Anything Goes
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"Anything Goes" Characters Analysis

By John Barrowman

nonfiction | 256 pages | Published in 2008

From his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his starring role in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, this memoir traces the life and career of actor John Barrowman. John made a name for himself with remarkable West End achievements, including an Olivier Award nomination and success in the movies The Producers and De-Lovely. Television success was also assured when Torchwood won a Best Drama BAFTA. John also lays bare his personal life: his emigration as a child, coming out to his family, turning down a job at Disney, and his civil partnership with long-term partner Scott Gill. Revelatory and insightful, told with real heart and characteristic Barrowman charm, this is a wonderful tale of how one boy achieved his dreams.

ISBN_13:9781843172895

Estimated read time: 7 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Billy CrockerProtagonist
Hope HarcourtLove Interest
Lord Evelyn OakleighSecondary Character
Moonface Martin"Public Enemy Number 13"
Reno SweeneySupporting Character
Elisha J. WhitneyBilly's Boss

Role Identification

The characters in John Barrowman's "Anything Goes" play various roles that contribute to the overall plot and development of the story. Each character brings a unique set of traits, backgrounds, and relationships to the narrative.

Character Descriptions

Billy Crocker

As the protagonist of the story, Billy Crocker is a young Wall Street broker who finds himself entangled in a romantic pursuit while onboard the SS American. He is described as charming, ambitious, and adventurous. Billy's determination to win over the love of his life drives much of the plot.

Hope Harcourt

Hope Harcourt is the object of Billy's affections and serves as the love interest in the story. She is a beautiful debutante who is engaged to another man, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Despite her seemingly perfect life, Hope struggles with her own desires and obligations, leading to a complex character arc.

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh is a secondary character who adds a layer of comedic relief to the story. He is a wealthy Englishman with a quirky personality and a knack for clumsiness. Despite his eccentricities, Lord Evelyn reveals unexpected depths as the story progresses.

Moonface Martin

Moonface Martin, also known as "Public Enemy Number 13," is a gangster who provides a sense of mischief and adventure to the narrative. He becomes an unlikely ally to Billy and helps him navigate the challenges they face aboard the ship. Moonface is portrayed as witty, resourceful, and loyal.

Reno Sweeney

Reno Sweeney is a charismatic singer and evangelist turned nightclub performer. She serves as a supporting character and acts as a confidante to both Billy and Hope. Reno is portrayed as confident, sassy, and quick-witted, providing comic relief and valuable advice throughout the story.

Elisha J. Whitney

Elisha J. Whitney is Billy's boss and a humorous character in the book. He is a wealthy and slightly eccentric businessman who often finds himself caught up in the misadventures of the other characters. Whitney's presence adds comedic elements and further complicates the plot.

Character Traits

Billy Crocker

  • Charming
  • Ambitious
  • Adventurous
  • Determined

Hope Harcourt

  • Beautiful
  • Conflicted
  • Obliged to duty
  • Vulnerable

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh

  • Quirky
  • Clumsy
  • Wealthy
  • Surprisingly complex

Moonface Martin

  • Witty
  • Resourceful
  • Loyal
  • Mischievous

Reno Sweeney

  • Charismatic
  • Sassy
  • Quick-witted
  • Supportive

Elisha J. Whitney

  • Wealthy
  • Eccentric
  • Comical
  • Unpredictable

Character Background

Billy Crocker

Billy Crocker comes from a middle-class background and has worked hard to establish himself as a successful Wall Street broker. He is driven by a desire for adventure and seeks to win over the love of his life, Hope Harcourt.

Hope Harcourt

Hope Harcourt hails from a wealthy and influential family. She has been raised with expectations to marry into a suitable social standing, which leads to her engagement to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. However, her heart yearns for something different, leading to a conflict between duty and desire.

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh is from a prestigious English family and is known for his eccentricities and clumsiness. He is engaged to Hope Harcourt but begins to question his own desires and societal expectations as he interacts with the other characters.

Moonface Martin

Moonface Martin is a notorious gangster who finds himself on the SS American under an assumed identity. Despite his criminal background, Moonface is portrayed as a loyal and resourceful individual with a penchant for mischief.

Reno Sweeney

Reno Sweeney is a former evangelist turned nightclub performer. She has a colorful past and a strong personality. Her background as a performer and her experiences shape her character and provide valuable insights and guidance to the other characters.

Elisha J. Whitney

Elisha J. Whitney is a wealthy and eccentric businessman who employs Billy Crocker. He is known for his comical antics and unpredictable nature, often finding himself in hilarious situations throughout the story.

Character Arcs

Billy Crocker

Billy Crocker's character arc revolves around his pursuit of love and self-discovery. Initially driven solely by his love for Hope Harcourt, Billy learns important lessons about himself, the importance of honesty, and the value of personal growth.

Hope Harcourt

Hope Harcourt's character arc centers on her struggle between societal expectations and her own desires. Throughout the story, she faces internal conflicts and ultimately learns to follow her heart, challenging the constraints placed upon her by her social standing.

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh

Lord Evelyn Oakleigh undergoes a surprising character transformation throughout the narrative. Initially portrayed as a comical figure, he develops unexpected depth and complexity, challenging conventional expectations and revealing his true nature.

Moonface Martin

Moonface Martin's character arc revolves around his transformation from a notorious gangster to a loyal and resourceful ally to Billy Crocker. As the story progresses, Moonface's loyalty and willingness to help others shine through, highlighting his growth and development.

Reno Sweeney

Reno Sweeney's character arc is less prominent compared to the other main characters. However, she serves as a consistent source of support and guidance, offering advice and insights to help Billy and Hope navigate their own character arcs.

Elisha J. Whitney

Elisha J. Whitney's character arc is primarily comedic in nature. As a secondary character, his eccentricities and unpredictable behavior contribute to the overall comedic tone of the story, providing entertainment and light-hearted moments.

Relationships

Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt

Billy and Hope's relationship serves as the central romantic storyline of the book. Their love is tested by societal expectations, obligations, and misunderstandings. Their journey together explores the complexities of love and the challenges faced when pursuing one's heart's desire.

Billy Crocker and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh

Billy and Lord Evelyn's relationship begins as a humorous rivalry but evolves into a surprising friendship. Lord Evelyn's eccentricities and comedic mishaps add a dynamic element to their interactions, leading to unexpected alliances and shared experiences.

Moonface Martin and Billy Crocker

Moonface Martin becomes Billy's unlikely companion and ally on the SS American. Moonface's criminal background and resourcefulness make him an invaluable partner to Billy as they navigate the challenges and obstacles they encounter.

Reno Sweeney and Billy Crocker

Reno Sweeney serves as a confidante and supporter of Billy throughout the story. Her strong personality and quick wit create a unique dynamic between the two characters. Reno's guidance and advice play a crucial role in Billy's character development and the progression of the plot.

Other Relationships

The book also explores various relationships between secondary characters, such as Reno Sweeney's friendship with Moonface Martin and her interactions with other passengers aboard the ship. These relationships contribute to the overall ensemble nature of the story and provide depth to the narrative.

In John Barrowman's "Anything Goes," each character brings their unique traits, backgrounds, and relationships to create a vibrant and dynamic story. The character arcs and relationships intertwine to explore themes of love, self-discovery, and the pursuit of happiness. Through the diverse cast of characters, Barrowman crafts a tale that captivates readers and leaves a lasting impact.