42 pages 1 hour read

William Styron

Sophie's Choice

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1979

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Character Analysis

Stingo

Stingo is a 22-year-old Southerner who comes to New York with ambitions to be a great novelist. After losing his job with a major publisher, he moves to the same house in Brooklyn where Sophie and Nathan rent rooms. Stingo is immediately intrigued by the tempestuous couple who live above him and finds himself drawn into their world. He also falls hopelessly in love with Sophie, who only has eyes for Nathan.

Stingo becomes Sophie’s confidante as she confesses the deepest secrets of her past. During the summer of 1947, Stingo watches helplessly as Nathan descends into madness, and Sophie is consumed by her sense of guilt. Unable to prevent their tragic deaths, Stingo feels compelled to write the story of these two doomed lives 20 years later. 

Sophie Zawistowska

Sophie is a blond, blue-eyed beauty of about 40. She is a Polish Catholic immigrant who barely survived the ordeal of 20 months in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. After the war, Sophie starts a new life in New York. With Nathan’s help, she overcomes the effects of wartime malnutrition and gets false teeth because her own have fallen out. She and Nathan become lovers and rent rooms in the same house in Brooklyn.

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