Sleepers

by

Cate Kennedy

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Sharon Character Analysis

Ray’s ex-girlfriend. Unlike Ray, Sharon has moved on to a new relationship. She still lives at the same house that she and Ray once shared, implying she has a stable job that allows her to pay the rent. In contrast to Ray, Sharon displays ambition that borders on disdain for those who cannot meet her expectations—a position Ray frequently found himself in. During their relationship, she nagged him to landscape their lawn and dismissed a road flagger’s job as easy, knowing that Ray had previously worked as one. Ray’s apathy and lack of motivation is what spurred Sharon to break up with Ray, but he clearly still harbors feelings for her.

Sharon Quotes in Sleepers

The Sleepers quotes below are all either spoken by Sharon or refer to Sharon. 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

Ray nodded. He'd seen gardens himself, of course, edged with old redgum sleepers. It was just the kind of thing Sharon had always been on his back to do, landscaping the garden.

“Why do it,” he'd argued, “when we're just renting?”

“Ray,” she'd said, exhaling a breath of resigned frustration. He'd waited for an answer, but she'd only repeated it as she'd turned away. “Ray, Ray, Ray.” Almost tenderly.

And him standing there, stranded, never knowing what she was going to want next.

Related Characters: Ray (speaker), Sharon (speaker)
Related Symbols: Sleepers
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

He'd driven past Sharon's house tonight and seen a car in the drive he didn't recognise. He couldn't stop thinking about it; his brain was like a dog jerking on the end of its chain over and over, returning to it. So that'd be the thing to do—get chatting to someone else, let word get back to Sharon that he was out there, available, a catch, on his feet. But even though he could feel those eyes on him (car in her drive, that convulsive choke in his throat as he circled it again), he sat back down with his laden plate on one of the sleepers instead, because the thought of trying to get a conversation going with any of them felt like heavy lifting. And they knew all about him anyway; a 35-year-old man who lived in a Colorbond shed at a mate's place, not exactly unemployed but a part-time storeman. A liability, not a catch.

Related Characters: Ray, Sharon
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

Turning the keys in the ignition in his car, he fought the impulse to go home via the house again, check if the car was still there. Up his old street, the same streetlight broken, up to the driveway that he used to pull in to every night, taking that normalcy for granted. His ute bumping up over the kerb and the sensor light snapping on as Ray got out of the car in his loser shorts, running to flab, any fool could see that. Then Sharon's silhouette in the ridged glass of the front door, her and whoever was there with her. He saw her put both her hands up to the glass to peer through its distorting ripples at him.

Don't worry, he heard her saying, her voice muffled, it's just Ray, seeing him for exactly what he was; he could hear that in her tone. Her right arm lifted and snapped off the sensor light impatiently, leaving him there in the dark, and the shapes of the two of them rippled and shifted as they stepped back from the door, Ray thinking he would never forget this one moment as their shadows swam together out of the light.

He opened his eyes and saw he was still sitting in his ute outside Steve's place, his hands slack on the steering wheel.

Related Characters: Ray, Sharon, Steve
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Sleepers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sleepers PDF

Sharon Character Timeline in Sleepers

The timeline below shows where the character Sharon appears in Sleepers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Sleepers
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
...traffic to a detour, Ray remembers waiting similarly at a construction site with his then-girlfriend Sharon. She had spoken condescendingly about the road crew then, knowing that he had previously worked... (full context)
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
...company won’t even notice the ones that are taken. This prompts Ray to think of Sharon again, this time remembering an argument they had over landscaping their garden. At the time,... (full context)
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...the barbecue. Earlier that night, he saw an unfamiliar car in the driveway when passing Sharon’s house. Assuming it to be evidence that she has a new partner, Ray briefly considers... (full context)
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Later, Ray gets in his car and thinks about driving past Sharon’s home again and pulling into “the driveway that he used to pull in to every... (full context)
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...had that night. Suddenly, he has the “crap idea” to steal some sleepers and surprise Sharon with them the next day. His mind skips over the logistics of showing up unannounced... (full context)
Capitalism and Competition Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Apathy Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
When Ray arrives at the construction site, his plan changes from winning Sharon back with the sleepers to keeping them for himself to chop up for firewood and... (full context)