Solange displays an intriguing blend of dominance and submissiveness. She is older than Claire, and one might assume that her seniority would mean she would play the role of Madame in their role-plays. But Claire does, and Solange remains the lowly maid. Solange is a masochist, and she first requires that their role-plays shatter her esteem. This is easily accomplished, since Solange is self-loathing, and all Claire needs to do is humiliate her sister by reminding her of her poverty and, notably, her filthiness. "Sol" means "dirt" in French, and the filth Solange must clean up as a maid is one of her greatest sources of shame. Solange even becomes aroused during this barrage of insults, at which point she begins to dominate Claire-as-Madame. The revenge is that much greater, for now she can feel as if she, the "slave," is superior to her mistress. Claire does not have as much of a sadistic impulse as Solange, and it helps make the elder sister the more interesting character from a psychological standpoint. Further contradictions fill out Solange's personality. She is cutthroat, beating Claire at times, but we learn she was also cowardly, unable to finish off Madame when she had the chance. She rebukes Claire for pretending to be aristocracy and dipping off into escapist reveries, but Solange, we find out, has been secretly reading Claire's fantastical crime and romance stories. Her critique of Claire's illusory life is entirely hypocritical. Aside from her own participation in the role-plays with Claire, she also launches a long monologue at the end of the play in which she acts out the dialogue surrounding a number of invented events and characters. She has too long tried to come to grips with being an "Other," an oppressed or alienated figure identified by her opposition to the status quo or ruling power, and finally breaks down and becomes everyone else. In similar fashion, she had previously warned Claire of the importance of frontiers between them, but then had proclaimed them "merged" in their hatred of Madame.
One other main detail of Solange's life explains much of her character. Early in the play, Claire chastises Solange for not yet being impregnated by Mario—most likely, it is part of some devious scheme of theirs and not an attempt to bring to life a love child. Later, Solange violently tells Claire that she has performed painful abortions on herself so she could continue taking care of her younger sister. The revelation is not irrelevant, and at a few points in the play, Solange is a maternal figure to the child-like Claire. Deprived of a real child, she compensates with her fixation on Claire, and one can read the shifts of power between them as a kind of tempestuous mother- daughter dynamic.