bev tells... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Karl and Betsy return. Betsy is visibly very pregnant, and Bev coos over her stomach. Betsy is deaf, and her speech is often difficult to understand.... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Betsy jokes aloud that she’ll need an umbrella, and Bev is happy to understand the joke. Jim responds that he must have rusty fingers, which... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Russ returns form the basement carrying a shovel. He asks Bev about his work gloves but she ignores him. He acknowledges Betsy because she says hello... (full context)
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Russ is uninterested but allows Karl to talk. He begins a speech several times but Bev interrupts to ask if he wants tea, and then again to deliver the tea. The... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Betsy and Bev go to the dining table where they communicate by writing on a pad of paper.... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...the Stollers' house are black—or, as he says, “colored.” As he speaks, Jim, Russ, and Bev talk over him: Jim is incredulous, and Russ calls to Bev. Neither of the Stollers... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...that to let a black family move in would disregard the needs of the community. Bev wonders if the family moving in has needs, but both Karl and Jim reject her... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...her grip. She comes running down the stairs after the trunk, apologizing. Russ, frustrated that Bev ignored his promise that he would move the trunk, yells that he said he’d move... (full context)
Francine doesn’t want to offend anyone, and keeps repeating how nice the neighborhood is. Bev keeps trying, unhelpfully to rephrase Jim’s question, until Albert cuts her off: he understands that... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Russ interrupts Karl, and reminds him the house is sold, and that he and Bev are moving on Monday. Karl reveals that the Community Association made a counter offer to... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Jim rises to leave, and Francine asks Bev if it’s okay to go, but before anyone can move Karl bursts back in through... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...notion that he has a community, explaining that he feels people have treated him and Bev like outsiders for the past two and a half years. He questions the importance of... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Bev doesn’t believe Kenneth committed the crimes of which he was accused, and remembers how he... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
As Bev and Karl speak, Russ crosses to the footlocker and extracts a letter, which he begins... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev returns to the living room from the bathroom. She offers to pay Albert for moving... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...through the kitchen, returns with the work gloves he was looking for earlier. He tells Bev he’ll dig a hole to bury the footlocker tomorrow. He apologizes for losing his temper,... (full context)
Act 2
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Bev comes downstairs to see Kenneth. She wonders why he’s dressed up and he lies that... (full context)