THE SAUCERS GAME Maria is someone who young men on the tram ignore and who neighbor girls play pranks on. She is pleased by the attention of the old colonel on the tram, but so embarrassed that she hardly knows what to think. So, she loses the cake in her flustered state. Her place in various situations is fairly stable, though marginal. Most women see themselves as becoming marginal figures as they get older. Male writers like Joyce often look at the women characters as merely being whatever is useful or not to male characters. Hence, some critics say that Joyce paints his motherly characters in more glowing colors.