Overview… a hard-driving Army nurse who’s so by-the-book that you’d think she wrote it. Major Margaret Houlihan (call her “Hot Lips” at your own risk: “That’s Major to you!”) can be counted upon to work long and hard to fulfill her duties, on top of leading an entire team of nurses, at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H unit) during the Korean War. Major Houlihan feels the most secure in structured, orderly environments. In fact, the biggest challenge this rule-follower faces when serving her country is having to deal with those also in command who refuse to do everything according to Army regulations. When two doctors, Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper McIntyre, do not respect the rules she holds so dear, she exclaims, “Those two are ruining this war, for all of us!
Personality… disciplined, determined, and dependable. Margaret is a woman in constant flux, who is ever developing. Upon first glance, it may seem that aside from work, her only interest is in securing a man to make her life complete; it takes time for self-esteem to evolve. Despite being an excellent nurse, Margaret is not naturally in tune with her own feelings or those of others. As a perfectionist, she often takes the efforts of her nurses, as well as her own, for granted. She believes she is fulfilling her duty, nothing more. But Margaret is a human being, not a machine. While she doesn’t show her tender feelings well, she does care very deeply. Like everyone else in camp, she wants friends. She dreams of future security, peaceful living, and love. When asked what she’d like to do as soon as she gets home from the war, she says, “I’m going to take a three-hour-long bubble bath.”
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