By Dominic Bown
Hugo is shown as a naive young bourgeois intellectuel who, after joining the communist party, never truly gave up his childhood memories, signified by the photos he keeps in his valise. It is telling that his father regards his joining the party as something 'he will get over' and his desire to prove himself by killing Hoederer seems not only to prove himself to the party, but also possibly to prove to himself that his father was wrong, as he keeps the gun with the photos in the valise. It seems he poses himself the choice of remaining the bourgeois child, or becoming a staunch supporter of communism, although it can also be interpreted as showing what he was, and what he will become.

Hugo has a fairly childish character, as shown by his relationship with others in the play, his constant need to prove himself as a man, but also by the name he gives himself: 'Raskolnikov', who is an assassin in a Russian novel. It appears this is who Hugo wishes to be, although he does not realise that it is this bookishness that distance him from the rest of the party, who regard him as an outsider, someone who never knew real poverty, someone who joined the party out of choice, in contrast to the others, who were forced to join to feed themselves. However, Hugo's intellectual nature shines through in such a conversation; he agrees that he has never felt hunger, and it is because of this that his parents fed him cod liver oil, to make him hungry, because he was never hungry.

Hugo's relationship with Jessica is not one of husband and wife. Their marriage was arranged, and so Jessica herself is part of his past bourgeois upbringing. While they care for each other, there is no obvious passion; they are constantly playing together, and it seems that Jessica regards herself as an older sister for Hugo. She is one of the main people Hugo tries to prove himself to, as she even regards Hugo trying to kill Hoederer as a game, using the gun as a metaphor for a phallus, since Hugo is not able to please her sexually. While their lack of passion combined with Hoederer's charming nature leads to Jessica going to him, Hugo still has feelings for her, as he shoots Hoederer when he finds them kissing. While he does not know whether this is because of his feelings or the task given to him by Louis, it is possible that he was jealous of Hoederer's ability to charm Jessica so easily, where he could not.

In contrast, Hugo's relationship with Olga is much more maternal; it is to her Hugo first turns when he is released from prison even though she is loyal to the party, showing in part his naivety, since Olga's caring for Hugo is closely matched by her loyalty to the party.

Dom, this is ok, but i think it needs a lot more quotes- JH