Jerry Downing is an unformed man who is imprisoned by unemployment. His alienation from the world of work has made him weaker as a man and consigned him to a sofa to be an observer of life in the same way that L.B. Jeffries is consigned to a wheelchair to observe other people's lives in 'Rear Window'. The television is Jerry's rear window and the sofa is his wheelchair. He is a man that has drifted through the past few years without any deep relationships, and it is in this sequence that we get to see him from the viewpoint of other characters.
Kerry Cerberus is the mirror image of Jerry. She enters the scene on a romantic mission to win his heart. Both of them are single, but Jerry embodies the twin hell of singleness and unemployment. The only thing that separates them is the fact that Kerry has a job.
Rachel Angus is an upper-middle-class woman without literature. Unlike Jerry, she has never been unemployed nor does she have an appreciation for the arts. Her interest is in current affairs. Rather than offering friendship to Jerry she asks him if the news is on. Whereas Jerry and Kerry have spent their lives trying to be socially mobile, Rachel has remained horizontally within her own society. She represents the old world of Victorian manners and etiquette contrasted by the world of the educated classes within working class society and their social mobility that Jerry represents. This is emphasized by their separateness on the sofa. He is in a state of no-development because of the rejection of his novel, whilst she is also in a state of no-development because she has remained firmly rooted within her Victorian values. In this they are both alike, but although they live in close proximity to each other they are still isolated from one another. The triangle of singleness is complete between Jerry, Kerry and Rachel.
Julia Wells is the herald of the film who calls Jerry into adventure. She represents ordinary middle class life and symbolizes a normality that Jerry strives. She has a healthy relationship with her boyfriend and is the only person in the household who is not single. This is a quality that Jerry finds attractive, and he engages with her in an attempt to participate in this normal world.