Gottlieb, spouse to Pauline, fell easily into the novel as his own character, a disciplined, hard-working weaver. In an era before any social safety net, he worked until the oppression of the long hours and hard toil broke him.
The poor, poor man. So bent over and frail. Sometimes, we can hardly get him to eat. Hollow-eyed. Brow sometimes knotted and suspicious, even of hiss lifetime partner, whom he fails to recognize often. …..To whom he is talking when he rests in his chair we can only surmise as friends and family from his youth. Ghosts and memories. He sees them before him. He points at them. Sometimes he laughs, and at those moments he seems to revive. But briefly, and then he is gone again.