Mary Tilford Character Analysis

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Mary Tilford is a quick-witted, deceitful fourteen year-old girl. Her introduction depicted how manipulative she was with people’s emotions and how lying was second-natured to her. For instance, Mary explained how she was late for sewing class because she was outside picking flowers for Mrs. Mortar. Mrs. Mortar was flattered and praised Mary for her thoughtfulness until Karen Wright stated she saw those exact flowers in the garbage that morning. Even when Mary’s lies are exposed, she attempted to avoid confrontations by making an excuse. For example, when Mary was asked to stay behind class to discuss about her behavior, Mary tried to excuse herself by saying she needed to get her Latin book. Mary also played the victim card when unfavorable…show more content…
From the start of the play Mary felt mistreated by her teachers. When she voiced her displeasure, she was often confronted with questions and ended up getting punished. Mary would often exaggerate her sorrows and faked illnesses to get out of punishments. Fearing that she would have to return to school, Mary persuaded her grandmother to let her stay by suggesting Karen and Martha are lesbians. Mary’s biggest challenge was that she needed liability from other students saying that they witnessed their teachers being sexually involved with one another. In this scene, Mary decided to Rosalie in her place and crush her self-confidence. Mary wanted to display the power she has over Rosalie because Mary knew Rosalie stole Helen's bracelet. Mary frightened Rosalie by blackmailing to tell Mrs. Tilford about Rosalie being a thief and ruining her future. While Rosalie's apology brought slight satisfaction, Mary realized she can have the liability by using Rosalie. Mary needed complete control over Rosalie's words and actions if she was ever confronted by her teachers or family members. Upon realization, Mary pressured Rosalie to swear an oath to be loyal to her, or else Mary will immediately inform her grandmother about Rosalie’s
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