Cate Kennedy

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Sean Character Analysis

Steve’s teenage son. Ray encounters him at Steve’s barbecue but cannot recall his name until Steve uses it, even though they’ve met before and have even gone on a fishing trip together. Ray attempts to make up for this blunder by helping Sean spot Mars through his telescope like a father figure, but Steve correctly points out that the sky is not dark enough yet—once again, Ray can’t seem to do anything right. And when he fails to find Mars in the telescope, Ray realizes that he is too old to become a father now at 35. Steve’s house and sleeper-lined yard, Sean is a reminder for Ray that Steve has achieved much more than him in life.

Sean Quotes in Sleepers

The Sleepers quotes below are all either spoken by Sean or refer to Sean. 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:
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribe edition of Sleepers published in 2012.
Sleepers Quotes

“Hey, Ray,” a voice was calling him. Steve's teenage son. Scott. Sam. Something.

“Come and check this out,” the boy said, beckoning Ray over to a big black telescope on a tripod, pointed straight up into the night sky.

“Not quite dark enough yet, Sean,” Steve called from the grill, scooping meat and sausages up onto a platter. “Wait till it's dark and I'll show you how to adjust it properly.”

Ray stooped and squinted through the lens.

“I think it's Mars,” said Sean.

The smell of him—grass and sunscreen, sweat and energy, all of it barely contained—registered in Ray's head with a sudden painful awareness. This shortness of breath, the pressure on his chest…He thought of his old man's heart attack, the way he'd staggered crabwise across the lounge room, his arm out, wordless. Take him five weeks to get a doctor's appointment, anyway. He'd ring tomorrow.

Related Characters: Steve (speaker), Sean (speaker), Ray
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

Ray stretched as he stood, his spine cracking. In the back he found himself a pair of gloves, let down the tailgate, and here came the moon, sailing out from behind a cloud, ready to help him. Sean, if he was still up, would be able to see every crater on that surface, it was so clear. Ray ducked under the orange flags and tugged at a sleeper, pushed and pulled it free, dragged it over to the ute and heaved it in with a grunt. Easy. Another one. Another. He'd only need ten. Some people he knew had taken dozens of the things. It felt good, even though it was the middle of the night, to be working up a sweat. Cold oxygen in his lungs prickling like stars, clearing his fogged head finally.

Related Characters: Ray, Sean
Related Symbols: Sleepers
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Sleepers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sleepers PDF

Sean Character Timeline in Sleepers

The timeline below shows where the character Sean appears in Sleepers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Steve’s son Sean calls Ray over to look at Mars through a telescope. Despite the fact that Ray... (full context)