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The Female Persuasion | Study Guide

Meg Wolitzer

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The Female Persuasion | Character Analysis


Greer Kadetsky

Greer begins as an innocent and impressionable college student who has a complicated relationship with her parents. She resents not getting into Yale and going to a different college than her boyfriend Cory. In college she meets Zee, who tells her about Faith Frank and introduces Greer to Faith's feminism when they go to a campus lecture given by Faith. Greer is drawn to Faith after the lecture and a brief conversation in the ladies' room. Eventually Greer goes to work for Faith and, while working at Loci, she betrays her friend Zee, Alby dies, she breaks up with Cory, and she develops her speechwriting abilities, composing speeches for the speakers Loci lines up. Greer learns what it means to be Greer the feminist. When she finds out about a lie within Loci she quits. While trying to cope with quitting her job, she visits Zee and confesses that she betrayed her. She then returns home, where she gains a new understanding of her mother as she tries to figure out what to do next. By the end she has matured, become a best-selling feminist author, and come to realize the nature of life alongside Cory and their daughter.

Cory Pinto

Cory is the son of immigrants who gets into Princeton. He dates Greer and after college obtains a job working in Manila. His brother Alby is killed when his mother runs over him. Cory is devastated and leaves his job to take care of his mother, who has a mental breakdown after Alby's death. Meanwhile, Cory's father moves back to Portugal. Cory and Greer eventually break up and he begins cleaning the houses his mother cleaned. He moves into Alby's room, takes care of Alby's turtle Slowy, and begins writing in Alby's journals. Eventually Cory begins writing a video game and meets with a therapist, which together help him overcome his grief. Cory and Greer end up married and have a daughter.

Zee Eisenstat

Zee is thin and has a boyish look. She is a lesbian and an activist who idolizes Faith Frank. She becomes friends with Greer at Ryland College. After college she serves as a paralegal to appease her parents, who are both judges, and then ends up working as a teacher for Teach and Reach where she helps one of her students deliver a baby in the nurse's office. During the delivery she gets to know Noelle, the school counselor, and the two end up seeing each other. Zee becomes a trauma counselor and during this time learns of Greer's betrayal. She has a difficult time forgiving Greer, but they do end up friends again. She marries Noelle.

Faith Frank

Faith Frank was a waitress in Las Vegas where she met Emmett Shrader and helped her friend Anne get through an illegal abortion. After she becomes active in women's groups she is invited to join Bloomer magazine and begins public speaking. She gives a speech at Ryland College, where she meets Greer. She sees something in Greer and gives her a business card. When Bloomer closes and Emmett Shrader helps her start the Loci Foundation, she hires Greer. She is getting older and her son encourages her to take it slower, so she has Greer deliver a keynote speech instead of her. The speech brings out a lie about one of Loci's projects and, when Greer confronts her, Faith defends her decision to stay with ShraderCapital in order to continue fighting for women's rights while using Emmett's money. When Greer quits Faith gets angry and calls out Greer about a lie she told her friend. This helps Faith feel better about the situation, but later she wonders if she pushed back too hard against Greer.

Emmett Shrader

Emmett Shrader is a venture capitalist and friend of Faith Frank that invests in the Loci Foundation. Years ago he met Faith in Las Vegas and then again as an employee of Nabisco. He sleeps with Faith while he is married with a daughter. His wife, Madeline, finds out that Faith is different from his other mistresses because he might admire and have feelings for her. Madline forbids him from seeing Faith again and then gives him the money to start ShraderCapital. Years later and at age 70, Madline falls in love with a contractor and leaves Emmett. When he reads that Bloomer is closing he contacts Faith. While an investor of the Loci Foundation he misses important information in a meeting about the Ecuador project, which results in a lie and illegal cover-up.

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