To Bobolink For Her Spirit

In William Inge’s play “To Bobolink, For Her Spirit”, Bobolink is the ringleader of the group of autograph seekers who are outside the 21 Club in New York waiting for Perry Como. She is in her early thirties, with a very fat body that looks like a circle from sides. She looks self-satisfied and happy. She smiles showing her teeth. Her hair is short and curly. She wears powerful glasses that make her eyes look like buttonholes. Her clothes are simple. She is the most experienced autograph hunter and has collected the autographs of most movie stars and celebrities. She is very confident and proves her claims by showing her autograph book. She is a quasi-adolescent.

Bobolink once waited patiently for three hours one snowy night to get the autograph of Elizabeth Taylor outside the Stork Club because someone told her that there was Elizabeth Taylor. There was no Elizabeth Taylor at all but she was some college girl trying to pretend she was Elizabeth Taylor.

Bobolink and Nellie once waited outside the St. Regis for Ronald Colman. They waited for the whole night and when they were about to give up, she saw movie stars Van Johnson and Peter Lawford get out of the taxi. They went towards them and asked for autographs in which Peter Lawford wrote ‘All my love to Bobolink’.

Bobolink has the autograph of Lana Turner which she shows to the other autograph seeker kids. Gretchen’s girlfriend saw Lana last summer on the beach and she reacted friendly. Bobolink thinks that some celebrities who are really famous are not stuck up ( proud). Bobolink’s favorite is Tyrone Power. She is the president of the Tyrone Power Fan Club. She met Tyrone at the train when he was coming in from Hollywood. She had to fight the man at the gate to let her pass. She found him in a carriage packing his things hurriedly. She introduced herself as the president of the club and told him that the club had 43 members who met once a week to discuss his career. He was not proud at all and gave her and other members lots of his autographs. In the autograph of Bobolink, he wrote: “To Bobolink for her faithful enthusiasm and spirit”.

Important Questions:

  • Sketch the character of Bobolink.
  • Explain the reason why some of the celebrities are considered to be not at all stuck up.
  • Discuss what happened outside the “St. Regis”.
  • Describe Bobolink’s inability to get Elizabeth Taylor’s autograph.
  • What is the attitude of autograph seekers to Lana Turner?