The main character in the short story “Trio for Four Voices” by Jane McLaughlin is the unnamed narrator. All events are seen through the narrator’s eyes, and the reader is given only her interpretation. The little girl Amelia, who seems to play an insensitive joke on the narrator, is another important character. Amelia’s behavior is probably also influenced by her parents, who encourage and even participate in her game.
The story focuses on the relationship between the characters. While some of these relationships are misinterpreted by the narrator, they are still relevant to the main theme and to aspects of the social setting. Amelia’s parents and the game the family play show how relationships can be misinterpreted by an outside observer, as the narrator sees only what Amelia and her family wants her to see.
You can read a full characterization of the narrator and Amelia in the following pages. You will also find a detailed analysis of the relationship between the characters.