He sneaked Suzanne’s favorite snacks into her purse as a workday surprise and insisted early on that she keep a key to his apartment. V.—an act roughly equivalent, in today’s gallantry currency, to Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the sea monster.
He asked her to help him choose a couch and then spooned with her on all the floor models. As we learn from the podcast “Reply All,” which reported the tale, Suzanne was not the only woman on whom John had chosen to bestow his favor.
This is especially annoying when a normal member of the cast suddenly breaks the flow of the story to get on a soap box and deliver An Aesop.
Every aspect of them is geared towards advancing the views of the author.
The presence of such characters is often jarring and sometimes offensive to people who actually hold the beliefs that are being misrepresented; in addition, strawmen are very ineffective tools to convert or convince people of opposing beliefs and tend to encourage Confirmation Bias.
His discomfort is the stuff of excruciating class awareness, until he realises, with sudden dignity and "something faintly like reproach", that he has no further need to put on a show.
The novel respects him tenderly from here on, in all his ruddy straightforwardness, and gifts him with the happiest of lots in his second marriage to Biddy.