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Protagonist of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. A middle-aged traveling salesman and a well-known annual visitor to Harry Hope's boarding house. Like another salesman, Arthur Miller's Willy Loman, Hickey is a thoroughly depressed and self-deluded man, but in the past he's hidden this by entertaining his drinking buddies at the boarding house with jokes and free booze. Toward the end of the play's first act, he arrives with what at first appears to be a new joke: He's cold sober. Before his erstwhile pals can absorb this, he starts relentlessly proselytizing about the futility of hope. He claims to have found happiness through cultivating the fine art of not caring. This, however, is a cover for his guilt and denial over the terrible thing he has recently done. In trying to avoid responsibility for his actions, he creates an elaborate pipe dream about the nature of his deed. Ultimately this tactic is eerily effective.

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