A pathetic specimen? Is that what we think when we think of Elliot? Mickey certainly believes so: he is awkward and socially nervous, like me, he says to Hannah when he visits his ex-wife and their adopted kids.
Should we pity Elliot? Feel sorry for someone who stumbles through life; too weak to control his emotions, and who lusts after a woman he knows is forbidden – there is, we are sure, the spice of taboo, of transgression, in his desire; another sign of his emotional poverty.
Are we meant to feel sorry for him? At most pitying his gaucheries and the pain his sexual dilemmas cause. Understanding his fall into irritation and anger; accepting that, innocent in the ways of a Don Juan, he cannot cope with the situation which he has created. A poor specimen indeed; more victim than moral crook. Is that what we are supposed to think?