Character Analysis: Miss Piffs


Character analysis involves evaluating many aspects of a character in a story or plays, among others. Elements mainly assessed include the following but not limited to the role of the character in the story, the conflict they experience, their behavior, motivations, relationships, and personality types. In the Applicants, Harold Pinter writes on Mr. Lamb’s job interview with Miss Piffs, who asks him of questions ranging from professional to personal and sexual life (Pinter, 1961). The analysis of Miss Piffs character shows that she is a major, round, and dynamic personality. In addition, she loves dominance, being in control, and can easily subvert people. Her subversive and dominance traits lead her to exhibit feminism attributes and a self-confidence character.

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Character Analysis

Miss Piffs is a significant character in the Applicant play as she plays the role of the interviewer in a play with few or preferably two characters and with minimal action. The Applicant play comprises only two characters, namely Miss Piffs, the interviewer, and Mr. Lamb, the interviewee. The setting is in an office, which shows minimal actions but prevalent use of symbolism. Miss Piffs plays the role of a dynamic character as she changes twice in the play. In the first section of the play, which is at the beginning, she demonstrates her professionalism and self-confidence. “Ah, good morning, are you, Mr. Lamb. Please sit down. Can I fit these to your palms (Pinter, 1961).” These words show how professional she is. However, as the play develops, she becomes indifferent, rude, and intrusive into Mr. Lamb’s private and sexual lives. Thus, Miss Piffs’ character grows and changes, as she seems to vary from a professional and humane person to an indifferent, intrusive, and rude one. She insists on asking the question, “Are you Virgo intacta?” thrice, and Mr. Lamb seems embarrassed.

In the dialogue, which seems misdirected, Miss Piffs shows dominance, as she does not let Mr. Lamb answer the questions, and does not listen to him. She asks a series of questions, some of which Lamb does not fully explain.

The words she uses reveals her as an impatient person, determined, and embraces feminism. She is restless as when Mr. Lamb asks, “Oh, now just a minute, I . . . Look, do you want separate answers or a joint answer?” She does not answer but proceeds to the next question. She seems to embrace feminism from her questions on whether Mr. Lamb is puzzled by women, men, whether women frighten him, and what traits he is freighted about women. She wants to find out what stereotypes Mr. Lamb has on women (Pinter, 1961). Miss Piffs uses a speech that reflects her time, personality, and background. For instance, Miss Piffs reflect phonological traits that show why she has a rapid questioning behavior as well as her mechanical nature. She asks questions, and the lack of effective communication shows that she does not need answers.

Her language and dynamic character reveal that she is not easily angered or startled whenever she is in control. For instance, when she asked about being Virgo intacta, Mr. Lamb feels embarrassed and responds, “Oh, I say, that’s rather embarrassing. I mean—in front of a lady-“ she does not empathize but instead repeats the question (Pinter, 1961). Her love of dominance and subversion shows how indifferent she is as a way to show she is in control. This character makes her an antagonist character and causes conflict. Moreover, she has a unique or ‘weird’ motivation when she asks questions without listening to the answer. It was as if her motives were to identify Mr. Lamb’s perceptions, quickness to anger, how easily he could be influenced, and how well he can handle social skills. Her motives were not the answers but a test on how well a physicist can use and handle social skills.


The Applicant play shows two different characters of Miss. Piffs and Mr. Lamb. Miss Piffs is an antagonist character with unique motives that cause conflict to Mr. Lamb. This is seen when he cannot answer questions, as Miss Piffs does not grant him the chance. That conflict shows why Mr. Lamb is a static character.


Pinter, H. (1961). Applicant. Retrieved from

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