Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Lindsey Character Analysis

A white woman in her late twenties. Lindsey is married to Steve, and is visibly pregnant. She and Steve have purchased the house in Clybourne Park that Bev, Russ, and the Youngers used to live in, and have planned to extensively renovate the house. In her conversations with Lena, Kevin, Kathy, and Tom, Lindsey is bubbly and personable, always trying hard to make sure she is accommodating and inoffensive. She frequently expresses embarrassment at the tactlessness of her husband. In her private conversations with Steve, however, she is more assertive, and it is clear that many of the major decisions in their marriage—including the baby and the renovation of their new home—were her idea. Lindsey is played by the same actor who plays Betsy in Act I.

Lindsey Quotes in Clybourne Park

The Clybourne Park quotes below are all either spoken by Lindsey or refer to Lindsey. 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 2 Quotes

Lindsey: Can I say? We talked about renovation. We discussed it. Because these houses are so charming and I know it’s a shame — but when you figure in the crack in the sub-floor and the cost of the lead abatement — and in a market like this one? It just made more sense to start from scratch.
Tom: Right. But: the Owners Association has a vested interest — Kevin and Lena call me up last month, they say Tom, we’ve got this problem, these people are planning to build a house that’s a full fifteen feet taller than all the adjacent structures…and I think we’d all agree that there’s a mutual benefit to maintaining the integrity — the architectural integrity…of a historically significant…neighborhood.

Related Characters: Tom Driscoll (speaker), Lindsey (speaker), Steve, Lena, Kevin
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Lindsey: And you know, the thing is? Communities change.
Steve: They do.
Lindsey: That’s just the reality.
Steve: It is.
Lena: And some change is inevitable, and we all support that, but it might be worth asking yourself who exactly is responsible that change?
Lindsey: I’m not sure what you—?
Kevin: Wait, what are you trying to—?
Lena: I’m asking you to think about the motivation behind the long-range political initiative to change the faith of this neighborhood….I mean that this is a highly desirable area…And I’m saying that there are certain economic interests that are being served by those changes and others that are not. That’s all.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Kevin (speaker)
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

Steve: The history of America is the history of private property.
Lena: That may be —
Steve: Read De Tocqueville.
Lena: —though I rather doubt your grandparents were sold as private property.
Steve: Ohhhhh my god. Look. Look. Humans are territorial, okay?
Lindsey: Who are you?
Steve: This is why we have wars. One group, one tribe, tries to usurp some territory — and now you guys have this territory, right? And you don’t like having it stolen away from you, the way white people stole everything else from black America. We get it, okay? And we apologize. But what good does it do, if we perpetually fall into the same, predictable little euphemistic tap dance around the topic?
Kevin: You know how to tap dance?
Steve: See? See what he’s doing?!!
Lindsey: Maybe quit while you’re ahead.
Steve: No. I’m sick of — No. Every single word we say is — is — is scrutinized for some kind of latent — Meanwhile you guys run around saying n-word this and n-word that and whatever. We all know why there’s a double standard but I can’t even so much as repeat a fucking joke that the one black guy I know told me —

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Kevin (speaker)
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

Well you’re being an idiot. And in case you hadn’t noticed, the rest of the world has begun a more sophisticated conversation about this topic than you apparently are qualified to participate in at this incredible moment in history. I mean, I used to date a black guy. So what? I mean, seriously. Steve. Wake up.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve, Lena, Kevin
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

Lindsey: Well, I want to say this: I want to say I feel angry. And I’m basically kind of hurt by the implication that’s been made that, just because we want to live as your neighbors and raise a child alongside yours, that somehow, in the process of doing that, we’ve had our ethics called into question. Because that is hurtful.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Lena (speaker), Steve, Kevin
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
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Clybourne Park PDF

Lindsey Character Timeline in Clybourne Park

The timeline below shows where the character Lindsey appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
...of the living room, six people sit in a circle: a white couple named Steve and Lindsey, and their lawyer, Kathy, and a black couple named Kevin and Lena, and their lawyer,... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
The group begins discussing a document of neighborhood guidelines for renovation. Steve and Lindsey have recently purchased the house, and want to make renovations. Specifically, they want to make... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...frontage is, and how the way frontage is defined will affect the renovations Steve and Lindsey want to make to the house. Kevin wonders if the language matters, but Steve says... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Kathy stands up to take a phone call from Hector, the architect, and Lindsey and Steve briefly argue about whether the perimeter of the house can be changed. Lindsey... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Kathy passes the phone to Lindsey, who wants to talk to Hector. Steve makes a comment about Spaniards, like the architect,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...Lena tries to make an announcement, but Steve cuts her off, wanting to wait for Lindsey. There’s a pause in the conversation, and then Tom suggests returning to the document while... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lindsey returns. She explains Hector was upset that he wasn’t included in the meeting. Steve asks... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Lindsey explains that she thinks “these houses are so charming,” but the house was so run-down... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...know Kyle Hendrickson. Kyle told Steve a joke, which he wants to tell, but which Lindsey thinks is inappropriate. Lena interrupts again, more aggressively. Kathy, who has been checking her voicemails,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Lindsey, trying to be diplomatic, explains she isn’t trying to change the neighborhood. In fact, she... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Lena asks Lindsey to clarify, but before she can answer Steve and Kathy begin to talk about how... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lindsey, trying to maintain some kind of moral high ground, then explains how horrible she thinks... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lindsey tries to turn the conversation back to the document, but they immediately get off track.... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...affordable for her aunt because of the suicide of the son of the previous owners. Lindsey is offended on behalf of Lena’s family, but also horrified that she was not notified... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lindsey apologizes for losing her composure. She explains that the combined stress of the baby, the... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lindsey argues that neighborhoods change with time, but Lena asks her to consider who is responsible... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
...has been called a racist when their issue was the “inappropriately large house” Steve and Lindsey intended to construct, become angry, even when Steve points out his said the word racism,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Lindsey attempts to distance herself from Steve as he continues to insist race was clearly a... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...joke. Kevin and Lena insist he tell it if he wants to so badly, though Lindsey continues to protest that it offends her because “it’s disgusting and juvenile and traffics in... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Lena says she’s not offended, but she finds the joke unfunny, while Lindsey continues to argue that it is offensive. Steve feels that Lindsey is not allowed to... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...with a joke about black men. Neither man is offended by the other’s joke, but Lindsey says that Steve can’t be offended, as he’s never been “politically marginalized” as a result... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...tell it, but she does—white women are like tampons “because they’re both stuck up cunts.” Lindsey and Kathy are both offended at the “hostile joke.” Kathy says she feels that she... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Lindsey calls out Steve as an asshole and a “regressive.” She announces that she used to... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Tom wraps up the conversation. No one has final thoughts except for Lindsey, who is hurt because she feels her “ethics” have been “called into question.” Lena says... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Kevin ushers Lena out, and tells Steve and Lindsey they should just communicate through lawyers from now on. Steve remarks to Lindsey, quietly, that... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...touch me,”  and Dan backs off. Lena and Kevin turn to each other, as do Lindsey and Steve. The two couples engage in simultaneous arguments. Lena complains that Kevin is “trying... (full context)
Neighborhoods and Ownership Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Steve tells Lindsey that he thinks the planned house is too big, and Lindsey tells Steve he doesn’t... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
As Lindsey and Steve were cleaning up, Dan opened the footlocker with his bolt cutters. Kenneth descends... (full context)