Characterization of Mr Bryar

Outer characterization

Mr Bryar is the main character in the short story “It’s Beginning to Hurt” by James Lasdun. His outer characterization is limited, as there is no indication of his first name, age, or looks. Based on his memories (p. 125, ll. 23-25) and current job (p. 125, l. 15), we can assume that he has been working for a real estate company for at least 10 years.

Mr Bryar is married and, seven years ago, he had an affair with a woman named Marie: “For three years he had felt the happiest man alive, and the luckiest” (p. 125, ll. 29-30). From this, we can also deduce that he is probably middle-aged. The story does not state clearly whether Mr Bryar has children. However, when his wife mentions a visit from someone named Tom, we can assume that he is probably their son: “Tom’s coming down” (p. 124, l. 11). Also, Mr Bryar remembers that Marie “never asked him to leave his family” (p. 125, l. 30), which could also point to him having children.



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