Proof

by

David Auburn

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Catherine Character Analysis

Catherine is the quick-witted, stubborn, and prickly protagonist of the play. Her father, Robert, was a famous mathematician, and when the play opens, he has recently died. Catherine (who is in her mid-twenties) has been caring for him for the past few years, and now that he’s gone, she has to figure out what to do with her life next. This becomes a point of contention when Catherine’s hectoring older sister, Claire, flies in from New York and suggests that Catherine isn’t mentally stable enough to live on her own, which Catherine forcefully rejects. A recurring tension in the play is whether Catherine has inherited her father’s mental illness—she’s definitely prone to depression, but it’s not clear whether it’s anything worse. For instance, when she speaks with her dead father, it might be normal grieving, but it might be a hallucination, and Catherine herself doesn’t even seem sure. What she is sure of (which she reveals near the end of the play) is that during the time she cared for her father, she wrote a complicated and groundbreaking mathematical proof, echoing the iconic work that Robert did when he was around her age. Initially, none of the other characters believe that she could have written the proof, including her father’s former student Hal, with whom Catherine has recently become romantically involved. While Claire thinks Catherine isn’t sane enough to have written it, Hal thinks she’s insufficiently educated (she dropped out of college to care for Robert). His dismissal of Catherine’s abilities reflects the rampant sexism among mathematicians, and it breaks Catherine’s trust, sending her into a tailspin. However, after reviewing the proof with some colleagues, Hal concludes that Catherine is telling the truth—she has written something that will change the field. The play ends with Hal and Catherine repairing their relationship, and it seems that Catherine will stay in Chicago and use the proof to catapult herself into a math career, just like her late father.

Catherine Quotes in Proof

The Proof quotes below are all either spoken by Catherine or refer to Catherine. 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:
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Proof published in 2001.
Act One, Scene 1 Quotes

ROBERT: You see? Even your depression is mathematical. Stop moping and get to work. The kind of potential you have—

CATHERINE: I haven’t done anything good.

ROBERT: You’re young. You’ve got time.

CATHERINE: I do?

ROBERT: Yes.

CATHERINE: By the time you were my age you were famous.

Related Characters: Robert (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

CATHERINE: You died a week ago […] You’re sitting here. You’re giving me advice. You brought me champagne.

ROBERT: Yes.

CATHERINE: Which means…

ROBERT: For you?

CATHERINE: Yes.

ROBERT: For you, Catherine, my daughter, who I love very much…It could be a bad sign.

Related Characters: Robert (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: […] When your dad was younger than both of us, he made major contributions to three fields: game theory, algebraic geometry, and nonlinear operator theory. Most of us never get our heads around one. He basically invented the mathematical techniques for studying rational behavior, and he gave the astrophysicists plenty to work over too. Okay?

CATHERINE: Don’t lecture me.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: […] “Talking with students helps. So does being outside, eating meals in restaurants, riding buses, all the activities of ‘normal’ life. Most of all Cathy. The years she has lost caring for me […] her refusal to let me be institutionalized—her keeping me at home, caring for me herself, has certainly saved my life. Made writing this possible. Made it possible to imagine doing math again […] I can never repay her.”

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Robert (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene 2 Quotes

CLAIRE: Did you use that conditioner I bought you?

CATHERINE: No, shit, I forgot.

CLAIRE: It’s my favorite. You’ll love it, Katie. I want you to try it. […] It has jojoba […] It’s something they put in for healthy hair.

CATHERINE: Hair is dead […] It’s dead tissue. You can’t make it healthy.

CLAIRE: It makes my hair feel, look, and smell good. That’s the extent of my information about it. You might like it if you decide to use it.

Related Characters: Claire (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 24-25
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene 3 Quotes

CATHERINE: […] Later a mutual friend told [Gauss] the brilliant young man was a woman.

He wrote to her: “A taste for the mysteries of numbers is excessively rare, but when a person of the sex which, according to our customs and prejudices, must encounter infinitely more difficulties than men to familiarize herself with these thorny researches, succeeds nevertheless in penetrating the most obscure parts of them, then without a doubt she must have the noblest courage, quite extraordinary talents, and superior genius.”

(Now self-conscious) I memorized it…

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Gauss (speaker), Sophie Germain
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Act One, Scene 4 Quotes

CATHERINE: I know you mean well. I’m just not sure what I want to do. I mean to be honest you were right yesterday. I do feel a little confused. I’m tired. It’s been a pretty weird couple of years. I think I’d like to take some time to figure things out.

CLAIRE: You could do that in New York.

CATHERINE: And I could do it here.

CLAIRE: But it would be much easier for me to get you set up in an apartment in New York, and—

CATHERINE: I don’t need an apartment, I’ll stay in the house.

CLAIRE: We’re selling the house.

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Claire (speaker)
Page Number: 42-43
Explanation and Analysis:

CLAIRE: Living here with him didn’t do you any good. You said that yourself.

You had so much talent…

CATHERINE: You think I’m like Dad.

CLAIRE: I think you have some of his talent and some of his tendency toward…instability.

Related Characters: Claire (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene 1 Quotes

ROBERT: […] I’m not doing much right now. It does get harder. It’s a stereotype that happens to be true, unfortunately for me—unfortunately for you, for all of us.

CATHERINE: Maybe you’ll get lucky.

ROBERT: Maybe I will. Maybe you’ll pick up where I left off.

CATHERINE: Don’t hold your breath.

ROBERT: Don’t underestimate yourself.

Related Characters: Robert (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Hal
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene 2 Quotes

CLAIRE: […] You wrote this incredible thing and you didn’t tell anyone?

CATHERINE: I’m telling you both now. After I dropped out of school I had nothing to do. I was depressed, really depressed, but at a certain point I decided, Fuck it, I don’t need them. It’s just math, I can do it on my own. So I kept working here. I worked at night, after Dad had gone to sleep. It was hard but I did it. […]

CLAIRE: Catherine, I’m sorry but I just find this very hard to believe.

Related Characters: Claire (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Related Symbols: Proof
Page Number: 60-61
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: I’ll tell them we’ve found something, something potentially major, we’re not sure about the authorship; I’ll sit done with them. We’ll go through the thing carefully […] and figure out exactly what we’ve got. It would only take a couple of days, probably, and then we’d have a lot more information. […]

CATHERINE: You can’t take it …] You don’t waste any time, do you? No hesitation. You can’t wait to show them your brilliant discovery.

HAL: I’m trying to determine what this is.

CATHERINE: I’m telling you what it is.

HAL: You don’t know!

CATHERINE: I wrote it.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Related Symbols: Proof
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: I’m a mathematician […] I know how hard it would be to come up with something like this. I mean it’s impossible. You’d have to be…you’d have to be your dad, basically. Your dad at the peak of his powers.

CATHERINE: I’m a mathematician too.

HAL: Not like your dad.

CATHERINE: Oh, he’s the only one who could have done this?

HAL: The only one I know.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Related Symbols: Proof
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene 3 Quotes

CLAIRE: […] I probably inherited about one one-thousandth of my father’s ability. It’s enough.

Catherine got more, I’m not sure how much.

Related Characters: Claire (speaker), Robert, Catherine
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene 4 Quotes

CATHERINE: “[…] In September the students come back and the bookstores are full. Let X equal the month of full bookstores. The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four. I will never be as cold now as I will in the future. The future of cold is infinite. The future of heat is the future of cold. The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September…” […] It’s all right. We’ll go inside.

ROBERT: I’m cold.

CATHERINE: We’ll warm you up.

ROBERT: Don’t leave. Please.

CATHERINE: I won’t. Let’s go inside.

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Robert (speaker)
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene 5 Quotes

HAL: […] Your dad dated everything. Even his most incoherent entries he dated. There are no dates in this.

CATHERINE: The handwriting—

HAL: —looks like your dad’s. Parents and children sometimes have similar handwriting, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time together.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Related Symbols: Proof
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: Come on, Catherine. I’m trying to correct things.

CATHERINE: You can’t. Do you hear me?

You think you’ve figured something out? You run over here so pleased with yourself because you changed your mind. Now you’re certain. You’re so…sloppy. You don’t know anything. The book, the math, the dates, the writing, all that stuff you decided with your buddies, it’s just evidence. It doesn’t finish the job. It doesn’t prove anything.

HAL: Okay, what would?

CATHERINE: Nothing.

You should have trusted me.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Related Symbols: Proof
Page Number: 80-81
Explanation and Analysis:

HAL: There is nothing wrong with you.

CATHERINE: I think I’m like my dad.

HAL: I think you are too.

CATHERINE: I’m…afraid I’m like my dad.

HAL: You’re not him.

CATHERINE: Maybe I will be.

HAL: Maybe. Maybe you’ll be better.

Related Characters: Hal (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Robert
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
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Catherine Character Timeline in Proof

The timeline below shows where the character Catherine appears in Proof. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene 1
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Exhausted, Catherine sits in a chair on the back porch of a house in Chicago. Her father,... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
When Catherine asks Robert why he’s there, he says he’s “check[ing] up” on her. Catherine is waiting... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Since it is past midnight, Robert gestures toward a bottle of champagne while wishing Catherine a happy birthday. As she pops open the bottle, she says that she feels old—she’s... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Robert asks Catherine what she will be doing on her birthday, and she says that she’ll be drinking... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Confused, Robert says that he thought that Claire was coming. But Catherine explains that Claire is arriving the next day. After a moment, Robert advises Catherine to... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine insists that she’s not lazy—she’s been busy taking care of Robert. But Robert enumerates her... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
When Catherine admits that she has “lost a few days,” Robert sharply asks how many—he knows that... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
...Robert says that if each day were a year, the number would be quite interesting. Catherine reluctantly acknowledges that it would be 1729 weeks, which is “The smallest number expressible […]... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine feels that she hasn’t “done anything good,” particularly in comparison to Robert, who was already... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Robert felt an amazing clarity after getting sick, and Catherine asks whether he was happy then. He says yes—he was “busy.” Catherine points out that... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine abruptly asks when “it” started. As Robert explains that he was in his mid-twenties, he... (full context)
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Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Robert reassures Catherine that she’s just going through a rough spot and, if she just “get[s] the machinery... (full context)
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Catherine seems to believe Robert, but then she interrupts him: his argument doesn’t make sense. He... (full context)
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Hal enters the room, startling Catherine. As he apologizes for staying so late, Robert disappears. Noticing Catherine’s champagne bottle, Hal asks... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Incredulous, Catherine asks how much more time Hal needs; he has already had three days. But Hal... (full context)
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Hal tells Catherine that he has to go see some friends from the math department play in a... (full context)
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When Hal invites Catherine to come with him, she refuses. He suggests another day, but she rudely reminds him... (full context)
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Catherine abruptly demands to see Hal’s backpack, but Hal insists that he wouldn’t take anything out... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
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Hal tells Catherine to calm down, that she’s being paranoid—after all, she herself just said that the notebooks... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine interrupts, saying that she lived with Robert—since her mom died, she’s the one who had... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Hal tries to empathize, but Catherine curses at him and insists that he doesn’t know her. She just wants to be... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Suddenly, Catherine says that she will be the one to look through the books; Robert was her... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Catherine suddenly snatches Hal’s backpack and rifles through it. But there’s no notebook there, only various... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
As Hal gets up to leave, Catherine realizes that he has forgotten his jacket. But when she picks it up, a notebook... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Robert wrote that it was “a good day,” since Catherine had some good news—Hal doesn’t know what this refers to, but he thought Catherine might.... (full context)
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...‘normal’ life,” like going out to restaurants and going outside. He also expresses gratitude for Catherine’s aid and sacrifice, acknowledging that he wouldn’t be improving if she hadn’t chosen to take... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Hal hands Catherine the notebook, acknowledging that he shouldn’t have tried to “sneak it out,” even if his... (full context)
Act One, Scene 2
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...coffee on the porch, where she has set out bagels and fruit. After a shower, Catherine joins her, and Claire remarks that she looks much better. When Claire offers her coffee,... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Claire asks if Catherine has tried on the dress Claire got her or used the conditioner that Claire brought... (full context)
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...some people after the burial this afternoon, but she offers to only invite people if Catherine feels up for it. Irritated, Catherine insists that she is fine and tells Claire to... (full context)
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Claire tells Catherine that Mitch says hi and then announces that they are getting married. Catherine barely reacts,... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Cautiously, Claire asks Catherine how she is feeling about Robert’s death, but Catherine doesn’t elaborate beyond saying she’s fine.... (full context)
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Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Claire admits that some police officers visited while Catherine was in the shower to check up on a call from last night. Without emotion,... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Confused, Claire asks a series of questions to which Catherine responds tersely, but eventually Claire pieces together the story about Hal and the notebook. She... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Claire still insists that Catherine’s stories don’t add up: did she call the police on a creepy guy or was... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
After a pause, Claire says that the police claimed that Catherine was rude and aggressive with them, even hitting one of them. Catherine doesn’t exactly deny... (full context)
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Claire asks Catherine if she’d like to stay in New York City with her and Mitch. Catherine says... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
As they argue, Hal calls out Catherine’s name and then steps onto the porch. Catherine victoriously announces who he is then furiously... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...the house, and as soon as he’s inside, she coyly mentions that he is cute. Catherine scoffs and insists that Claire owes her an apology. Claire replies that while they do... (full context)
Act One, Scene 3
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
It’s nighttime, and Catherine is again alone on the porch, this time wearing an attractive black dress. The party... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
When Hal encourages Catherine to join the party, she declines. But she does accept one of the two beers... (full context)
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At last, Catherine admits that one of the band’s songs—the one called “Imaginary Number”—was a pretty nice tribute.... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Hal compliments Catherine on her dress, and she replies that Claire gave it to her, but it doesn’t... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
...since they think “math is a young man’s game” and the drugs keep them sharp. Catherine points out that Hal used the term “men,” and he corrects himself to “young people.”... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Awkwardly, Hal acknowledges that he was wrong. Catherine explains that Sophie Germain taught herself math during the French Revolution. When no school would... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Hal realizes who Catherine is talking about—Sophie Germain is the person behind Germain Primes. He gives Catherine a simple... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
When Hal asks whether Gauss ever discovered Germain’s real identity, Catherine says that he did. He then wrote to Germain, praising her tenacity and brilliance in... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Hal is stunned for a moment, then he kisses Catherine before pulling abruptly away. He’s embarrassed and apologetic, telling her he’s drunk. Catherine says it’s... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Catherine isn’t surprised, and when Hal says he’ll probably quit reading the notebooks soon, she asks... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
After a moment, Catherine asks Hal about his sex life, referencing the wild conferences he had mentioned before. Hal... (full context)
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After the second kiss, Hal says that he has always liked Catherine, even just from glimpsing her at a distance when she would visit Robert. They kiss... (full context)
Act One, Scene 4
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
The next morning, Catherine is sitting on the porch when Hal, who is partially dressed, steps out to join... (full context)
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As they break apart, Hal tells Catherine that last night was incredible. Catherine pauses and, after thinking it through, pulls out a... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
...the physicists that she had tried to “keep up with” the night before. She tells Catherine that her dress looked good on her; to Claire’s surprise, Catherine thanks her for the... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Claire takes a deep breath and tells Catherine that she wants her to come to New York City with her. At first, Catherine... (full context)
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine is furious. Claire claims that she is trying to help and wants to make up... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Nonetheless, Claire believes an institution would have helped Robert more, and also that Catherine may have “been better” in that scenario. Catherine demands to know what Claire means. Uncomfortably,... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...the excellent doctors of New York City are indeed one of her motivations for encouraging Catherine to move. Enraged, Catherine begins to tell her sister that she hates her, but then... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Hal asks Catherine how long she has known about the notebook. She says “a while,” and he asks... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
...prime numbers, which, if proven accurate, would be a ground-breaking discovery. Hal tells Claire that Catherine found it. But Catherine says she didn’t find it—she wrote it. (full context)
Act Two, Scene 1
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
...four years earlier. Robert is sitting on the porch, an unopened notebook next to him. Catherine silently steps onto the porch, thinking Robert is asleep—but Robert surprises her by greeting her.... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Catherine abruptly tells Robert that she’s going to start school at the end of the month... (full context)
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But Robert questions Catherine’s choice to move (he says it’s a “big step”) and whether she can keep up... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
At that moment, someone knocks on their front door. Catherine leaves the porch to answer it. She returns to the porch with Hal, who is... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...they will give their argument a break and return to it after they’ve calmed down. Catherine begins to head back inside, but Robert asks her to stay. He introduces Hal and... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Robert congratulates him and promises they’ll work through any issues together. Then he announces that Catherine is going to start at Northwestern’s math department, which surprises her. Robert says she will... (full context)
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
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Hal assures Catherine that she’ll have a great time at school, adding that it’s always nice to go... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
...find and “What kinds of ideas they’ll come up with.” Then he tells Hal and Catherine that generating new ideas does get a lot harder the older a person gets. (full context)
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Catherine says that Robert may “get lucky,” but he replies that perhaps she will “pick up... (full context)
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Catherine assures Robert that it’s okay. He tells her that he will take her out to... (full context)
Act Two, Scene 2
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
It’s the day after the party, right after Catherine announced that she wrote the proof. Hal is baffled, asking multiple times if she really... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Claire doesn’t believe Catherine, because it’s written in Robert’s handwriting. Catherine asks Hal to confirm that it is actually... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
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Claire relents and tells Catherine to go over the proof with Hal. But Hal raises the possibility that Robert went... (full context)
Sexism Theme Icon
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But Catherine refuses, exclaiming that Hal wants to claim the discovery as his own. Hal denies this;... (full context)
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Catherine laments that she trusted Hal with her work; she chose him to be the first... (full context)
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Furious, Catherine tells Hal that just because the work is “too advanced” for him doesn’t mean that... (full context)
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Catherine is distraught. After a moment, she tries to destroy the notebook in her hands, but... (full context)
Act Two, Scene 3
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The next day, Hal knocks on the door and calls for Catherine. Claire steps onto the porch and explains that she had to delay her flight because... (full context)
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Claire asks why Hal slept with Catherine, suggesting he took advantage of her. But Hal insists that it was consensual and asks... (full context)
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
...currency analyst, is pretty good with numbers—but she has only a fraction of Robert’s genius. Catherine is more gifted, although Claire isn’t sure how gifted. (full context)
Act Two, Scene 4
Genius and Mental Instability Theme Icon
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
...years earlier. On the porch, Robert is wearing a t-shirt and writing in a notebook. Catherine steps outside wearing a winter coat and asks what he’s doing. He says it’s too... (full context)
Family and Heredity Theme Icon
...be able to work like he used to. But it comforted him to know that Catherine would be able to finish the work he started. In fact, this is one of... (full context)
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Now that his mind is working again, Robert tells Catherine that the two of them can work together. He selects one of the notebooks and... (full context)
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Robert refuses to go inside until they talk through the proof, so Catherine begins to read the notebook aloud. It’s just gibberish, a string of thoughts about temperature,... (full context)
Act Two, Scene 5
Proof, Trust, and Credibility Theme Icon
Caretaking and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Claire is on the porch, where she grasps a plane ticket and checks her schedule. Catherine steps outside carrying some bags. Claire gives her a cup of coffee and rambles a... (full context)
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Claire is overly attentive to Catherine, asking if she wants to go inside or wear a jacket, or if she wants... (full context)
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At first, Catherine passively accepts what Claire is saying, but the more Claire tries to empathize with her,... (full context)
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Aggravated, Claire tells Catherine to stay in Chicago if she thinks she can handle it. Catherine insists that while... (full context)
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Catherine remains on the porch and Hal suddenly appears, sweaty and out of breath from running.... (full context)
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When Catherine tells Hal that she’s leaving, he asks her to wait. Apathetic, she tells him to... (full context)
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Catherine replies that Robert could have read about the newer techniques. Hal admits that it’s possible,... (full context)
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Hal says he would love to at least hear Catherine talk about writing the proof, but she says no and refuses to even take the... (full context)
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After a moment, Hal asks Catherine if she’s really going to New York City. She says she is, and Hal urges... (full context)
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As she traces her fingers over the book, Catherine tells Hal that writing the proof was like “connecting the dots.” She never worked on... (full context)