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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Violence : the devil within us examined in four contemporary British novels : Anthony Burgess, "A clockwork… Davis, Sarah Gasquoine 1981

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VIOLENCE: THE DEVIL WITHIN US EXAMINED IN FOUR CONTEMPORARY BRITISH NOVELS: ANTHONY BURGESS, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE FLANN O'BRIEN, THE THIRD POLICEMAN IRIS MURDOCH, THE. TIME OF THE ANGELS MURIEL SPARK, THE BALLAD OF PECKHAM RYE by SARAH GASQUOINE DAVIS .A.(Hons.), The University of Bri t ish Columbia, 1 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1981 (c) Sarah Gasquoine Davis, 1981 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or pu b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department o f E n g l i s h . The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date April 2 8 > 1 9 8 1 i i ABSTRACT This thesis examines violence as a thematic concern in four contemporary Bri t ish novels: Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, Iris Murdoch's The Time of the Angels and Muriel Spark's The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Violence pervades these novels, affecting every character and si tuat ion, and i t is revealed in elements of fantasy, grotesqueness and surrealism in language, theme and character. A vital link between the novels is that each possesses a demonic character (or characters) whose demonism is symbolic of the darker side of man's nature. These novelists portray l i f e as being a continual struggle—this struggle is the choice between the opposing forces of good and e v i l ; and from this struggle violence erupts. These demonic figures represent the dark and violent choice of e v i l . An examination of the characters of the demonic figures in these novels reveals that each exists in a strange or curious sort of hell or inverted world. Alex, in A Clockwork Orange, creates a hell for others which, in turn, sends him to a hell created by society. Violence is the means used by both sides, thus neither Alex nor society appears total ly innocent nor total ly gui l ty . The nameless Narrator in The Third Policeman is l i t e r a l l y dead and in he l l - - a hell he has created by his own earthly actions. However, he is not alone in his h e l l , for his accomplice in murder and the peculiar policemen are also oddly affected. In The Time of the Angels, the characters' hell is confined to a fog-bound rectory in which they are v ir tual ly trapped. Leo, i i i however, seems to possess a fey quality which enables him to somehow evade the others' predicament. In contrast, Carel , his aging counterpart, has despaired and is doomed. In The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Dougal Douglas purposely creates a hel l ish situation for a chosen group of people; his reason is psychological manipulation—the result is violence. The focal point of the novels seems to l ie in the.obsession shared'by these demonic figures—obsession with se l f and sel f -grat i f icat ion. Essent ia l ly , i t is the obsession of these protagonists which warp and influence the nightmare worlds which a l l the characters inhabit, worlds in which violence and destruction seem inevitable. This violence is a reflection of the growing violence of our modern, technological society in which psychopathy (comparable to that practiced by these demonic figures) is on the increase and humanism is on the wane. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract i i Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . „ . . . . . . . . . . 1 Section One, The Demonic Figure . . . . . . . . . 5 Section Two, The Obsession with Self . . . . . . . 16 Section Three, The "Inverted" World 37 Section Four, Language . 60 Conclusion 66 Endnotes 71 Bibliography 0 . . . 77 I n t r o d u c t i o n V i o l e n c e i s a t i m e l e s s and u n i v e r s a l phenomenon. The seeds o f the v i o l e n t a c t , whether p h y s i c a l o r p s y c h i c a l , l i e w i t h i n a l l mankind. No-one i s exempt, f o r v i o l e n c e . . .demonstrates the ' r e a l ' n a t u r e o f man, h i s fundamental d i s o r d e r l i n e s s and w i l l t o d e s t r u c t i o n , h i s h a t r e d o f c o n s t r a i n t s , h i s resentment o f i d e a s and i d e a l s and a l l the o t h e r a r t i f i c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s . Hence the a r t i s t who d e a l s h o n e s t l y w i t h v i o l e n c e becomes a k i n d o f n ose-rubber o r m i r r o r - h o l d e r , someone r u b b i n g the s p e c t a t o r ' s nose i n the d i s a g r e e a b l e , and h o l d i n g up a m i r r o r i n which he can contemplate the e s s e n t i a l f i l t h i n e s s , n a s t i n e s s , and b e a s t l i n e s s o f mankind. . .1 F r a s e r ' s r a t h e r p e s s i m i s t i c view o f mankind seems t o h o l d t r u e i n the l i g h t o f contemporary B r i t i s h f i c t i o n . The n o v e l s o f B u r g e s s , Murdoch, Spark and O'Nolan ( F l a n n O'Brien) emphasize t h a t v i o l e n c e i s an i n e s c a p a b l e a s p e c t o f the human c o n d i t i o n and t h a t i t seems t o be an i n e v i t a b l e p r o d u c t o f an e v e r - e x i s t i n g b i - p o l a r i s m : t h e s t r u g g l e f o r supremacy, o r a t l e a s t s t a b i l i t y , between the o p p o s i n g f o r c e s o f good and e v i l and t h e i r s u b o r d i n a t e s : l o v e and power, o r d e r and d i s o r d e r , t r u t h and f a n t a s y * T h i s s t r u g g l e , which i s f o c u s e d on the c o n f l i c t between s e l f h o o d and s e l f l e s s n e s s , g e n e r a t e s v i o l e n c e because the d e s i r e s o r " i n s t i n c t s " t h a t '"people don't l i k e t o g r a t i f y e x c e p t w i t h the h e l p o f i n g e n i o u s d e v i c e s , d i s g u i s e s and a r a t h e r c h i l d i s h h y p o c r i s y , . .are the most d e e p l y r o o t e d i n the human psyche.'" These 2 i n s t i n c t s a r e ' " f e a r . . othe t a s t e f o r b l o o d and d e a t h . " ' There are numerous ways o f p r e s e n t i n g v i o l e n c e i n the n o v e l , but t o use v i o l e n c e as a t h e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e i t must be made p a l a t a b l e o r a c c e p t a b l e t o the r e a d e r : mere excess o f b r u t e a g g r e s s i o n — p e o p l e t o r t u r e d o r k i l l e d — w i l l e i t h e r o n l y r e p e l the r e a d e r w i t h o u t e n g r o s s i n g him i n the n o v e l ' s purpose, o r the v i o l e n c e w i l l seem l e s s r e a l and thus the work w i l l have l e s s impacto To a v o i d t h i s e f f e c t , the n o v e l i s t s 2„ make use of such l i terary devices as the distancing and commingled elements of grotesqueness, fantasy and surrealism (the Surrealist movement, in fact , "drew on the powerful stimulus of v i o l e n c e " ) . The use of dist inct ive language is also an important factor. These devices create unusual and dist inct ive settings or worlds in which the characters are permitted to carry out the most horr i f ic acts--yet the reader remains unalienated and amused throughout. Fraser also points out that "in a culture as starved of physicality as ours, the enduring appeal of a good many violent works is not just that they are violent but that they re-immerse us 4 vicariously in physical action." He adds that "it also a fact that other people have been able to commit these violences and to ignore the traditional safeguards of innocence, and ignorance, and helplessness. One has the sensation of a chasm having opened in front of one's feet. 5 And the immediate reaction is to demand, How could they?" One possible answer, of course, is perhaps we al l could i f our unconscious desires were so tapped--as Dougal Douglas taps the unconscious l i f e of Peckham Rye bringing death and destruction to the surface. The Surreal ists , in fact , note that "the unconscious does not usually bring us good news, and that what we repress is hatred more often than love. . . . " A good example of this phenomenon is Mr. Druce in The Ballad of Peckham Rye: his unconscious hatreds lead him to murder. Violence is not confined to the contemporary Br i t ish novel, of course, i t spans a l l ages and a l l nat ional i t ies. The significance of violence in the contemporary Bri t ish novel l ies in its presentation, in the techniques used to convey i ts presence, and in i ts 3. thematic use: i t is shown to be a way of repelling loneliness and of clinging to the existence of one's se l f in an absurd world. With a rise in the knowledge of man's psychological make-up, the progression of modern society towards a mechanistic existence, and the decline in values and traditional morality, the stage is set for a rather cold-blooded presentation of violence. The more boisterous and warm-blooded presentation of violence of preceding eras has been altered to accommodate these modernistic changes in human l i f e . The rise of the novel in the eighteenth century included violence at i ts inception. Novelists such as Sterne, Smollett, Matthew Lewis, Swift and others, a l l employed violence, in particular grotesque or fantasy violence. This characteristic was not lost in the nineteenth century either—Dickens also included a considerable amount of grotesque violence in his novels,, The reliance of the contemporary novel on the mingling of dream/nightmare and real i ty is a surrea l is t ic technique ("the real contains the surreal"^); but in the novel this technique had i ts origins in Lewis's The Monk. Andre''Breton discusses The Monk enthusiastically in his Manifesto of Surrealism: Long before the author [Lewis] has freed his main characters from a l l temporal restraints, one feels them ready to act with an unprecedented pride. This passion for eternity with which they are constantly st i r red lends an unforgettable intensity to their torments, and to mine. I mean that this book, from beginning to end, and in the purest way imaginable, exercises an exalting effect only upon that part of the mind which aspires to leave the earth and that, stripped of an insignif icant part of i ts plot , which belongs to the period in which i t was written, i t constitutes a paragon of precision and innocent grandeur. 8 Lewis's prideful characters are echoed in the contemporary novels discussed in this thesis. The "passion for eternity" Breton considers to be dominating the lives of characters such as Ambrosio and Matilda in The Monk, is clearly repeated, for example, in The Third Policeman, in which the Narrator clings desperately to existence by denying real i ty and l iv ing in a world constructed by his imagination. The absurdity of the world in which the Narrator finds himself resembles Breton's description of l i f e : "Life is absurd not in the nauseating sense of the word but so far as 'absurd' designates the forces that outdistance the narrow limits of logic and gravitate towards 9 the wondrous." The world of The Third Policeman is also "derived, in part from the ideas of the Celt ic other-world [where] Time has no meaning"^ and a day can be synonymous with a hundred years. Furthermore "de Selby is modelled on Des Esseintes, hero of Huysman's A Rebours (Against Nature) and possibly on SIawkenbergius, the savant whose works are the l i fe long obsession of Walter Shandy in Sterne's Tristram Shandy." One aspect that novels as diverse in period as The Monk and the contemporary novels discussed here have in common is their use of the grotesque. The grotesque is violent in i ts own right: i t is the "violent clash of opposites, and hence [ is] an appropriate expression of 12 the problematical nature of existence." The grotesque is the device of bringing two incongruous elements together—laughter and horror--to e l i c i t an emotional response. Furthermore The grotesque is the expression of the estranged or alienated world, i .e . the familiar world is seen from a perspective which suddenly renders i t strange (and, presumably, this strangeness may be either comic or terr i fy ing or both). The grotesque is a game with the absurd in the sense that the grotesque ar t is t plays, half- laughingly, ha l f -horr i f ied , with the deep absurdities of existence. The grotesque is an attempt to control and exorcise . . .the demonic elements in the world. 13 This device is clearly in evidence in the novels of Burgess, Murdoch, Spark and 0'Nolan; much of the disorientating quality of these novels arises from the authors' inclusion of elements of the grotesque and in the importance of the "demonic" figures of Alex, Leo, Carel , Dougal and the Narrator of The Third Policeman. Each of the four novels discussed contains this thematic element: the presence of a demonic figure whose actions—wittingly or unwitt ingly—elicit tensions and bring the deeply hidden desires of the other characters to the surface. The result is havoc and an explosion of violent action. In turn, violence acts as a catalyst in the novels—it cuts through the layers of false morality and hypocrisy to expose the true nature of man, his "disorderliness and wi to destruction," and his puniness in the face of the absurdity of the uni verse. i The Demonic Figure Perhaps the most signif icant cause of violence in these novels is the desire or quest for power. In Murdoch's opinion, love and power are the opposite sides of the coin, the archetypal opposing forces within man. One of the overriding characteristics of the demonic figures in these novels is their pride and their desire for power. This desire has effectively crippled the minds or sp i r i ts of these men, and the theme of crippling—both of the mind and the body— a central one, not only to these novels, but to the genre as a whole: Modern novels frequently emphasize the complexity of man. They show that although man may well be a victim of society or some unreasonable wound, he is as much a victim of his own character and so is not entirely an innocent victim. . . It is perhaps arbitrary to deal separately with characters who function primarily as vict imizers, but there are enough 6o of these individuals who cause pain--and enough of them are found in inf luential roles.--to merit their c lass i f icat ion into a subgroup of those maimed figures who inhabit, and create, waste lands. That such creatures should be deformed--that they should, in part icular , l imp-- is an ancient notion probably derived from two sources: deformity from the Platonic concept that a man's character is reflected in his appearance; limping, from the fact that the Arch Enemy of man, Satan (Hebrew for "the adversary"), has cloven hooves which he can disguise but not entirely conceal should he take human shape. 14 The demonic figures of these novels clearly f i t into Hays' "c lassi f icat ion" of limping "maimed" creatures who are representative of the powers of evil or the darkness which l ies within mankind. In The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Dougal Douglas is certainly meant to represent, i f not Satan himself, at least a demonic representation of evi l powers. Likewise, O'Nolan indicates that the Narrator of The Third Policeman represents e v i l , for he has both a crippled .body and a crippled mind--the lat ter deformed by his obsession with de Selby. Alex in A Clockwork Orange and Leo and Carel in The Time of the Angels are also cr ippled, but they exhibit social and spir i tual deformation for their bodies are perfect and intact . Rather, Alex, Leo and Carel are Luciferian creatures—outwardly beautiful angels who have, inwardly, become dark, proud creatures obsessed with grat i f icat ion of the self above a l l e lse. Carel seems almost a parallel to the Miltonic conception of Satan—his power and magnetism cause him to disbelieve, to want ultimate power for himself; as a result he is cast into h e l l , but a hell of total emptiness. Carel's "downfall can be attributed to his fascination with the dark side of German existentialism" especially "Nietzsche and Heidegger, about whom Murdoch has said 'Heidegger is 15 Lucifer in person.'" 7, Like Murdoch, Hays emphasizes the power of love in vanquishing evil and the cloying absorption of selfhood. True love is sel f less love, the abnegation of sel f with regard to the other; however, to "consider oneself f i r s t , to compound this disregard of others by denying their humanity and dignity, is to foster the world's s t e r i l i t y by one's own demonism." 1 6 This brand of "demonism" is clearly evident in these four novels in which those who "seek l i f e , love, or purpose have to contend with those who pervert, corrupt, defame, and destroy"; in other words, to contend with those who commit violence, with "enemies who bear the mark of the E n e m y . T h e s e marks include 1 o the "diabolical attributes of lameness [and] red hair." The use of a demonic figure in each novel is for the purpose of personifying the evil hidden within men, and to allow the struggle between good and evi l to be waged in v is ib le form. Thus the quality of evi l is given force by being characterized; and i ts force is emphasized by the dreamlike or fantastic settings created in which the characters struggle to exist . On a physical l eve l , Dougal Douglas in The Ballad of Peckham  Rye and the nameless Narrator of The Third Policeman are the most obviously Satanic. Spark goes to great lengths to present Dougal as being, i f not Satan himself, at least a powerful representative of chaos and the force of e v i l . His name is Gaelic for "dark stranger," and he exudes a "dark g low." 1 9 Dougal f i ts neatly into Hays' schema of the Satanic entity: Dougal is deformed or misshapen. He is a "man of vision with a deformed shoulder"(po 17). He continually asks people to feel the "bumps" that are hidden in his short curly hair - -a Pan-like 8. touch. Dougal is also a snapeshifter: "Dougal changed his shape and became a professor"(p. 16)--a sure sign of the d e v i l , for the devil can alter his shape at w i l l . In this respect, Dougal can be compared to Policeman Fox who can also change his shape; Fox "began putting his immense body through the tiny opening." Dougal also disl ikes crossing the r iver , a common t ra i t for those in the service of evil and for whom the purity of running water is anathema as i t is symbolic of the purity of the uncorrupted human s p i r i t . Dougal's body, "already highly crooked by nature"(p. 15), is an outward manifestation of his twisted inner nature. However, in spite of his crookedness, Dougal is extremely attractive to other people, and he uses his powers to advantage. Indeed, i f Satan is considered to be the personification of our dark, inner desires, this extreme attraction is not hard to believe. Our desires are extremely a t t rac t ive - - i t is hard not to give in to the urgent requests of the se l f . Thus demonic characters, such as the f ive presented in these novels, would be extremely attractive and charming. Those that are repel led-- ! ike Dixie, for instance--tend to be so because these demonic characters are adept at understanding the hidden motives of others and then exposing these t r a i t s , much to the mortification of the possessors. Dougal brings excitement to the otherwise drab lives of the inhabitants of Peckham Rye; he accomplishes ,this by divining peoples' inner thoughts and desires and then manipulating people into acting them out. The result tends to be violence in one form or another. Humphrey says "There's a dirty swine in every man"(p. 7). The "swine" is this dark, unprincipled side of human nature—the side that Dougal taps with s k i l l . 9. Spark i s e x p l i c i t about Dougal's function in The Bal lad of Peckham Rye. Dougal and Merle Coverdale walk into the graveyard and Dougal s i t s down on "an i ns i gn i f i can t headstone [and] pose[es] l i ke an ange l -dev i l . . . " (p . 30). Dougal i s Luc i f e r , the "ange l - dev i l " ; the " i ns i gn i f i can t headstone" reveals man's unimportance, his absurdi ty, in the face of the forces of good and e v i l . Dougal i s also l ikened to "a succubus whose mouth i s i t s eyes"(p<> 28); in th is capacity he can be compared to Leo in The Time of the Angels: "Leo was leaning forward now and was studying Marcus with a fascinated almost del ighted expectancy. With a sense of being experimented on, Marcus contro l led his gaze. There was something fami l i a r and somehow deadly 21 about the s i t ua t i on . Leo knew him too w e l l . " Like Dougal, Leo plays with people, controls them l i ke puppets; he knows what the i r reaction w i l l be and he loves to manoeuver them into f u l f i l l i n g his behavioural preconceptions of t he i r act ions. Manipulating people is the Dev i l ' s power: he of fers a choice which i s no choice, and Muriel f inds th is out with Leo. Like most of us, Muriel thinks to use the " d e v i l " (or the unconscious) as a tool fo r her purposes; however, she discovers that the dark force i s r ea l l y using her. Muriel erroneously considers that what at t racts her to Leo is his . . . rather immoral. . . f r i s k i n e s s , that cheerful wi l l ingness to behave badly which had had such an ugly issue in the unspeakable theft and in the scene with Eugene which she had overheard. She had thought of Leo as potent as a sor t of pure elemental fo rce. I t had been indeed some sense of the ' pu r i t y ' of that force which had led her so readi ly to conceive of him as an instrument. A creature so simple-heartedly ego t i s t i c could hot be a menace. This was not the kind of thing which Muriel feared. I t was the kind of thing which she f l a t te red herse l f she could con t ro l . Yet now she f e l t both shocked and muddled, disgusted by Leo's behaviour and yet unable resolute ly to judge him, as i f she hersel f had already become in some way his accomplice (p. 123). lOo Muriel feels ambivalent towards Leo, both "disgusted by him, and yet strangely attracted to him. Marcus also feels this way about Leo. When Leo leaves him after trying to extort money from him, Marcus feels both excited and "disgusted." Leo's paradoxical ab i l i ty to simultaneously attract and repel people is a reflection of our base nature and our overlying moral sense. Leo's intense beauty also seems Luciferian in i ts perfection. He desires to be a "prince"(p. 98) and his physical description is princely indeed: he is described as "glossy," "luminous," "gold," " l ight ," (p. 99) and so on. He "glides"(p. 9) rather than walks and his hair is a "reddish-gold"(p. 99). Leo is an ethereal, angelic creature, but he is a fal len angel--a continuous dark stream of l ies pours from his mouth; he is concerned only with manipulating people—which he does to ward off his feeling of angst. He is capable of great charm and great cruelty—as is Care!. The two men represent the two faces of e v i l : the bright, beautiful face which ensnares people, and the reverse: the dark, anguished, hopeless face of the damned soul which has descended into the nothingness of hell and realises the horror of an eternity separated from God. Power and violence become the only means of assuring a sense of existence in the midst of such chaos. Alex is also a Luciferian f igure. He is charming, in te l l igent , and handsome. His name means "helper of men" and he helps men straight into destruction. But Alex's major flaw is pride, and in this respect his name seems to be a reference to Alexander the Great—like the so ld ier , Alex is fu l l of pride in his leadership capacity over his 22 "droogs"; he feels that Dim must "learn his place"; he feels jus t i f i ed in punching Dim in the face when Dim mocks the singer in the l l o Korova Milkbar, because, in Alex's opinion, "It was [him] really Dim had done wrong to"(p. 26). Alex is our "humble narrator"(p. 65), and as such should gain our complete sympathy, especially in view of his insouciant charm and his continual inclusion of us into his tale ("0 my brothers"[p. 5]). However, his overweening Satanic pride and his a l l - too-real delight in violence for violence's sake, tend to distance us from him toward the end of the novel; and i t his pride which ultimately leads to his f a l l . Alex becomes a rather grotesque f igure, for his apparently reasonable and amusing character is incongruous with both his obvious love of power and the subject matter of his speech: "lashings of ultra-violence which is a real kick"(p. 19). Alex's pride becomes ironical when he desires to pull the feathers out of a peacock's ta i l because i t is too "boastful"(p. 137), or when he castigates the government for being "very boastful"(p. 122). For Alex (as is proper in one only concerned with gratifying self ) can neither comprehend that he parallels the peacock's qualit ies in his dress and manner, nor that he paral lels the government in i ts symbolic attempt to divest him of his own ta i l feathers in an effort to render him truly "humble." However, i t is a consistent pattern throughout the novel that the most inhuman creatures wear clothes that are the "heighth of fashion"(p. 97), a narc iss is t ic preoccupation with the t r i v i a l and superficial which clearly reveals the hollowness of their beings. Alex is called a "toad"(p. 51) and a "bedbug"(p. 51) by the woman he accidently murders. A toad is frequently cited as a witches' f ami l i a r - - i t is also ( l ike Joe in The Third Policeman) a poisonous, slimy creature, as Alex essential ly i s . His victim te l ls him to "keep 12. [his] distance" or she wi l l "be forced to strike"(p. 51) him. Alex incites normally passive people to violence just as Dougal does. His brand of evil ignites opposing forces and violence is the outcome. In The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Dougal spec i f ica l ly refers to himself as the dev i l , although with the exception of Mr. Weedin, no-one believes him. This scepticism reinforces the view that people only believe what they want to believe--we are blinded by our preconceptions and misconceptions of l i f e , and the result of l i v ing in a shuttered world is tragedy and violence. For example, while being shown Dougal's "bumps," Humphrey asks Dougal i f he is supposed to be the dev i l . Dougal repl ies, "No oh, no. I'm only supposed to be one of the wicked sp i r i ts that wander through the world for the ruin of souls"(p. 77). Dougal is te l l ing the truth; he is explaining what he is and what he does, but Humphrey does not believe him. Weedin asks Merle i f she has ever "looked at [Dougal's] eyes"(p. 82): the eyes are the window of the soul , but Dougal, embodying the blackness of man, is soul less, thus only emptiness wi l l be reflected in his eyes. Like Dougal, the Narrator of The Third Policeman seems to represent the demonic aspect of man, an aspect created by an obsession with se l f . According to Hays, one of the most obvious signs of the satanic element in l i terature is the "limping hero," and the Narrator f i t s neatly into this def init ion on account of his wooden le f t leg: "part of me is wood and has no l i f e in i t at a l l " (p . 41). The "part of" him that is l i fe less is his s p i r i t , his emotions. He is as wooden as his leg. The Narrator is not alone in his wooden left-leggedness, however, for Martin Finnucane also has a wooden le f t leg and he leads a 13. band o f o t h e r such s i m i l a r l y a f f l i c t e d men t o r e s c u e the N a r r a t o r from t h e s c a f f o l d . The N a r r a t o r ' s w o r l d , o r h e l l , i s p e o p l e d w i t h both t h e s e v i o l e n t , o n e - l e g g e d men and t h e m a l e f i c p o l i c e m e n , a l l o f whom a r e as base as he. M a r t i n F i n n u c a n e i s a l s o a mur d e r e r , and i n view o f t h i s f a c t and h i s p h y s i c a l s i m i l a r i t y t o t h e N a r r a t o r , he appears t o be an e x t e r n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e N a r r a t o r ' s p s y c h e . C e r t a i n l y , he i s v i o l e n t enough; he t e l l s t h e N a r r a t o r t h a t i f he i s i n t r o u b l e , F i n n u c a n e " w i l l come w i t h a l l the o n e - l e g g e d men and r i p the b e l l i e s " (p. 4 2 ) . Perhaps t h e most h o r r i f y i n g f a c e t o f t h e demonic c r e a t u r e s s u r r o u n d i n g t h e N a r r a t o r i s t h a t they a r e h i s own c r e a t i o n s , f o r h i s h e l l i s a h e l l o f t h e s e l f ; he i s t r a p p e d f o r e v e r w i t h i n a w o r l d bounded by h i s l a s t moments i n Mathers' house--a w o r l d c r e a t e d by h i s own i m a g i n a t i o n o r psyche. He p e r s o n i f i e s t he s e l f o r ego; he i s s e l f gone mad, bounding t h r o u g h a w o r l d o f i t s own making. The N a r r a t o r ' s w o r l d o r b i t s around t h e b l a c k c a s h box, thus i t i s a m e c h a n i s t i c , a b s u r d , v i o l e n t and t o t a l l y h o r r i f y i n g w o r l d . T h a t M a r t i n F i n n u c a n e i s a c l o n e o f the N a r r a t o r , i s f u r t h e r emphasized by S e r g e a n t P l u c k u s i n g t h e N a r r a t o r as a s c a p e g o a t f o r F i n n u c a n e ' s murder o f the dream Mat h e r s . The N a r r a t o r p r o t e s t s h i s i n n o c e n c e ; b u t , o f c o u r s e , he i s t h e m u r d e r e r - - o f t h e r e a l M a t h e r s - - s o t h i s w o r l d has a s o r t o f p e r v e r t e d j u s t i c e : t h e N a r r a t o r s u f f e r s i n f e a r f o r h i s ' l i f e ' f o r a murder he t h i n k s he d i d not do, c o n v e n i e n t l y f o r g e t t i n g t h a t he has n o t p a i d , i n e a r t h l y t e r m s , f o r the murder he d i d do. The f a c t t h a t i t i s t h e N a r r a t o r ' s l e f t l e g t h a t i s wooden 14. is also s igni f icant , for his entire world is made up of left-hand turns. When Pluck shows the Narrator the "road to eternity"(p. 108) on MacCruiskeen's cei l ing "map," the road to take is the f i r s t left-hand road. The Narrator argues that no road exists there, but Pluck disagrees: "it is a very old road. . .but there is no signpost"(p. 108). The left-hand path--the crooked path--is the way to h e l l , the oldest road of a l l for the se l f to travel upon; there is no "signpost" because everyone finds their own way there. Pluck's cr i t ic ism of Policeman Fox is that Fox "has an opinion that there is a turn to the right down the road and l ike ly that is what he is after, he thinks the best way to find i t is to die and get a l l the leftness out of his blood. I do not believe that there is a right-hand road. . .as you are aware the right is much more tricky than the l e f t , you would be surprised at a l l the right p i t f a l l s there are. We are only at the beginning of our knowledge of the r ight , there is nothing more deceptive to the unwary"(p. 132). To "die and get a l l the leftness" out of one's blood is to advocate the total extinction of self—only by so doing can one revoke the power of e v i l , an evil shown in the Narrator to be his obsession with se l f . However, such an act would require a mighty courage, a commodity that the Narrator—like most humans—sorely lacks. For the "right-hand" path—the pursuit of good and truth—is_ in f in i te ly more "tricky" than the easy road of fantasy and comfortable i l l u s i o n . Another indication of the Narrator's demonic nature is his namelessness. He is without a name throughout the entire novel, and to be obsessed with se l f and yet not to possess the uniqueness of 15. individuality which is bestowed on one by one's name, is paradoxical in the extreme. Like the Narrator, Satan might be considered se l f out of control , and he is sometimes termed the nameless one; yet , again paral lel ing the Narrator, Satan simultaneously possesses many names. Throughout the novel the Narrator (and Joe) proffer a variety of names the Narrator might have had ( i f he could remember), thus emphasizing both his demonic and his universal nature. The Narrator has peopled his surreal world with nothing but demons, and they seem to represent his unconscious desires for power and violent action (he l i t e r a l l y scares John Divney to death, a violent and horrible, yet f i t t ing end to an unscrupulous character). The inhabitants of his world are strange, dreamlike, inhuman figures. MacCruiskeen, for example, is described as being "on wires and worked with steam"(p. 66); Pluck taps his head and i t makes a "booming hollow sound"(p. 133) as i f i t were empty,, These policemen seem l ike mechanical clockwork creatures, but their demonism is shown by such details as Pluck's face which sports "a violent red moustache"(p. 48); for red hair symbolizes compatriots of the dev i l . Also, Policeman Fox blocks the left-hand side of the window in Mathers' house which shows that he is in league with the powers of darkness. These policemen are grotesque f igures, in their hugeness and beefiness they seem both ridiculous and horr i f ic and they exude a menacing and yet comic atmosphere or presence. Thus the policemen f i t into Phi l ip Thomson's view of the grotesque: the grotesque "will cover. . .among other things, the co-presence of the laughable and something which is incompatible with the laughable 0 " 2 3 But while the obsession with detail and the 16. size of the policemen seems comic--at f i rs t—the i r implacability shows through and they become grotesque figures representative of dark fears hidden within our unconscious thoughts. Joe, too, is described as a demonic figure in the tradit ional fashion. The Narrator starts imagining that Joe is in the bed next to him; the thought repels him because Joe's "diminutive body would be horrible to the human touch--scaly or slimy l ike an eel"(p. 101). If Joe is his soul , then Joe would be "scaly" and "horrible" because the Narrator, by his actions, has forgone the right to have anything else. He has chosen to become an evil being — and as such is invaded by a "scaly" soul . i i The Obsession with Self Man holds the opposing cosmic forces within himself: within each man is the capacity for good or e v i l , love or power, truth or fantasy. These forces continually war for possession of the s p i r i t , and each of these novelists explores the degree of choice man has available to him in this respect. This war between good and evil generates spir i tual violence, and i t manifests i t se l f externally in the high incidence of physical violence in the novels. These novelists concentrate on the battleground of the s e l f , and the s e l f ' s choice of evil rather than good: "In the moral l i f e the 24 enemy is the fat relentless ego." The result of this choice is regression into the world of fantasy and this coincides with Freud's view of mankind: Freud takes a thoroughly pessimistic view of human nature. He sees the psyche as an egocentric system of quasimechanical energy, largely determined by its own individual history, whose natural attachments are sexual, 17. ambiguous, and hard to control„ Introspection reveals only the deep tissue of ambivalent motive, and fantasy is a stronger force than reason. Objectivity and unselfishness are not natural to human beings. 25 "Objectivity and unselfishness" are certainly "not natural" to the protagonists of the four novels discussed herein. They are a l l completely dominated by their "fat relentless" egos, their obsession with se l f , and i t is this relentless obsession with pursuit of se l f ish aims that generates violence. Like Murdoch, Burgess views the universe as being dominated by two forces, but he is less certain of their actual nature or of their strength. Burgess "shares the Manichean bel ief that there is a perpetual conf l ic t between two forces that dominates the affairs of the universe, and whether the forces can be accurately labelled 'good' and ' e v i l ' is by no means certain. . . a l l that is certain is that the opposed forces exist , are in conf l i c t , and that earthly turmoils. . .are 2 relat ively t r i v i a l affairs that merely 'f igure the great cosmic c lash." Al l four novelists attempt to examine this "cosmic clash" by presenting i t in more humanly accessible terms; this accounts for the devil figure who generates the conf l ic t with inevitably violent results. That none of the demonic figures seems entirely evil also brings their existence to a more human leve l . Thus rather than appearing as some overpowering spir i tual ent i ty, they represent the evil within man--his darkness triumphant. Burgess also has his views on the function of God and the Devil in the universal order: "I believe, i f you l i k e , that God and the Devil are p o s s i b i l i t i e s , but i t is not foreseeable, i t is not inevitable that God should win over the D e v i l . " 2 7 Three of the novels I have 18. examined clearly show Burgess's trend of thought--God, or 'good'--does not triumph over e v i l ; furthermore, the struggle leaves death and destruction in i ts wake which indicates the immense power of the force of e v i l . As Murdoch points out, truth, which is on the side of good, is unpalatable to human nature: "truth always hurts a bit and that is why we know so l i t t l e of i t"(p. 215)„ Man prefers to cower amidst a tissue of fantasies; this is an i l lusionary mode of l iv ing which has strong poss ib i l i t ies for e v i l . Thus evil has a strong chance of winning the "cosmic clash." In contrast, O'Nolan does not seem to subscribe to the outlook of Murdoch and Burgess. His protagonist is e v i l , a murderer. He commits crimes for se l f -grat i f icat ion and to further his fantasies, but as a result he has to exist permanently in a horr i f ic world of fantasies--a ghastly world created entirely by his absorption with se l f . In The Third Policeman evil seems to have been vanquished—the Narrator is punished in eternity for his inhuman use of violence. The "cosmic clash" is fought out in a dreamlike sett ing. The fu tur is t ic England of A Clockwork Orange, for example, is a surreal , nightmarish world in which people l ive out their unconscious, innermost ideas and fantasies, thus distorting real i ty and distorting the distinctions between good and e v i l . Alex is a paradigm of his world. He lives out his violent fantasies, and his fantasies tend to be tinged or inspired by eroticism. This eroticism adds a surreal note to Alex's cruel and sadist ic dreams: Like Sade, the Surrealists also understood eroticism to be the dynamic behind the most intransigent expressions of human subjectivity: revolt , hysteria, perversion and crime. 19. Unleashed eroticism, they conceded, might demand excess, blasphemy, subversion, the blood-letting of the sadist ic cul t . Feeding on i t se l f might lead, ultimately. . .to dissociation of the personality and death. 28 Alex's key to his realm of fantasies is music. He enjoys the music of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart--music which is great art ; in this he diverges sharply from the musical tastes of his generation. However, Alex's love for music, instead of providing innocent joy, enflames him with desire to commit the most atrocious acts. It is music which makes Alex "feel l ike Bog himself"(p. 35) and which transports him into a fantasy realm of even greater heights of violence than he commits with his "droogs": Oh, b l i s s , bl iss and heaven. I lay a l l nagoy to the ce i l ing , my gul l iver on my rookers on the pil low, glazzies closed, rot open in b l i s s , slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, i t was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made f lesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gull iver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rol l ing through my guts and out again crunched l ike candy thunder. Oh, i t was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of l ike rarest spun heavenmetal, or l ike si lvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity a l l nonsense now, came the v io l in solo above a l l the other str ings, and those strings were l ike a cage of s i lk round my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, l ike worms of platinum, into the thick thick toffee of gold and s i l v e r , I was in such b l i s s , my brothers. . .As I slooshied, my glazzies tight shut, . .1 knew such lovely pictures. There were vecks and pt i tsas, both young and starry, lying on the ground screaming for mercy, and I was smecking a l l over my rot and grinding my boot in their l i t s o s . And there were devotchkas ripped and creeching against walls and I plunging l ike a shlaga into them. . .(p. 29) A l e x ' s delight in the music is truly awe-inspiring--the beauty of the music l i f t s him to ly r ica l heights of expression. But from his "bliss and heaven" emerge his darkly violent urges for domination—both sexual and sadis t ic . Perversely, he pictures the glorious beauty of the music accompanying the horror of his fantasy actions. The music l i f t s and 20. carries him through beauty into the blackness of his innermost being where he finds his own, sur rea l is t ic , personal and perverse "heaven," where he lords i t as God--or rather Satan--in the fr ightful horror of his nethermost being--a nonpareil of violence. Alex's love for music does not only inspire the urge for violence, i t also makes him greedy, fool ishly so. When he breaks into The Manse, he sees, during his confrontation with the i rate , cat-loving owner, a bust of Beethoven which he immediately lusts after: "but i t tying towards i t with my glazzies l ike fu l l on i t and my greedy rookers held out, I did not see the milk saucers on the f loor"(p. 51); this is Alex's undoing and his doom: his greed blinds him to the danger. He trips over the cats' saucers and in the ensuing melee the woman attacks him quite v ic iously . Infuriated, Alex "tolchoks" her harder than he meant to and k i l l s her—all to "reach lovely Ludwig van in frowning l ike stone"(p. 52). Love of music leads to his doom. Alex likes music for the unholy visions i t affords him, and his greed for music, or his obsession with s e l f , inspire him to violence and murder. However, Alex's music-inspired actions are contrary to the Murdochian view of the effects of great art on mankind: "the appreciation of beauty in art or nature is not only. . „the easiest available spir i tual exercise; i t is also a completely adequate entry into. . .the good l i f e , since i t is the checking of selfishness in the interest of seeing the r e a l . " 2 9 For Alex, however, the "spiritual exercise" of l istening to music is far removed from "checking" his "selfishness" in the "interest of seeing the rea l ." On the wings of his love of music he soars up to the pinnacles of brutal and sadist ic fantasies where he conceives of himself as a deity. At this moment he is blind to otherness; 21. people exist only to serve his sadist ic needs. Through his fantasies, Alex reveals the power of the id which resides within each man and which has the desire to dominate the ego or man's rational being. What is needed is restraint , a quality which is sorely lacking in the demonic figures in these novels: they are entirely dedicated to se l f . To be so concerned with self is to be ch i ld l i ke , for l ike Alex, children have dark, brutal and aggressive phantasies that [are] truly horr ible, arising naturally out of the hunger to exist , and their need to survive. Human culture, and the natural moral sense, are ways in which we humanize our phantasies and 'reform' them. . .when people resort to 'fun k i l l i n g s ' or sadist ic murders, they may be acting out the primitive phantasies of early childhood. 30 It is this same obsession with sel f that inspires the Narrator in The Third Policeman to commit murder. As Alex lives in a devalued world in which the brief grat i f icat ion of lust and power is paramount so does O'Nolan's Narrator l ive in a world in which his obsession with the mad genius of de Selby is supreme. The Narrator has not descended to the conventional hell of f i re and brimstone, instead his hell is concocted from his own consciousness. Although his body is dead, his sp i r i t has been trapped by the strength of his se l f ish desires, thus keeping him forever in their horr i f ic t o i l s : "Was. . .the world I knew merely the interior of the being whose inner voice I myself was"(p. 103). Thus i t is that the Narrator cannot get away from Mathers, Mathers' house, or his desire for the black cash box: they are the last things he was conscious of before he was blown up. They form the nucleus of his h e l l , along with de Selby (the cause of his unspeakable actions), Divney (his tempter in l i f e ) , and the peculiar 22. policemen (who, as representatives of "law and order" have control over his existence). The Narrator can be compared with Golding's Pincher Martin and his immense, posthumous spir i tual struggle to hold on to " l i fe" for as long as possible. Like Pincher Martin, the Narrator is te r r i f i ed of lett ing real i ty in--the real i ty of death—for i f he does so his existence will be terminated. Even a hell as awful as the one he has created for himself seems preferable to death. Consequently, he cannot dismiss his obsession with se l f . In fact: structure and style . . .come to mirror a vision of in f in i te recession which appalls, fascinates and amuses, resting as i t does on an ultimate assertion of unmitigated selfhood. The book's method is i ts theme: the dizzying indulgence in the abyss of selfhood (der selbe [of the s e l f ] ) , the regardless pursuit of omniscience (omnium). A narrator whose thoughts were 'never far from de Selby, ' that i s , one who likewise held that the 'usual processes of l iv ing were i l lusory ' and for whom he committed his f i r s t serious sin and his greatest s i n . . .ends counterfeiting i n f i n i t y , forging the quintessence of 'business-end of everything'--'some people ca l l i t God'" 31 Joe remarks "apparently there is no l imi t . . „anything can be said in this place and i t wi l l be true and wil l have to be believed"(po 74). This fr ightful idea is the result of the Narrator's "dizzying indulgence" of self—now he is being made to suffer the consequence, the perpetual nightmare of anything being possible; this is a total ly disorienting factor and one that is truly insupportable. This nightmare is reflected in the peculiar and "unnatural" (p. 46) dimensions of both the barracks and the policemen themselves. They display weird angles and nightmare proportions. As the Narrator approaches the barracks the road turns towards the l e f t , and the "false and unconvincing"(p. 46) looking barracks appear on the left-hand side. 23. The dimensions waver and al ter mysteriously as he approaches and the Narrator finds the spectacle "appalling" and his "gaze faltered about the thing uncomprehendingly as i f at least one of the customary dimensions was missing, leaving no meaning in the remainder"(p. 46). What is missing from the barracks is rea l i ty ; this structure is a dream-construct and as such is altered and presented as we think we perceive, not as we actual ly, physical ly, perceive. Thus the Narrator is trapped within his own personal, idiosyncratic perception of the world; there is no external real i ty to balance and moderate his view. Also, his own human "dimension" is missing--only an inhuman sp i r i t remains clinging to existence. There is no sense to what is l e f t ; he is in hell or chaos where God-given laws of order and stabi l i ty cannot and do not rule. Naturally, this assault on the senses is "appalling." De Selby promotes chaos by his experiments; the Narrator succumbs to de Selby's influence and follows his chosen mentor into a hel l ish eternity. The physical anomalies of the Narrator's nightmare world are also evident in his view of Sergeant Pluck: "ordinary enough as each part of him looked by i t s e l f , they a l l seemed to create together, by some undetectable discrepancy in association or proportion, a very disquieting impression of unnaturalness, amounting almost to what was horrible and monstrous"(p. 47). This is an acute description of a denizen of a dream or nightmare world, a world in which ordinary things are queerly distorted, and in which their meaning must be deciphered. Such a world does violence to the senses; harmony between the senses and the mind is los t , and disharmony reigns. Naturally the Narrator feels "afraid" (p. 46) of the "momentous and frightening"(p. 47) barracks, becoming 24. "dry-throated and timorous from wonder and anxiety"(p. 47). The real cause of the Narrator's fear , however, is the.resemblance (although he does not realize i t ) of the barracks to Mathers' house. Like Mathers' house i t has "a small window"(p. 171) which he can see as he approaches the barracks. Even more disquieting is his feeling that "the whole morning and the whole world seemed to have no purpose at a l l save to frame the house"(p. 172). The house is the external manifestation of his consciousness: "the whole morning and the whole world" cannot exist without the house because the house has become the l imit of his existence. After a l l , according to de Selby, "a house [ is] 'a large co f f in ' " or '"box'"(po 19). The Narrator is trapped forever within the tangible results of his crime, and his f ru i t less search for the black cash box becomes his sole meaning for existence, 0'Nolan carefully constructs a framework of brutality and murder to just i fy the hell he creates for his "hero"(p. 173), who i s , according to the author, "a heel and a k i l ler" (p . 173): Not everybody knows how I k i l led old Ph i l l ip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with my spade; but f i r s t i t is better to speak of my friendship with John Divney because i t was he who f i r s t knocked old Mathers down by giving him a great blow in the neck with a special bicycle pump which he manufactured himself out of a hollow iron bar. Divney was a strong c iv i l man but he was lazy and idle-minded. He was personally responsible for the whole idea in the f i r s t place (p. 7), The Narrator, with almost unbelievable callousness, opens his story with a description of his murder of Mathers. The contrast between the humorous idea of anyone bothering to manufacture a "special bicycle pump" expressly for murder, and the gruesome, crushed head of Mathers is grotesque, i t highlights the unconcern with which the Narrator views anyone but himself, and i t jus t i f ies his continual existence in 25. h e l l . In addition, the Narrator dismisses Mathers with a brief phrase, he does not even allow Mathers the decency of an entire sentence to describe his demise. The Narrator continues to reveal the extent of his cold-blooded se l f ish nature by his immediate denial of any responsibi l i ty towards Mathers' murder; he places a l l the blame on Divney. He always speaks of the murder as though i t were committed by someone else. Naturally enough the Narrator is betrayed, just as Alex is betrayed by his "droogs." For resorting to violence for gain, the Narrator is made to suffer in eternity. The Narrator carefully charts his moral decline: I do not know exactly how or when i t became clear to me that Divney, far from seeking chari ty, intended to rob Mathers; and I cannot recollect how long i t took me to realize that he meant to k i l l him as well in order to avoid the possib i l i ty of being identif ied as the robber afterwards. I only know that within six months I had come to accept this grim plan as a common place of our conversation. Three further months passed before I could bring myself to agree to the proposal and three months more before I openly admitted to Divney that my misgivings were at an end. I cannot recount the tr icks and wiles he used to win me to his side. It is suff ic ient to say that he read portions of my 'de Selby Index' (or pretended to) and discussed with me afterwards the serious responsibil i ty of any person who declined by mere reason of personal whim to give the "Index to the world 1(p. 14). The Narrator neatly portrays, pn a descending scale, his f a l l from a semblance of morality into immorality; from a supposedly ethical human being to an inhuman, unscrupulous murderer. He painstakingly describes the year-long process of "persuasion." However, what really stands out here is Divney's f ine judgement of the Narrator's character: Divney divines the essential ly self-seeking and violent nature of his compatriot. Divney offers the Narrator a bait he cannot resist—he tempts him with de Selby. Divney, the Devi l 's Advocate, plays on the 26. Narrator's need to assert se l f . He persuades the Narrator that he is se l f ish to keep his col lat ion from the world. He persuades the Narrator that a manuscript is more valuable than a man's l i f e ; th is , of course, is precisely what the Narrator himself really thinks in his ultimate self ishness. . Thus, after a show of pretended reluctance, he becomes an accomplice to murder. The Narrator has entirely abnegated himself from any sense of responsibi l i ty . Because of their greed, he and Divney commit murder, and, as a resul t , the rest of the Narrator's time left on earth is a l iv ing he l l . He cannot leave Divney for a second because Divney knows where the black cash box is hidden and the Narrator cannot trust his accomplice to share their i l l -got ten gains. Meanwhile, the Narrator grows to loathe the sight of his erstwhile fr iend. This hell on earth is merely transposed into eternity when he dies: at f i r s t he is alone with only the weird denizens of hell as companions, but then the Narrator frightens Divney to death, and they are closeted together forever. Old Mathers te l ls the Narrator that his "principal weakness [ is ] Number One"(p. 25), that i s , his devotion to se l f . This weakness i s , of course, also the primary flaw of the majority of the characters in these novels, hence the ease with which Dougal in The Ballad of Peckham  Rye and Leo in The Time of the Angels, for example, can manipulate those around them. This devotion to self is also the contributor to the violence that f lares in these novels—for nothing is allowed to stand in the way of the se l f . The compulsive desire to always look out for "Number One" is also reflected in A Clockwork Orange in Alex's prison ident i f icat ion number: " l i t t l e 6655321"(p. 61). Broken down, this number reads: 6655321=28=10=1: Alex is also "Number One" the primal f igure. In 27. Alex's opinion, he is the only figure in his world, he has no use for others; to Alex other people merely exist to satiate his desires for s e x , bloodletting and violence. For Alex, violence is his only exDtession in l i f e , the only way he feels he e x i s t s ; only when he is committing some horrible act of gratuitous violence does he feel really a l ive . For O'Nolan's Narrator, the black cash box has become his reason to "l ive"--he desires existence at any cost, his principal fear is of irrevocable extinction, and the black cash box gives him a meaning in l i f e . At the thought of his impending death on the scaf fo ld , the Narrator immerses himself in thoughts of l i f e : I began to feel intensely every fragment of my equal humanity. The l i f e that was bubbling at the end of my fingers was real and nearly painful in intensity and so was the beauty of my warm face and the loose humanity of my limbs and the racy health of my red rich blood. To leave i t a l l without good reason and to smash the l i t t l e empire into small fragments was a thing too p i t i fu l even to refuse to think about (p. 89). The Narrator's love of l i f e is immense, and he is intensely aware of its joys now that he is on the verge of being hanged. The Narrator's horror of death is portrayed even more clearly after he encounters Policeman Fox. Fox asks the Narrator i f he is sure he escaped from the scaffold: Was I sure? Suddenly I fe l t horribly i l l as i f the spinning of the firmament had come against my stomach for the f i r s t time, o .1 fe l t my brain struggling on bravely, tottering so to speak, to i ts knees but unwilling to f a l l completely. I knew I would be dead i f I lost consciousness for one second. I knew that I could never awaken again or hope to understand afresh the terr ible way in which I was i f I lost the chain of the bit ter day I had had, I knew that he was not Fox but Mathers. I knew Mathers was dead. I knew that I would have to talk to him and pretend that everything was natural. . .(pp. 1 5 8 - 1 5 9 ) . 28. To the Narrator the thought that he may indeed be dead is so horrifying. that he prefers to cl ing to his existence in h e l l ; he prefers to exist in his nightmare world than give up his consciousness. He is unable to face real i ty and risk losing his self forever. He knows that Fox is Mathers and that therefore he is talking to a dead man and thus i t must logical ly follow that he is dead also, but he clings to his fantasy, and wi l l ingly allows the gruesome and grotesque cycle of events to begin again. Obviously, the Narrator wi l l never be able to exhibit enough courage to extricate himself from his nightmare. His nightmare is an existential one, similar to the plight of the characters in Jean Paul 32 Sartre's Huis Clos in which the exquisite torment of hell is provided by the other characters, just as the Narrator's hell l i e s principal ly in the presence of the ghastly and menacing policemen and their execution of a system of unholy just ice . The Narrator is the epitome of self ishness: he cannot bear the thought of having his " l i t t l e empire" smashed to pieces, yet he coldly and callously performed this very act upon the corpse of Mathers. The Narrator keeps referring to humanity, but in view of his crime, he has forfeited the right to be human. In fact , he has not been truly human since he murdered Mathers with the spade. He has committed an unnatural deed (although he never feels he deserves to be punished), thus he must suffer for eternity in an unnatural hell in which he continually tr ies to pretend that "everything [ is] natural." Like the Narrator in The Third Policeman, Alex does not have a sense of responsibi l i ty towards others; he does not feel responsible for his violent acts. He gleefully refers to an ar t ic le in the newspaper 29. r e f e r r i n g t o "Modern y o u t h " i n which a p r i e s t d e c l a r e s t h a t "IT WAS THE DEVIL THAT WAS ABROAD"(p. 35). T h i s message d e l i g h t s A l e x because i t p l a c e s a l l t he r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the e v i l i n the w o r l d onto t h e d e v i l : "so we young i n n o c e n t m a l c h i c k s c o u l d t a k e no blame"(p. 35). The " d e v i l " i s "abroad" i n A l e x ' s w o r l d , but i t i s a d e v i l which l u r k s w i t h i n man, i t i s man's i n n a t e c a p a c i t y f o r e v i l , an e v i l g e n e r a t e d by the d e s i r e s o f th e s e l f . E v i l i s not c o n f i n e d t o A l e x and h i s "droogs," however, and t h i s i s shown by the c o n t e n t s o f t h e newspaper a r t i c l e s : "the g a z e t t a was the u s u a l about u l t r a - v i o l e n c e and bank r o b b e r i e s " ( p . 34). T h a t t he paper i s c h i e f l y c o ncerned w i t h news o f t h i s v a r i e t y c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s the f a s c i n a t i o n people have w i t h v i o l e n c e and c r u e l t y : i t t i t i l l a t e s human f a n c y , y e t we a r e h y p o c r i t i c a l and p r o f e s s t o d i s l i k e and abhor such v i o l e n t a c t i o n s . Each one o f us has the c a p a c i t y t o be c o m p l e t e l y c o n t r o l l e d by the i d , thus f u l f i l l i n g o u r d e s i r e s a t any c o s t . To p r e v e n t such an o c c u r r e n c e , t he m a j o r i t y o f us l e a r n s e l f - c o n t r o l , r e a s o n and a sense o f o t h e r n e s s . A l e x , o f c o u r s e , i s t o t a l l y l a c k i n g i n s e l f - c o n t r o l , and extreme a c t s o f v i o l e n c e a re the r e s u l t . Dr. Brodsky p r o v i d e s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e o f A l e x ' s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h s e l f . A t the d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f A l e x ' s " c u r e " i n f r o n t o f the M i n i s t e r o f the I n t e r i o r and v a r i o u s p r i s o n o f f i c i a l s , Dr. Brodsky d i s c u s s e s A l e x ' s r e a c t i o n as though he were not even t h e r e . A l e x c r i e s o ut: '"Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come i n t o a l l t h i s ? Am I l i k e j u s t some animal o r dog.' . .am I j u s t to be a clockwork orange'" (p. 100). In t h i s dehumanizing s o c i e t y , i n d i v i d u a l s a re r e l e g a t e d t o the l e v e l o f a n i m a l s ; but t h e a d d i c t i o n t o u n t h i n k i n g v i o l e n c e degrades men t o a p o s i t i o n even l e s s t h a n a n i m a l - l i k e . V i o l e n c e i s t h e c o n d i t i o n o f man's r e g r e s s i o n i n t o inhumanity. A l e x r e a l i s e s t h a t by d i v e s t i n g 30. him of the abi l i ty to commit violent acts they have taken his humanity, his se l f , away from him. To exist in the absurdity and nightmarishness of his world, however, he needs the ab i l i ty to be violent. He is a product of his society, a society which reduces people to "clockwork." If he is not violent, he wil l be unable to survive in this world: "Advanced knowledge has merely confirmed the bel ief that man is depraved . . .the only form of individualism left resides in someone like Alex and 33 finds expression in sick brutal i ty ." However, Alex's "teen-age friends and enemies have been from the f i r s t soulless brutes, as apt hoodlums as policemen. The experts in behavioural transformation are more 34 sophisticated in their enjoyment of vicarious violence. Hypocri t ical ly , these "experts" use Alex as their puppet, and with him to provide the excuse, they plunge into the depths of degradation and violence without implicating themselves. Selfishness is not a prerogative of Alex and the government, however; F. Alexander possesses his share too, F. Alexander t e l l s Alex that he is going to use Alex as a weapon to bring down the government, Alex then asks i f he wil l be able to l ive normally again: He looked at me, brothers, as i f he hadn't thought of that before and, anyway, i t didn't matter compared with Liberty and a l l that c a l , and he had a look of surprise at me saying what I had sa id , as though I was being l ike se l f ish in wanting something for myself (p. 126)„ It is ironic that neither can see the selfishness of himself, only that of the other. Alex demands his rights as an individual and a human being, yet he has never allowed other individuals their r ights. Both he and F. Alexander use people entirely for their own ends. This world operates on the Judaic law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, 31. but Alex does not care for being on the receiving end of this law. This law also operates in the world of the nameless Narrator, and he does not care to be on the receiving end of i t either. When Pluck decides to use the Narrator as a scapegoat in order to avoid the wrath of the inspector, the Narrator is extremely upset. But the "terri fying thing about the Sergeant's responses is that, compared to the sense of l i f e held by the narrator, they are total ly unemotional, and he expects standards of moral behaviour from the narrator while having 35 none himself." In this respect, Pluck can, however, be compared to the Narrator himself, and his "responses" seem total ly jus t i f ied in a hell constructed to cause the sinner grief and suffering. Because Alex's self is a construct of violence, his inabi l i ty to perform violent deeds results in his decision to commit suicide. He goes into the l ibrary to find out how, and he notices that i t smells "l ike the von of very starry old men with their plotts stinking of l ike old age and poverty"(p. 112). Alex's keenest sensory apparatus is his sense of smell and he tends to describe things in terms of smell rather than sight. His disinterest in visual perception reflects his lack of spir i tual insight and i t is signif icant that when he is betrayed by his "droogs" he is chained across the eyes: "one of my cursed grahzny bratties chained me on the glazzies"(p. 53). He is "chained" by his view of l i f e ; he is chained, not only l i t e r a l l y within the state prison, but within his sel f and his compulsion for violence. As he is taken to the police stat ion, his eyes open a l i t t l e and he sees a blurry "steamy" (p. 54) ci ty going by--a nightmarish image which reflects the world he lives in . 32. Murdoch also emphasizes the destructive powers resultant from an over-interest in the se l f . Pattie stumbles over Heidegger's Sein und Zeit and she "kicks"(p 0 8) i t "petulantly"(p. 8), an action which symbolizes her later feelings about Carel and his dark philosophy. Murdoch is opposed to Heidegger's negative expression of the idea of being, his ideas l ike nothingness and death. These negative ideas help to determine the concept which is at the centre of Heidegger's phenomenology, the Dasein, the being-there quality of every existent being. The human Dasein, confronted with i ts own eventual nonbeing in death, must respond to i ts own inner voice which constantly underlines i ts f ini tude. There can be no appeal outward to a transcendental being; the Dasein must turn back to i t s e l f and the inner voice which proclaimed its limited existence. This is another version of the self-involvement which Ir is Murdoch abhors, and in Carel's case i t leads to se l f -de i f ica t ion . 36 In contrast to many of her other works, however, there is real ly no strong opposing force to combat the Dasein of Carel in The Time of the Angels. "The two ethical alternatives offered. . .are satanism and 37 38 weak atheist ic humanism." The "satanic alternative" is represented by Carel; "humanism" by Marcus and Norah Shadox-Brown. Rubin Rabinovitz interprets the significance of Sein und Zeit to the novel. He notes that the long quotation at the opening of Chapter Fifteen of The Time of the Angels is from Heidegger's work, and "on the most elementary l eve l , Ir is Murdoch is opposed to Heidegger because his continuation in the tradition of Neitzschean nihil ism poses a great threat to any ethical system based on an idea of goodness; Heidegger's idea of nothingness introduces a moral vacuum from which Carel never emerges." 3 9 When Pattie reads Carel's philosophic writings (which are lying on his desk) the words sound "senseless and awful" to her "like 33. the distant boom of a catastrophe"(p. 144)„ The ponderous, heavy, gloomy words echo the state of Carel's inner being: his simultaneous horror of and his belief in the essential nothingness of man. The isolation of the sel f in a "vacuum" is symbolized by the dreamlike setting of the novel: a fog-bound rectory located in a "wasteland"(p. 21), isolated from the real world: Ever since their arrival the fog had enclosed them, and [Pattie] s t i l l had very l i t t l e conception of the exterior of the Rectory. It seemed rather to have no exterior, and, l ike the unimaginable circular universes which she read about in the Sunday newspapers, to have absorbed al l other space into its substance (p. 21). The rectory is a self-contained universe, cut o f f , both physically and s p i r i t u a l l y , from the rest of the world. It is shrouded in a pall of evil which is generated by Carel and which corrupts and perverts its occupants. The outside world and its laws have ceased to exist; only Carel's demonic rules operate here. Naturally, in such a restricted and claustrophobic world, especially with Leo and his penchant for manipulating people, violence is never far from the surface. With so many sel f ish people str iv ing for gra t i f ica t ion , violence of one variety or another can only be the result . Pattie hates opening the door of the rectory because when she does fog, and possibly enemies (Pattie sees Mrs. Barlow as an "enemy" [p. 9]), wil l rush i n . Nor do the characters wish to leave; they prefer to linger entrapped in a s o l i p s i s t i c world. Carel remarks to Pattie that i t is "terr ibly dark. . . ins ide. The fog seems to have got into the house"(p. 8). Carel is a Kurtz-like figure whose belief in his essential hollowness has let evil rush in—just as the fog pours into the house at every opportunity. The gloom of the house is symbolic of 34. the dark nature of Carel and Leo (and, i t seems, of Elizabeth). The claustrophobic quality of the rectory affects Muriel deeply, she longs for any action to destroy i t : Should they not, before i t was too late , break out? Muriel was surprised to find how strongly she took to this metaphor. What exactly was there to break out of? What was she afraid of here which made her dream vaguely of an escape, a rescue, a shock which might dissolve barriers and bring to something which seemed dark and cramped the sudden l ight of change (p. 96). Muriel, in spite of her intentions, is never strong enough to "break out" of this prison of fantasy and se l f ish desires; i t takes an act of violence to l iberate her and Elizabeth from the rectory, but their freedom from the stranglehold of the fantasizing self is le f t uncertain. Neither the sel f ish love Muriel feels for Eugene nor the ethics of Norah Shadox-Brown are enough to break the prison. Paradoxically, Muriel and Elizabeth are set free by cruelty and despair, by Leo's callousness in stealing the icon and the violent nature of Carel's death--his retreat into suicide. The decision to make the sel f and i ts desires paramount in l i f e is also examined in The Ballad of Peckham Rye. As in the other novels, violence is shown to stem from this choice. Perhaps the most obvious example (after Dougal with his sel f ish and satanic desires for psychological manipulation) is Dixie. Like the Narrator of The Third Policeman, she is driven by greed; l ike the Narrator, the purpose of her greed is to improve her social posit ion. Here the resemblance ends, however, for while the Narrator desires public recognition for a volume of de Selby 1s Index edited by himself, Dixie wants public recognition for her advancing social status, a status 35. symbolized by such items as a spin-dryer and a fancy new bungalow. To achieve her aim, Dixie makes Humphrey's l i f e a misery. She rarely consents to go out for the evening because she would rather save the money. When Humphrey takes her up on to the Rye and tr ies to make love to her, she is simply not interested; instead she is obsessed by her monetary situation and cannot stop complaining about i t . After a while, Humphrey can stand i t no more, and he turns on her saying: "I know what's the matter with you. . .you're losing a l l your sex. It 's a l l this saving up to get married and looking to the lo l l y a l l the time, i t takes sex out of a g i r l . It stands to reason, i t ' s only psychological"(p. 57). Dixie is a soulless creature whose desires for love and sex are calculatingly subordinated to her longing for a house and a "spin dryer"(p. 56). She is reduced to an automaton. When Dougal learns of Dixie's meanness, he muses: "Avarice. . .must be her fatal flaw. We a l l have a fatal flaw. If she took s ick , how would you f e e l , would she repel you?"(p. 29). Dixie's sickness is "avarice," and she does repel Humphrey. Arthur Crewe te l ls Humphrey: "the more [Dixie's] got the meaner she gets" (p. 123). Dougal uses this "fatal flaw" in his experimentation with human nature, he works on i t and plays with i t until violence erupts: Dixie lets f ly with her handbag at Beauty and an ongoing fight begins between the young people and continues sporadically until Dougal leaves Peckham Rye and Dixie gets j i l t e d by Humphrey at the al tar . Merle Coverdale is also trapped by her greed for physical possessions, an entrapment which ultimately leads to her being viciously murdered. She has been having an af fa i r with her employer, Mr. Druce, for a number of years, but she hates her continued involvement with him and she complains to Dougal that she is trapped by 36. the relationship. She envies Dougal because he is "free"(p. 98). He replies "Aren't you free?. . .stop seeing Druce"(p. 98). However, Merle cannot for two reasons: she fears i f she leaves Meadows, Meade and Grindley she wil l not get as good a position elsewhere; and Druce contributes money towards the upkeep of her f la t and she does not wish to give i t up. Thus the deadly sins of pride and greed have enmeshed Merle in their coi ls and she is unable to break free. Dougal f ina l ly liberates Merle of course, but not in the way she wished. He engineers her "freedom" by carefully and cold-bloodedly goading Druce into feeling suspicious of Merle. Dougal almost imperceptibly feeds Druce's growing paranoia until the man murders Merle by plunging a corkscrew into her neck. The murder of Merle is also an extension of. her sexual relationship with Druce which is one of an escalating sado-masochism. Druce l ikes to pinch her neck--hard--and Merle squeals, but does not protest. Malcolm Bradbury notes that Muriel Spark has a "capacity. . .to turn our familiar world into an exceptional, even a surreal mil ieu. . . ." She creates a "universe of strangeness" wherein ordinary everyday act iv i t ies and actions become "a strange and terr i fy ing human performance." 4 0 Druce's behaviour as a sadist is thus meaningful in l ight of the Surreal ists' preoccupation with the Marquis de Sade and his practices. Sade and the Romantic Movement have been considered the progenitors of Surrealism: thus David Gascoyne writes of the Surreal ists ' interest in Sade and their "desire for violence, both intel lectual and p h y s i c a l . " 4 1 It is Dougal1 s manipulation of people and their inner desires and fantasies which creates the surreal ambiance of Peckham Rye. 37. The atmosphere throughout the novel is one of uneasiness and expectancy, with the possibi l i ty of violence as a result . This odd feeling is also to be found in Surreal ist l i terature and ar t , for Surrealism always tended toward an iconography of disquiet. An art which is expressly anticonformist makes i ts point by sabotaging the existing order of things; and a free and open sexuality was intended to be the model, in this instance, for a free and open society. But the view of sexuality which actually came out of the work was, as often as not, pessimistic and incomplete, crippled and fear fu l . 42 The sexuality of The Ballad of Peckham Rye (and, indeed, of A Clockwork Orange and The Time of the Angels) is "incomplete, crippled and fear fu l . " Druce and Merle are sadist ic and masochistic respectively and their relationship lacks the wholeness of love; Humphrey's and Dixie's sex l i f e has dwindled to nothing since she has become obsessed with saving up for marriage. In A Clockwork Orange, Alex is a sadist who cannot experience love and gentleness and human companionship; for Alex to enjoy sex i t must be accompanied by violence. In The Time of the Angels, Leo's sudden passion for Muriel is certainly not tender: '"I love you Muriel. And you're going to undergo my love. And you're going to love me'. . . . he gripped Muriel's arm, digging his fingers in f ie rce ly ." (p . 179). Leo makes his declaration of love sound like a j a i l sentence—he tries to force his love violently onto Muriel. This passion is not love, i t is se l f ish desire, "incomplete" caring. As a demonic f igure, Leo, l ike Alex, cannot love, i i i The "Inverted" World Each of the four novelists has so far been shown to have created a world dominated by the darker side of the s e l f , a nightmare construct peopled with demonic creatures trapped in a miasma of fantasy 38. and desire. Each world is a dreamlike, inverse of the external world, a place of reversals and opposites. In worlds such as these, the majority of individuals, enslaved by their desires, lose most of their humanity and become mechanical creatures, cl icking inhumanly along in pursuit of se l f -g ra t i f i ca t ion . The clashing of opposites in these inverse worlds (good versus e v i l , love versus power, truth versus fantasy, order versus disorder) continually results in violence of one form or another. In A Clockwork Orange, for example, violence and the lust for power are born out of love, Alex's genuine love for music; yet conversely, the opposite is also found: "Burgess seems to be saying that, in a brutal , resigned, mechanical world--a world turned clockwork— love must come from hate, good from e v i l , peace from violence, 43 redemption from s in . " In these worlds, then, the attributes of virtue arise from s i n , and vice versa. In Alex's world good only exacerbates e v i l ; out of chaos and disorder in The Third Policeman emerges a perverse kind of order; in The Time of the Angels, Carel and Leo, under the guise of love, lust for power—the result is destruction. Dougal Douglas in The Ballad of Peckham Rye, works on the r i g i d , over-controlled order of Peckham, and again violence is the result . The protagonists of these novels, to a greater or lesser degree, exude an unexpected air of innocence, the incongruity of which in regard to their actions, seems grotesque. Again, this is a facet of the weird, inverted worlds created by these authors: only in such a milieu could hate, violence and destruction arise from apparent innocence. One of Spark's themes in her novels is an "obsession with the breaking or collapse of innocence, and a related interest in figures of camp or high s t y l e " ; 4 4 and in A Clockwork Orange, Alex "simply 39. experiences l i f e d i rect ly , sensuously, and, while he is f ree, joyously. Indeed, his gui l t less joy in violence of every kind, from the simple destruction or theft of objects to pract ical ly every form of sexual and nonsexual assualt, is such that the incongruous term innocent is l iable 45 to come to a reader's mind." But Alex's air of innocence is i l lusory , created purposely (primarily through the medium of f i r s t person narrative) by Burgess to enable us to follow Alex down the gory path of his multiple crimes. For Alex craves the sensation of hate that he experiences through violence, sex, and perversely, through music. When he l istens to Bach he thinks, "slooshying away in the brown gorgeousness of the starry German master, . ,1 would l ike to have tolchocked [the F. Alexanders] harder and ripped them to ribbons on their own floor" (p. 30). Alex is a man of contrasts. He cannot stand ugly sights or smells, yet he pract ical ly worships blood. He does not l ike Dim because Dim has "too much von of sweat on him, which was one thing [he] had against old Dim"(p. 24). Alex also disl ikes Dim because Dim tends to get himself into a mess when they are out "tolchocking." When Alex sees a drunk in the street he is impelled to attack him for "one veshch I could never stand was that. I could never stand to see a moodge al l f i l thy and rol l ing and burping and drunk, whatever his age may be, but more especially when he was real starry l ike this one was"(p. 14). Alex is physically nauseated by old age, d ir t and decay, in particular their odour. Thus the hell of pr ison- l i fe is as carefully crafted to torture his senses as is the nightmare world of the Narrator in The Third Policeman. Prison is a nightmare for Alex because of the cramped conditions shared with men who exude an unpleasant smell , a 40o smell which exemplifies the hopelessness of their existence—their imprisonment in the far s t r ic ter prison of social existence--and ultimately in the sel f . This prison-smell horr i f ies Alex because i t denotes the fa i l ed , trapped, l i f e less human being without power, and this is precisely the kind of existence he most fears for himself: I could viddy a l l the plennies si t t ing down slooshying the Slovo of the Lord in their horrible cal-coloured prison p la t t ies , and a sort of f i l thy von rose from them, not l ike a real unwashed, not grazzy, but l ike a special real stinking von which you only got with the criminal types, my brothers, a l ike dusty, greasy hopeless sort of von (p. 63). The prison chaplain provides a sermon on hell which corresponds to Alex's feeling of being in the underworld: the sinners' "mouths crammed with burning ordure, their skin peeling and rott ing. . ."(p. 63). While uncleanliness plunges Alex into a form of se l f ish h e l l , blood raises him into an equally sel f ish heaven (which is made complete by music). Blood is Alex's "old friend"(p. 12), which pours in "red curtains"(p. 17) throughout the novel, Alex notes that a l l blood or "red red krovvy"(p„ 89) is "put out by the same big firm"(p. 21). To let the blood of humanity is to go against "the good" or the "big f irm"; thus in bloodletting he achieves the ultimate in power, and in so doing proves his existence. Out of contact with something as fundamental to humanity as blood comes the spark which leads Alex to the desire for violence, and thence to e v i l . Alex does not care to dissociate himself from his wi l l in any way, even through the medium of drugs. He thinks i t is a "cowardly sort of vesch"(p„ 7) to want to lose touch with rea l i ty , or at least the real i ty one controls to some degree: "you lost your name and your body and your se l f and you just did'nt care"(p. 7). Alex does not want to 4 1 . l o s e h i s s e l f , he wou ld r a t h e r a s s e r t s e l f — t h r o u g h v i o l e n c e — o n l y t h u s does he t o u c h e x i s t e n c e and f e e l he i s a l i v e . U l t i m a t e l y , A l e x and h i s " d r o o g s " a r e v i v i f i e d by v i o l e n c e , by t h e b l o o d i t p r o d u c e s . F o r as b l o o d i s t h e l i f e - g i v i n g f o r c e o f t h e i r v i c t i m s , and as t h e i r v i c t i m s a r e weakened by i t s s p i l l a g e , so c o n c o m i t a n t l y a r e A l e x and h i s " d r o o g s " s t r e n g t h e n e d and r e v i t a l i z e d by i t . A l e x seems a l m o s t p a r a s i t i c a l i n h i s l u s t f o r and en joymen t o f b l o o d . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , a f t e r t h e en joymen t o f l e t t i n g b l o o d , t h e f e e l i n g o f h a t e s e t s i n . A f t e r r a p i n g M r s , A l e x a n d e r and l e a v i n g h e r b r u i s e d and b l o o d y on t h e f l o o r , A l e x and h i s " d r o o g s " smash up t h e room: " t h e n t h e r e was l i k e q u i e t and we were l i k e f u l l o f h a t e , so smashed what was l e f t t o be s m a s h e d " ( p . 2 2 ) . Out o f t h e i r l o v e f o r v i o l e n c e and o u t o f s e x u a l d e s i r e comes h a t e ; i n f a c t , s e x seems t o be s u b l i m a t e d t o a need f o r power o v e r t h e v i c t i m s . Howeve r , t he e l e m e n t o f d e s i r e i n t h e sex a c t c o n v e r s e l y makes them v i c t i m s t o o , v i c t i m s o f a f o r c e t h e y c a n n o t a v o i d . Thus o u t o f s e x comes an i n t e n s e h a t r e d . A l e x and h i s " d r o o g s " do no t seem human i n t h i s s c e n e , r a t h e r t h e y have metamorphosed i n t o m e c h a n i c a l c r e a t u r e s d r i v e n s o l e l y by h a t r e d . A l e x u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y l e t s h i s mask o f u r b a n i t y s l i p b r i e f l y a t t h i s p o i n t , and he l o s e s , m o m e n t a r i l y , h i s a u r a o f i n n o c e n c e , a p p e a r i n g i n d e e d as though he were made o f c l o c k w o r k . Upon r e a c h i n g t h e p o l i c e s t a t i o n and b e i n g booked f o r h i s a s s a u l t on t h e c a t - l a d y , A l e x g i v e s t h e p o l i c e a f u l l l i s t o f h i s c r i m e s : "I g a v e them t h e u l t r a - v i o l e n c e , t h e c r a s t i n g , t h e d r a t s i n g , t h e o l d i n - o u t - i n - o u t , t h e l o t , r i g h t up t o t h i s n i g h t ' s v e s h c h w i t h t h e b u g a t t y s t a r r y p t i t s a w i t h mewing k o t s and k o s h k a s . . .when I ' d go t t h r o u g h t h e l o t t h e s h o r t h a n d m i l l i c e n t l o o k e d a b i t f a i n t , p o o r o l d v e c k " ( p . 5 0 ) . 42, His mechanical recitation of his crimes of "ultra-violence" sounds almost l ike a shopping l i s t ; this technique, combined with the language employed, serves to divorce the reader from the actual horr i f ic nature of Alex's crimes and to conjure up sympathy for him--an unnatural sympathy for a vicious hoodlum, a sympathy which is enhanced by the use of Alex's point of view, Alex's attitude and his crimes are incongruous; this occasions 46 a feeling of surreality in the novel, a sensation of real i ty being f i l te red through dream-inspired impressions, sensations and associations. In this way we may participate vicariously in this maelstrom of violence without feeling gui l ty. In an inverse world in which evil may come out of good, Alex has become a mechanical creature who can only escape his fate through music. However, music, which in Murdochian terms pertains to the good and thus should pave the way to the rea l , leads Alex into the bad. Brodsky endorses this view: "the sweetest and most heavenly of the act iv i t ies partake in some measure of violence—the act of love, for instance; music for instance. You must take your chance, boy, the choice has been al l yours"-(pp, 91-92). The sight of beauty, for example, makes Alex want to act "real savage"(p. 124), a reversal of the normal response to beauty. In a perverse way, Alex becomes s l ight ly more human when he l istens to music, but he becomes the personification of a l l man's darkest, most demonic thoughts, Alex plays out man's capacity for evil by embodying our most violent fantasies. While Alex feels his mode of existence as freedom, i t actually restr icts true freedom of the se l f : 43. . . .badness is of the se l f , the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-, se l f cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the se l f . And is this not our modern history, my brothers, the story of brave malenky selves fighting these big machines? I am serious with you brothers, over th is . But what I do I do because I l ike to do (p. 34). Alex envisions himself fighting for individualism and freedom against the "big machines" or the "government," What he does not realise is that he is just as mechanical himself; he likes to "do" violence because his Nadsat culture—the culture of self -grat i f icat ion—has conditioned him to feel this way; he is imprisoned within his desire for the real i ty of violence. He cannot recognize love: he even views God's creation of man as an act of "great pride" rather than self less love. The concept of self lessness, in fact , would be incomprehensible to Alex. While Alex is redeemed somewhat by his love for music, Brodsky is mechanical and violent in a h o r r i f i c , calculat ing, cold and sp i r i t less fashion. Even Alex is preferable to Brodsky, for while Alex desecrates the human body, Brodsky desecrates the human soul . Alex is forced to keep his eyes open to watch films on physical and sexual violence; he is conditioned to feel deathly i l l at the thought of this violence, yet those viewing the films with him are shown to be equally violent and perverse psychologically. Dr. Brodsky is total ly inhuman and robot- l ike, as his "thick otchkies"(p. 81) indicate. Essent ia l ly , he is less human than Alex because he cannot even appreciate music: "music. . .so you're keen on music. I know nothing about i t myself. It 's a useful emotional heightener, that's a l l I know"(p. 90). Brodsky cannot appreciate music because he lacks even the perverse and 44. destructive emotions of Alex and the Nadsat world; this makes him a ch i l l ing representative of the "bourgeois"(p. 36) world of the "not-self ," Alex, then, appears to be no more violent than the world he lives i n , a world which laughs at his humiliating torture and which (as Alex points out) conceived the behaviour modification films which are far more violent than anything Alex ever undertook. Carel (in The Time of the Angels) does not understand the concept of self less love either. His dark passion for Pattie and his incestuous relationship with Elizabeth are his way of manifesting his power; indeed his aura of power, his presence, is extremely magnetic. Patt ie, even in the height of her regard for Eugene, is i r r e s i s t i b l y drawn to Carel. She is denigrated by him, however, and rendered less than human by their dark passion. She is a mouse ("Pattie-Beast" [p. 145]) to his hawk: "his presence subjugated her whole being with a dark swoop, with a pounce of automatic unconscious power"(p. 147). Patt ie, in fact , is fascinated, not by the man himself, but his palpable, almost tangible power; his power has a dark "presence" of i ts own. Power is also what attracts Muriel to her father, and yet i t simultaneously repels her. Mankind is fascinated by power—power of a l l kinds; and power is perhaps one of the most potent forces as i t stems from deep unconscious urges within us„ The Surrealists acknowledged the desire for power in love by their homage of de Sade. In fact , the surreal ist idea of love ranges from the "ideals of courtly love to the noxious 47 basements and torture-chambers of the Marquis de Sade," They 45. recognize the "legitimate pull of both magnetic poles--the zenith of Eros and the nadir of Thanatos. Sade was admitted to the pantheon of ancestors l is ted in the f i r s t Manifesto because he was 'Surreal ist in 48 Sadism.'" Carel clearly seems to be a surreal figure in his role of father and lover. Al l the women in the novel (with the exception, perhaps, of Norah Shadox-Brown) seem to be at once sexually attracted to him and frightened or intimidated by him (Marcus exhibits the same response). This attraction may stem from the unconscious feeling that, in the view of the Surreal ists, "fathers in general stood for authority, for 49 repression, for conjugal rights exercised with a brutish regularity," and Surrealism "was founded on a patient reply of childhood experience. Above a l l , Surrealism was about the overthrow of authority as represented 50 by the father." Both Pattie and Muriel try desperately to "overthrow" Carel's authority; but Pattie has to flee from the si tuat ion, and Muriel is only freed by his suicide. Leo also desires to "overthrow" authority: "I told you I needed a great big l iberating act. That was i t . Down with fathers!" (p. 104). Leo has stolen the icon—Eugene's prize possession. His act is symbolic: in the Freudian sense, he is acting against his father in a push for authority; in a Christian sense, in his role as Lucifer , he is revolting against God. The web of l ies and deceits surrounding the icon is emblematic of the l ies and untruths ut i l ized by Satan to desecrate God's most loved accomplishment—the creation of man. Leo is even described as a hissing Miltonic fa l len angel when he and Muriel cl ing together in the cupboard. They emerge from the cupboard l ike " fa l l ing angels"(p. 155) and Leo utters "a continuous very soft hissing buzzing sound"(p. 156)„ 46. Patt ie's slavish love for Carel leads to their undoing for her devotion adds fuel to the flames of his madness for power. Carel claims to be her god; she is his "dark angel"(p. 149). Murdoch said of The Time of the Angels that "there was a kind of religious or metaphysical conception at the very root of the idea" and this concept is embodied in the t i t l e : "the word 'angels' in the t i t l e is a reference to Carel's idea that, with the death of God, the dark angels 52 have been l iberated." The "dark angels" are the dark unconscious desires of man. Carel te l ls Marcus "one can only love an angel. And that dreadful thing is not love. Those with whom the angels communicate are lost"(p. 166). Carel is certainly " lost ," His passion for Pattie and her acquiescent soul lead him on a quest for power which ultimately destroys him. He cal ls Pattie his "black goddess," his "counter-virgin," his "anti-Maria"(p. 166). For Carel has become a sort of ant i -Chr ist , worshipping and embodying a l l that is opposite or contrary to Christ 's teachings. While Christ taught the inestimable value of sel f less love and the importance of the s p i r i t , Carel preaches violent , se l f ish passion, and the inexpressibly awful nothingness of Heidegger's philosophy—the condition of the non-spir i t . Carel celebrates a peculiar sort of black mass with Pattie: he recites a prayer (of sorts) while making love to her on the f loor in the darkness. The sunlight is blacked out at his request; this symbolizes his voluntary act of violence to his soul when he blocks out the spir i tual l ight of love and God's teachings. Like Christ , Carel is betrayed and Pattie is his Judas, He asks her to "bear pain"(p. 149) for him, but she is unable to. Her fai lure symbolizes the essential 47, uselessness of Care l 's power; and his "dark angel" leads him to his death. For "the man who would be king, who would rise above the common lot or urge others to do the same, violates the inert ia of nature and invites catastrophe. Man's natural role is l imited. . . " 5 3 Al l the protagonists in these novels attempt to rise above man's "natural ro le ," thus i t is inevitable that each book contains a catastrophe as a result of pride and a desire for power. In The Third Policeman the Narrator's degeneration into a mechanical being is ch i l l ing ly described. Paradoxically, his intensely human desires--greed and a desire for fame and position—transform him into an emotionless robot-l ike being. This degeneration begins with his slaughter of Mathers: I went forward mechanically, swung the spade over my shoulder and smashed the blade of i t with a l l my strength against the protruding chin, I fe l t and almost heard the fabric of his skull crumple up crisply like an empty eggshell. I do not know how often I struck him after that but I did not stop unti1 I was t ired (p. 15). This gruesome description of the callous beating to death of an elderly man belies entirely the Narrator's ear l ier protestations of innocence and Divney's responsibilty in tempting him into murder. He shows himself .as ultimately the more evi l character. He is only partly redeemed later on by his affection for the female bicycle; but of course, she too is primarily a mechanical being: "his ride on the stolen bicycle. . . i s . . .presented in terms of an adulterous l i a ison . . .But the l iaison has a very real warmth and considerable humanity." 5 4 The Narrator has forced his humanity to be an exiguous part of himself. Just ly , his insensate'beating of Mathers leads to his doom, for because 48. of his preoccupation with shattering Mathers' s k u l l , Divney has time to s l ip away and hide the black cash box. Divney's action begins the Narrator's hell on earth, and his eventual descent into the hell of eternity where he is ever "occupied with the mechanical task of finding the black box"(p. 20). After the Narrator is blown up, his eyes "remained open for a long time without a wink, glazed and almost sightless" (p. 21) and he notices things about him "in a cold mechanical way"(p. 22). This description reinforces the image the reader has of the Narrator as an empty, doomed creature with the blank stare of a corpse. The Narrator eternal tormentor, Mathers, is also described as being "mechanical." Mathers' face is "terri fying=, . .but the eyes were horrible. Looking at them I got the feeling that they were not genuine eyes at a l l but mechanical dummies animated by e lect r ic i ty or the l i k e , with a tiny pinhole in the centre of the 'pupi l ' through which the real eye gazed out secretively and with great coldness."(p. 27) This description of Mathers seems reminiscent of descriptions of the Devi l ; and the emphas on "coldness" and the mechanical quality of the man indicates a horrifying implacable force of evil lurking in mankind, a force which produces coldness, chaos and violence in i ts wake. Even the world of the Narrator seems "like a great workshop" where "sublime feats of mechanics and chemistry were evident on every side"(p» 108); feats of humanism are nowhere in evidence. The Narrator's world shows further evidence of the reversal of normal rules. Sergeant Pluck decides that as the Narrator has no name he cannot exist , even though the Narrator can clearly be seen to be standing before him and his existence can be proven tac t i l e l y . 49. "This is the reversal of the empirical method." Furthermore, he can be wounded by MacCruiskeen's spear even though i t is inv is ib le . "The point of the spear is l ike many forces in physics. It must be there because i t has ef fect , so even i f i t can never be seen or measured, i ts presence must be inferred in order to explain these effects. O'Brien is once again mocking the inabi l i ty of the human mind, t ied to the need to v isual ize , to embody or fu l ly understand 56 i ts own rationalizationo" Mild as the Narrator appears throughout the majority of the novel (an aspect of his character which is control led, as in Alex's case, by f i r s t person narrative point of view), we discover that he is actually l ike the characters in the other novels, f i l l e d with dreams of attaining power. He feels he can gain power with the "omnium" Fox te l l s him is contained in the black cash box: I could destroy, alter and improve the universe at w i l l . I could get r id of John Divney. . .by giving him ten mil l ion pounds to go away. I could write the most unbelievable commentaries on de Selby ever written and publish them in bindings unheard of for their luxury and durabi l i ty . . .A leg of f lesh and bone yet stronger than iron would appear magically upon my le f t thigh (p. 163). On the way home he indulges in further pleasurable omnium-inspired fantasies: "extravagence of eating, drinking, inventing, destroying, changing, improving, awarding, punishing and even loving."(p. 168). A l l these ruminations seem a far cry from the rather humble-sounding, almost ch i ld l i ke , Narrator of ear l ier in the novel. Through his fantasies the truth emerges, the real nature of the Narrator becomes clearly v is ib le . Of a l l the sensations he desires to experience, power is the 50. most sought after. However, l ike Carel , Dougal and Alex, he desires godlike power, the power to al ter even a universe at w i l l . He embodies a l l man's obsessions with self—man's capability for greed, cruelty, vanity. He epitomizes the negative aspects of man's nature: he is weak, vain, egot is t ica l , ruthless, se l f ish and power-hungry. His comment "and even loving" clearly places love and affection as a mere afterthought in his mind; and obviously by love he means the satiation of lust or passion rather than the love of the s p i r i t . He also conjures up a long l i s t of tortures (which sound l ike a description of a painting by Hieronymus Bosch) to be administered in revenge on Pluck and MacCruiskeen: It would probably be possible for me to save time and trouble by adapting the underground machinery to give both of them enough trouble, danger, trepidation, work and inconvenience to make them rue the day they f i r s t threatened me. Each of the cabinets could be altered to contain, not bicycles and whiskey and matches, but putrescent o f fa ls , insupportable smells, unbeholdable corruptions containing tangles of gleaming slimy vipers each of them deadly and foul of breath, mill ions of diseases and decayed monsters clawing the inside latches of the oven to open them and escape, rats with horns walking upside down along the cei l ing pipes t ra i l ing their leprous ta i ls on the policemen's heads, readings of incalculable perilousness mounting hourly upon the—(pp, 164-165) This ghastly and gruesomely fe r t i l e l i s t of tortures reveals the innate cruelty of the Narrator's nature. His innocent, rather ch i ld l i ke , veneer cracks and peels away under the heady influence of omnium-begotten omnipotence. We see that the violence with which he k i l l s Mathers is not uncharacteristic of his nature as he in fers , but rather is an integral part of his being. 51. Dougal Douglas also epitomizes the desire for power within man, and to this end Peckham becomes a microcosm of the world. Dougal te l ls Mr. Druce: "the world of Industry. . .throbs with human l i f e . It wil l be my job to take the pulse of the people and plumb the industrial depths of Peckham" (p. 17). He adds"I shall have to do research. . . into their inner l ives . Research into the real Peckham. It wi l l be necessary to discover the spir i tual well-spring . „ ."(p. 17). Dougal's desire for power leads him to "plumb" the depths of the residents of Peckham by unleashing their innermost unprincipled desires. Catastrophe results. He comments that the residents of Peckham are "bored"(p. 13) and this boredom is a result of the depressing, industrial milieu in which they reside. In this respect, their world is similar to Alex's England in which boredom is also r i f e . Boredom and violence are the opposite ends of a continuum, both stemming from the shallowness of the individual and an inabi l i ty to find spir i tual meaning in l i f e . Thus boredom is the mainstay of the hooligan, and to be bored is the 57 "most touted excuse of a l l . " The boredom of the inhabitants of Peckham Rye allows them to be easily corrupted: they are t i t i l l a t e d and excited by the sense of strangeness or uniqueness Dougal emanates. He plays on this facet of his personality in the same way he plays with Trevor Lomas's d is l ike of him, and violence is the inevitable result . Perhaps the cause of Dougal's need for power is his inabi l i ty to love--his "fatal flaw"(p. 24). He cannot stand to see his g i r l f r i end , Jinny, when she is sick: "It's my one secret weakness. . .1 can't help i t . . .sickness 52. k i l l s me. . .try to understand my fatal flaw. Everyone has one" (p. 24). Dougal's inabi l i ty to be with Jinny when she really needs him demonstrates his inabi l i ty to genuinely love her; i t seems to be through his "flaw"—his fa i lure to love—that his lust for power arises and possesses him leading him from evil to e v i l . As in the world of the Narrator in The Third Policeman, the world of Peckham Rye is also a mechanistic one, both externally in i ts domination by factor ies, and internally in i ts s ter i le "spir i tual well-springs." The inhabitants of Peckham Rye are locked in a dance, and the idea of dance is a central metaphor in this novel: Most of the men looked as i f they had not properly woken from sleep, but glided as i f drugged, and with half-closed l i d s , towards their chosen partners. This approach found favour with the g i r l s . The actual invitation to dance was mostly delivered by gesture; a scarcely noticeable f l i c k of the man's head towards the dance f loor . Whereupon the g i r l , with an outstretched movement of surrender, would swim into the hands of the summoning partner (p. 58). Not only these dancers, but a l l the characters in The Ballad of Peckham Rye are locked into this formulistic dance pattern. This pattern is altered, however, when Dougal arrives and choreographs his own version which incorporates and expresses their inner desires. Before the advent of Dougal, they are somnambulistic, trapped in a pattern of r i tua l i zed daily movements. They move like clockwork to the mechanical ballad of Peckham Rye. But after Dougal's a r r i va l , the inhabitants become the unwitting participants in a "motion study" (p. 50) of which Dougal is the "choreographer"(p. 50). Not only the factory g i r l s , but al l Peckham dances to his tune, his "ballad." Dougal creates a nightmare world by unleashing Peckham's unconscious forces, and the inhabitants dance to his disharmonious tune. 53. A clear example of this clockwork routine is the sexual behaviour of Merle and Mr. Druce. They follow a r ig id routine. He v is i t s her once a week--on Saturdays—and they perform routine actions. Nothing varies from week to week; nothing deviates from the pattern. They even remove their clothes "in a steady rhythm"(p. 53). Even their sado-masochistic tendencies follow a pattern—he routinely hurts her by pinching her—and she routinely screams. Their sex l i f e is boring and mechanical (as Humphrey's and Dixie's is growing to be), which is not surprising as their relationship seems to be devoid of love. However, Dougal upsets this balance by adding the new dimension of jealousy and suspicion; Druce gives fu l l rein to his sadism, and Merle dies for i t . Ear l ier in the novel when Dougal probes Druce's deepest secrets, the man breaks down and weeps, dumbfounded at the knowledge Dougal possesses. Merle enters upon this scene and stares aghast, exclaiming:"'this place is becoming chaos "'(p. 57)—which i t i s . In his satanic ro le , Dougal has transformed quiet, staid Peckham into a chaotic hell on earth where passions run wild, ruled over by the Lord of Misrule, and where violence, terrorism and murder stalk the streets. Leo (in Murdoch's novel) is also an advocate of chaos. He postulates to Muriel that their world might not be as ordered, individual and free as she might think: "Just you cast your eye on the universe and then talk to me about morality. Suppose we're a l l being directed from somewhere else by remote control? Suppose we're just frogspawn in somebody's pond"(p." 104). When Muriel t r ies to take him to task for stealing the icon, he merely asks her i f she knows about 54o "quasars"(p, 104). Infuriated, Muriel asks: "How could you have deliberately hurt your father so much?" But Leo again repl ies: "Quasars, Muriel, quasars, quasars, quasars"(p„ 104). Leo is promulgating the view that we l ive in a chaotically haphazard world, a world l ike a "quasar." A quasar is thought to be a type of s tar , or s tar - l ike object, which is a source of radio energy. As these distant objects pulsate with meaningless radio waves, so perhaps we are just as meaningless and do not exist in the way we think we do. Possibly earth and i ts inhabitants are just such a purposeless col lect ion of e lectr ical impulses, performing actions indiscriminately and at random, with no higher order prevailing or control l ing. In such a disordered, random world, morality becomes meaningless for there can be no standards of good and e v i l ; our actions are as meaningless, and consequently as amoral, as the pulsating quasars. This view is echoed, albeit in somewhat different terms, by Carel . He talks to Marcus of the "death of God"(p. 164) and the freeing of the "angels"(p. 164)„ The "angels" are harbingers of chaos, symbolizing the need to please s e l f , to bolster oneself against the absurdity of the human condition. For i f one is to be "good" in the sort of world envisioned by Leo and Carel , then "one must be good for nothing, without sense or reward"(p0 165). Thus any act of goodness • or any act of violence becomes merely an act to bolster the ego, to assure oneself of one's existence. If we l ive in a randomly ordered universe, then "we are the creatures of accident, operated by forces we do not understand" (p. 165); we are mechanical creatures with no real purpose for 55. existence. Norah encapsulates Carel's philosophy of absurdity and nothingness: he stated not only that there was no God and human l i f e was senseless, but also that the precarious reign of morality, i t s e l f of course an i l l u s i o n , is now at an end and that henceforth humankind is to be the victim of irresponsible psychological forces which your brother picturesquely designates as angels (p. 185). These "angels" are the unprincipled desires of the unconscious which deform and distort the world around them, creating a comforting fantasy structure. But "to be a benighted creature, sunk in a real i ty which one is overwhelmingly tempted to deform by fantasy, is to be in a condition very l ike that of original s i n . " ^ Carel , of course, is just such a "benighted creature," and Leo, by committing his "liberating act"(p. 104) of stealing the icon, is following in Carel 's footsteps. Carel 's philosophy, then, is representative of Murdoch's interpretation of Freud's dark view of the human psyche. This view stands in stark contrast with the optimism which enthrones reason as the core of morality. . . i t depicts human beings as fantasy-ridden creatures, who prefer to l ive in the tissue of i l lusions rather than try to look at the world as i t i s , and themselves as they are. Realism and truth are what we must avoid because they are the enemies of fantasy and i l l us ion . The hazy cosmos of the ego is magnetic and fascinating, and within i ts pliable domain the human consciousness dr i f ts unimpeded around the great grand central me. 59 This description also applies rather aptly to the condition of the Narrator in The Third Policeman as he "drifts" around in a nightmare world created by the "great grand central me." Because the sel f has been allowed to run wild and madly create an impossible inverted world, "reason is overthrown and a coherent unreason takes i ts place. The Narrator has to accept with his senses what his reason 56. te l l s him is impossib le ," u u Thus his senses are preternaturally alive and active while his mind refuses to evaluate any log ic : he merely accepts what he is told in this world where anything seems possible: The scene was real and incontrovertible, and at variance with the talk of the sergeant, but I knew the sergeant was talking the truth and i f i t was a question of taking my choice, i t was possible that I would have to forego the real i ty of a l l the simple things my eyes were looking at (p„ 75), The Narrator always chooses the easy route—the fantastic—over the real . He is told to use his imagination, and in a surreal sense, 61 according to Breton, "the imaginary is what tends to become the rea l . " He follows this maxim and blinds his eyes to i l l o g i c and i l lus ion and decides they are rea l ; concurrently he pretends real i ty is fa lse . By his actions, he can truly be likened to one of Murdoch's "benighted" creatures. Paradoxically, by entering the dominion of the s e l f , the Narrator has become less than human—he lives sensuously but not in te l lec tua l ly . As Burgess shows in A Clockwork Orange, a world dedicated to the senses is one of violence and disorder. I ronical ly , however, the chief agents of disorder in the Narrator's world are the peculiar policemen; i t is paradoxical that policemen, those respectable upholders of law and order, should keep order in hell wherein there can be no order. However these policemen actually commit the crimes and solve them themselves, thus they are, in actual i ty, rather the upholders of an odd kind of disorder! In fact , to try and keep a sense of order in his world the Narrator vainly endeavours to look "ordinary" in the naive hope that this wi l l stave off the horror of his world: 57. "I knew I would go mad unless I got up from the f loor and moved and talked and behaved in as ordinary a way as possible"(p. 23). However, when he begins to talk the "words spi l led out of [him] as i f they were produced by machinery"(p. 23), thus reinforcing the idea of the mechanical man who has lost his humanity. Thus the "importance of The Third Policeman l ies in i ts presentation of a vision of hell which implies man's reliance on order, 6 2 pattern, harmony." In this respect i t seems surreal , for the surreal ists examined "madness, dream, the absurd, the incoherent, the hyperbolic and everything that is opposed to the summary appearance of 63 the rea l . " Alex's world is also one of disorder ruled by the so-called upholders of law and order. The government performs the ultimate irony when i t hires its most vicious young criminals (such as Dim and Billyboy) to keep order, thus promoting (but legally this time) a reign of terror which is far more effective and far-reaching by virtue of i ts increased power and legitimacy, than the reign of the Nadsat thugs: Alex's particular routine sado-masochism--nightly orgies of "tolchocking" and the old "in-out in-out," alternating between sabbaticals at the a l l - too -Freudian Korova milkbar and withdrawals (onanistic and otherwise) into his multi-speakered stereo-womb --may be the healthy neurosis standing between Alex and the paranoia of the populace. „ .yet more insidious is the growing feeling one gets from reading A Clockwork Orange of governments encouraging violence in order to whip up and feed the paranoia that wil l ultimately engender allegiance through fear. 64 Fear, in fact , is the optimally effective too l , for ultimately, i t is fear i t s e l f we are afraid of . We are te r r i f i ed by the strength of this emotion which transforms us into mindless animals. To stave off fear 58. of the human condition—in particular the knowledge of the absurdity of man and the possib i l i ty of the void—violence is employed to assert existence and to provide some sort of meaning in l i f e , perverse or no. In such surroundings, Alex has very l i t t l e choice but to become a vicious thug„ Fear becomes an almost physical presence in The Time of the Angels: It was in this closeness that Pattie apprehended at last something l ike a great fear in Carel , a fear which af f l ic ted her with terror and a kind of nausea. It seemed to her now that, for a l l his curious sol i tary gaiety, she had always seen him as a soul in h e l l . Carel was becoming very frightened and he carried fear about with him as a physical environment (p. 32). By rejecting God, by desiring to be a deity, Carel has allowed the blackness of evil to pour into his being. The result is this tremendous fear both of what i t is he has become and of the absurdity of existence; l ike Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, he has seen the "horror." Unlike Kurtz, however, he is unrepentant and unable to change. To survive he chooses power: only by the subjugation of his household does he feel that he exists. The unease that O'Nolan's Narrator experiences in his dream world is exemplified by his obsession with the mythical gold watch. He continually despairs: "If I had not lost my American gold watch i t would be possible for me to te l l the time"(p. 46). To which Joe repl ies , "You  have no American gold watch"(p. 46). Joe te l ls the Narrator the truth— but he refuses to l i s ten . For time no longer exists for the Narrator, but, as indicated by his obsession with the watch, he desperately desires i ts presence to reconstitute order and normality in his world. Time is distorted in this world: in some areas an actual cessation of time has 59. occurred. Parts of the countryside are always bathed in the glow of a late afternoon sun for example; in other parts i t is always morning. He is in de Selby 1s world in which de Selby "denies that time can pass as such in the acceptable sense and attributes to hallucinations the commonly experienced sensation of progression as, for instance, in journeying from one place to another or even ' 1ivi ng'"(p. 44). When the Narrator returns to his house he receives the ghastly shock that the three days he thought he had been absent were, in actual i ty , sixteen years. This horrible knowledge, along with Divney's te r r i f i ed explanations, provides incontrovertible evidence that he is dead, and this knowledge nearly annihilates the Narrator: My mind became quite empty, l ight , and fe l t as i f i t were very white in colour. I stood where I was for a long time without moving or thinking, I thought after a time that the house was strange and I became uncertain about the two figures on the f loor (p. 170). In this instant, the Narrator has v i r tual ly become non-existent; he is of no substance. However, he is unable to let go of self and thus be delivered from he l l . Consequently, upon leaving the house he turns "leftwards"(p. 170) and tramps the road back towards the barracks: "My mind was completely void"(p. 171). He is in a sort of limbo at this point, the only time in the book (or in his existence) that he has not been "concerned about" himself. However, this condition does not last and he reenters the mechanical pattern of his dreamworld, only i t is subtly altered by the advent of Divney, whose "jaws clicked . . . l i ke a machine"(p. 169); a change calculated to render hell even more unpalatable to the Narrator than i t was previously—for he would have paid Divney "ten mil l ion pounds" to be r id for him forever. 60. iv Language The language of these novels, especially in the case of A Clockwork Orange and The Third Policeman, is as much a central force as the characters themselves. In this respect, the novelists ref lect the Surrealist view, for the Surrealists l ike the Romantics before them, . .credited language with the power to change l i f e , believing the quality of what we recognize as real i ty to be a function of our expressive, l inguist ic structures. They posited an intimate relation between the corruption of the European order and obsolescence of i ts forms of expression. 65 The Surrealist view is clearly applicable to the Nadsat culture of A Clockwork Orange in which the language shapes and molds l i f e . The convention of Nadsat prevents ethical complexity, and the replacement of a conventional vocabulary with a carefully edited, limited vocabulary in which words frequently mean the opposite of what one expects, makes i t d i f f i c u l t to differentiate between good and evil ( for example, "horrorshow" conjures up the impression of something horr ible, yet to the Nadsats i t actually denotes something pleasurable): the Nadsats mentally chain themselves through their language and their unprincipled desires. The majority of Nadsat is derived from Russian. For example, "Bog" derives from transliterating the word God from the 66 Russian (or C y r i l l i c script) into the Roman alphabet. Possibly Burgess chose the Slavonic language because of the graphic quality of the words. God is clearly degraded by the Nadsats in view of the connations of "Bog 0" However, Burgess remarks that no "language is either beautiful or ugly," i t is what we make of i t and how i t reflects our purpose in society. The Nadsats have used their argot to imprison themselves within their culture. 61. Burgess "has carefully chosen words that are immensely more evocative to the English or American ear than their English equivalents, and he has modified some of them very p l a u s i b l y . " 6 8 For example, "there is something much more murderous about a 'cutthroat britva' than a cutthroat r a z o r . " 6 9 Nadsat is brutal , harsh and distorted, yet is is an '"objective correlative' with a vengeance" and i t "reflects certain rhythms and textures and syncopations" that are found in music.^° It is hardly coincidental that Alex's favourite piece of music is Beethoven's Ninth, rich in dissonances that only a professional ear can detect, but f i l l e d also with as many untapped, in f in i te (so i t seems) harmonies. . .Alex's language i s , in its way, ugly . o . but place i t alongside the bland and vapid professional or everyday language of the doctors and warders and chaplains and hear how hollow their language rings. . .Contrar i ly , Alex emerges as something of a poet, singing dithyrambs to violence . . . 71 Language distorts Alex's world temporally. The language alters almost year to year; even Alex has a l i t t l e d i f f i cu l ty understanding the speech of two ten year old g i r ls he meets in the record store. One says to him: "Who you getten, bratty? What biggy, what only?"(p. 37) and Alex notes: "These young devotchkas had their own way of govoreeting"(p. 37). When he gets them home he remarks on the" "weird slovos that were the heighth of fashion in that youth group"(p. 38). Thus language effectively distances everyone, disintegrating communication and transforming different age groups into v i r tual ly different nat ional i t ies. Thus The ferocious and coarse, partly archaic, partly mod, neologic "nadsat" of A Clockwork Orange captures perfectly the violence and pain of incidents, breaking 62. down into standard English only when the hero is being brainwashed and stripped of individual i ty. Clear ly, i t is always an amazing feat to have the language of a novel not simply match the action, but be the action. 72 Alex's name is also interesting. One interpretation of i ts significance l ies in the "fusion of the negative prefix a_ with the word lex [which] suggests simultaneously an absence of law and a lack of words . . .[Alex] is articulate but 'wordless' in that he apprehends l i f e d i rect ly , without the mediation of words" even though he "seems 73 to have a great many words at his command." The language of The Third Policeman is also as much a part of the action as the characters themselves. The truth of the Narrator's world is revealed in the odd language employed, especially in the preponderance of negatives. In this sense, the novel f a l l s into a surrea l is t ic category. Anna Balakian postulates that "language. . . i s a vehicle by means of which int r ins ic truths surge from psychic depths of conscience, precluding the possib i l i ty of the existence of abstract thought separate from its symbolization. „ .words are the symbolization of thought, i ts coeff ic ient; they shape thought so total ly that we 74 cannot say which came f i r s t . " Certainly the language in The Third Policeman is very peculiar with i ts prevalence of pol lysyl labic words; i f such a word can be employed in the place of a short one, i t almost invariably i s . The policemen are huge, beefy, in fact , grossly oversized, and their language reflects their appearance. Pluck never uses a simple word l ike puzzle or problem, he always turns to such favourites as "conundrum"(p„ 62) or "puzzledom"(p. 4 9 ) . Throughout the novel the 6 3 . language o f the p o l i c e m e n i s c o n v o l u t e d , vague and a b s t r a c t t o the extreme. J . C. C. Mays notes t h a t the d i a l o g u e does not grow out o f what b u i l d s up t o i t but o s t e n t a t i o u s l y t u r n s i t s back on t h e s e t t i n g , u s i n g i t o n l y t o s i l h o u e t t e the o p p o s i t i o n between sound and sense o r as an echo-box f o r t h e blank c a r t r i d g e t o resound more h o l l o w l y . The same d i s s o c i a t i o n i s r e f l e c t e d i n the t e r s e n e s s w i t h which the words are put t o g e t h e r . B r i a n O'Nolan i s not happy i n long s e n t e n c e s , which p r o g r e s s c a u t i o u s l y w i t h t h e forms o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n and c o n n e c t i o n c l e a r l y e x p r e s s e d , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y s u b s t i t u t i n g c l i p p e d emphatic pronouns l i k e he_ and i t f o r who and which. The s e n t e n c e s are u s u a l l y s h o r t and t h e i r e l e g a n c e c o n c i s e and a n t i t h e t i c a l . 75 The language used by the N a r r a t o r i s a l s o s t r a n g e and c o n v o l u t e d , but h i s s p e c i a l i t y i s a use o f n e g a t i v e s w i t h the p r e f i x "un", and a h a b i t o f d e s c r i b i n g t h e s c e n e r y as i f i t were s e n t i e n t : "The r i g h t - h a n d road was a g r e e n e r c o u n t r y w i t h t h e s m a l l t u r b u l e n t r i v e r accompanying t h e road a t a r e s p e c t f u l d i s t a n c e " ( p . 4 6 ) . When Joe t e l l s him he w i l l l e a v e him i f he i s hanged, the N a r r a t o r pours out a t o r r e n t o f words p r e f i x e d w i t h "un". He speaks o f h i s " u n i n t e g r i t y " (p. 103), h i s "unisolation"(p„ 103), the "low u n s i l e n c e o f the daytime" (p. 104) and b e i n g " u n a l i v e " ( p . 131). Rather than use a p o s i t i v e word such as n o i s y , he c o n t i n u a l l y employs words l i k e " u n s i l e n c e " which are couched i n a n e g a t i v e f a s h i o n ; he a l s o l i k e s d o u b l e n e g a t i v e s , f o r example, "not a t a l l u n f l a t t e r i n g " ( p . 145). T h i s backwards or r e v e r s e method o f s p e a k i n g i s perhaps s y m b o l i c o f a nightmare e x i s t e n c e i n h e l l where chaos, i l l o g i c and n e g a t i o n o f v a l u e s r e i g n . The N a r r a t o r p r e f e r s t o a v o i d r e a l i t y by u s i n g " u n a l i v e " r a t h e r t h a n d e a d — d e a d i s f i n a l , e m p h a t i c a l l y p o s i t i v e , and t h e N a r r a t o r wishes t o a v o i d t h i s t h ought t o any e x t e n t . Anne C l i s s m a n comments: 64. Throughout the book O'Brien has shown an awareness of the problem of translating the untranslatable into semasiological terms. Language is bound to express a particular set of physical laws and the problem of the scient ist is to find new terms, and sometimes even new grammatical forms in which to express new concepts. Here the objects the narrator sees partake of no qualit ies inherent in the world and so can only be described in terms of what they are not. 76 Murdoch and Spark do not employ language in quite the way that Burgess and O'Nolan do. Through f i r s t person narrative point of view and wild experimentation with language, Burgess and O'Nolan are able to present us with unfamiliar and dreamlike worlds in which the strangest events may occur; but because we have to make the effort to learn, or at least feel famil iar with, the language, we tend to become a part of the world and feel an involvement in i t (even though the language paradoxically also distances us from the actual protagonists). The same involvement is not fe l t in either The Time of the Angels or The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Murdoch and Spark use the more conventional tool of repeated key words and images to symbolically create a thematic pattern. One interesting factor in The Time of the Angels, however, is that the f i r s t chapter is in the present tense, in contrast to the more conventional past tense of other chapters. The use of the present tense creates a dramatic i n i t i a l reaction to the novel, a sense of immediacy. We are precipatated into the relationship between Carel and Patt ie; yet Carel is not named, he is merely a "black cassock"(p. 8) , a subtle presence of evil which has yet to be defined. However, he is symbolic of e v i l ' s ever-present qual i ty , a timelessness suggested by the use of the present tense. The evil is further indicated by the all-pervasive fog. The 65. fog, which is present throughout most of the novel , is a physical emanation of ev i l in the house: " c u r l i n g , creeping, moving and yet s t i l l , always receding and yet always present, everywhere and yet nowhere, imposing s i l ence , imposing breathless anxious a t ten t ion , i t seemed to symbolize everything which at th is time [Muriel] feared" ; yet i t also "exc i ted"(p . 58) her. Ev i l is just such a formless, in tangib le force—one which both f r ightens yet exci tes people, and Murdoch's use of th is image pattern combined with an imagery of darkness, def t ly presents us with a v i v i d picture of a h e l l i s h , nightmare world where ev i l holds sway and violence simmers jus t below the sur face, ever ready to erupt. That the ev i l i s t imeless i s fur ther intimated by Murdoch's extensive use of present par t icp les which suggest a continuous flowing movement. Spark is more l ight-hearted in her use of language: she uses language to indicate soc ia l s t ruc ture , education and age grouping, and the f r i c t i o n which is present between them. One key word which or ig inates with Dougal and which is soon being used by nearly everyone except Dix ie (who d i s l i kes i t ) is "psychologica l " (p. 119). Dougal is tampering with everyone's psychology; he functions as a cata lys t and as such prec ip i ta tes the dark forces contained within the characters so that they bubble to the surface. Sometimes Dougal echoes Alex such as when he pretends Trevor Lomas attacked him "with a r a z o r -r i p , r i p , r i p " (p . 130)0 At other times the language is close to that of The Third Policeman — this i s evidenced by the co ld , matter-of- fact way Druce's murder of Merle Coverdale is descr ibed: "he came towards her with the corkscrew and stabbed i t in to her long neck nine times and k i l l e d 66. her. Then he took his hat and went home to his wife"(p. 136). The rather mechanical way the murder is described is indicative of Spark's method of presenting violence in the novel. There are numerous fights and victimizations, but a l l are described in precise, u t i l i ta r ian terms which again serve to distance the reader. The language tends to be simple and cl ipped, the sentences short and terse; the language does not flow smoothly and neither do the l ives of the characters in the novel. Conclusion It seems signif icant that the writers of contemporary Bri t ish f ic t ion discussed here a l l employ the device of a demonic figure (or figures) as central in their works, and that these figures tend to be evi l and mechanical in their perpetration of acts of violence. The cold, c l i n i c a l , routine way violence is depicted in these novels di f fers from the way in which violence was depicted in previous l i terary eras. The change from the seemingly more spontaneous violence in ear l ier works (which was carried out by red-blooded characters with identif iable human emotions) to the colder variety depicted in contemporary works, seems indicative of our modern climate in general. We l ive in a world in which psychopathy seems to be on the increase and humanism on the wane. Burgess does not, however, l imit state violence to the "modern age." He points out, through the films shown in Alex's conditioning process, that there has always been plenty of violence from bibl ical days to the Second World War. However, these histor ical contexts show man's addiction to an ever-increasing, more horr i f ic use of violence, and i t is the effectiveness and soullessness of modern violence which seems to disturb him most. 67. As man makes way for machines, he in turn becomes more machine-like, and violence seems to be one of the most potent ways of reacting and trying to prove one's human existence. F. Alexander, in his A Clockwork Orange, notes that "all lewdies. . .were being turned into machines and that they were real ly--you and me and him--more l ike a natural growth l ike a f ru i t" (p 0 124). It is our naturalness which is fast disappearing in contemporary l i f e ; as a consequence we are perhaps losing our humanity. In fact , the i l l s of society seem to derive from indulgence rather than deprivation: Alex's Utopia is more than a result of suprapermissiveness and se l f -g ra t i f i ca t ion ; i t is the consequence of "original sin" inborn with every offspring of modern organizational leviathans. Having discovered that existence has always meant freedom, but never having been taught "goodness," Alex responds predictably and inevitably to the k i l l i ng burden of choice. Socia l ly , he and his "droogs" parody the formless, shadowy, omnipotent pol i t ica l entity that sports with them as they with "lewdies." This Kafkaesque in f in i te regression is frightening. . .we are a l l , in some way or another, products of conditioning: tools to be manipulated and clockwork oranges whether we wi l l or no. 77 All the protagonists in these novels have had to bear "the k i l l i n g burden of choice"; i t is as a result of their choices that violence occurs. Carel chooses the Dasein of Heidegger's philosophy (in which the se l f is made aware of the essential nothingness and aloneness of i ts brief existence) and relapses into despair at l i f e ' s absurdity; his "evil spreads until his entire household is corrupted." Leo chooses to "act" but his act is the cruel and heartless theft of the icon. His action results in a violent squabble between Muriel and Pattie and i t indirect ly culminates in Carel 's suicide. Dougal has the choice of overcoming his "fatal flaw" and pursuing love or giving in to the dark, demonic side of his nature. He chooses the latter and brings 68. violence and chaos to Peckham Rye. The Narrator of The Third Policeman has a clear-cut choice: to rob or not to rob Mathers. However, his obsession with de Selby (his self ) drives him not only to robbery but also to murder, and from thence to the horrible consequences of eternal damnation. Alex has the least freedom of choice because he belongs to a society which practices the same vices as he, but which hypocrit ical ly punishes him for being violent. He could, perhaps, have chosen not to follow the path of violence i n i t i a l l y , but his Nadsat culture more-or-less preprograms him into a violent pattern. The degree of choice presented in the novels indicates the views of each author on the human condition. Burgess has a darkly pessimistic view of man's nature which is revealed in the inhumanity of a l l the characters in A Clockwork Orange: from the weakly v ic ious, revengeful old age pensioners in the l ibrary , to the mad piety of F. Alexander, and ultimately to Alex himself. In A Clockwork Orange no-one ever feels any gui l t or remorse over any hurtful action they may have committed. Burgess's views seem to be echoed by O'Nolan for his Narrator in The Third Policeman is an unrepentant and heinous k i l l e r who, i t appears, wi l l be able to relive his murder of Mathers for eternity, yet i t seems unlikely he wi l l ever suffer remorse or gui l t for his crime. In fact , his crime seems to have made l i t t l e impression on him. Neither does Dougal Douglas feel any gui l t or remorse for the havoc he creates in Peckham Rye. Spark sketches a brief l i f e -history of his doings after he leaves Peckham and he leaves behind him 69. a t r a i l of nervous breakdowns, horror and chaos wherever he goes. Spark evidently believes in the force of e v i l , i t s strength and p r o l i f e r a t i o n , and the ease with which human nature succumbs to i t s charms; Dougal embodies her b e l i e f . Murdoch has a d i f f e r i n g viewpoint on the concept of good and e v i l . She portrays the contrast between the e v i l inherent in a beautiful youth and his aging counterpart. But while Leo shows no sense of g u i l t over his theft or his l i e s , Carel seems bowed down by the horror and despair engendered by what he has become. Ev i l i s d e b i l i t a t i n g and destructive to those who practice i t as well as to those who suffer i t s i n d i g n i t i e s . Murdoch shows the inevitable hopelessness of e v i l , i t s ultimately depressing and enervating nature; but she stresses the fact that not a l l of us are evil--we need a crutch, such as the beauty of nature or a r t , to aid us to feel love and to give us the s p i r i t u a l strength to see r e a l i t y . Herein l i e s her major divergence from Burgess's Manichean viewpoint. These four novels provide us with comparable yet contrasting visions of violence in contemporary B r i t i s h l i t e r a t u r e . They provide a background of similar structural elements against which to view the struggle between good and e v i l and i t s by-product, violence. This background incorporates the use of demonic figures, a portrayal of the deadly effects of self-absorption, and a setting composed of mechanical and inverted worlds. To some extent the four novelists a l l employ elements of the surreal and the grotesque to create the most f e r t i l e environment for the imaginative expression of violence. Thus language also becomes a major thematic tool,, 70. According to Fraser, "violence is usually the cutting edge 79 of ideas and ideologies," and this view, when transposed to l i terature , seems to hold true for these four novelists. Each time violence occurs in the novels a clear thematic statement about the dark nature of mankind is being expressed. Violence, both sexual and sad is t ic , is an attention-getting device and perhaps nothing else is so effective in ensuring the reader's thoughtful interest. The novelists point out that in our modern world in which i t is only too easy to succumb to technologically-induced desires and fantasies, violence of the variety practiced by the outwardly charming, but essentially evi l characters in these novels is increasing, because, in ever-growing numbers, we too are embarking upon a vicious cult of se l f . 71. Notes 1 John F r a s e r , V i o l e n c e i n t h e A r t s (London: Cambridge U n i v . P r e s s , 1974), p c 109. 2 F r a s e r , p. 10. 3 Robert S h o r t , Dada and S u r r e a l i s m (London: Octopus Books, 1980), p. 116. 4 F r a s e r , p. 63. 5 F r a s e r , p. 83. 6 John R u s s e l l , The Meanings o f Modern A r t : The Dominion o f  the Dream (New York: The Museum o f Modern A r t , 1975), V I I , 21. 7 Anna B a l a k i a n , Andre'' B r e t o n : Magus o f S u r r e a l i s m (New York: O x f o r d U n i v . P r e s s , 1971), p, 83. 8 / Andre B r e t o n , M a n i f e s t o e s o f S u r r e a l i s m , t r a n s . R. S e a v e r and H. R. L a s s e (Ann A r b o r : Univ, o f M i c h i g a n P r e s , 1969), p. 15. 9 B a l a k i a n , p„ 248. 1 0 Anne C l i s s m a n , F l a n n O ' B r i e n : A C r i t i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n t o Hi s W r i t i n g s : The S t o r y T e l l e r ' s Book Web ( D u b l i n : G i l l & M a c M i l l a n , 1975), p. 352. 1 1 C l i s s m a n , p. 352. 1 2 P h i l i p Thomson, The G r o t e s q u e , The C r i t i c a l Idiom S e r i e s , No. 24, ed. John D. Jump (London: Methuen & Co,., 1972), p. 11. 1 3 Thomson, p. 18. 72o | t f Peter L. Hays, The Limping Hero: Grotesque in Literature (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1971), pp. 106-107. 15 Rubin Rabinovitz, "Iris Murdoch," In Six Contemporary  Br i t ish Novelists, ed. George Stade (New York: Columbia Univ. Press , 1976), p. 314. 1 6 Hays, p. 116. 1 7 Hays, p. 109. 1 8 Hays, p. 110. 1 g Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1979), p. 18. Al l further references to the text are taken from this edit ion. Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman (London: Pan Books, 1978)p. 157. Al l further references to the text are taken from this edit ion. 2 1 Ir is Murdoch, The Time of the Angels (St. Albans: Triad/Panther Books, 1978), p. 117. Al l further references to the text are taken from this edit ion. 2 2 Anthony Burgess. A Clockwork Orange (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972), p. 26. A l l further references to the text are taken from this edit ion. 23 Thomson, p. 3. 2 4 Ir is Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good (Rout!edge & Kegan Paul, 1970), p. 52. 73. 25 Murdoch, p 0 51. 26 Geoffrey Aggler, Anthony Burgess: The Art is t as Novelist (Alabama: Univ. of Alabama Press, 1979), p. 28. 2 7 Aggler, p. 28. 2 8 Short, pp. 160-161. 29 Murdoch, pp. 64-65. 30 David Hoi brook, "The Connection Between Sex and Violence, 1  Contemporary Review, 221 (Sept. 1972), p. 142. 3 1 J . C. C. Mays, "Brian O'Nolan: L i te ra l is t of the Imagination," In Myles: Portraits of Brian O'Nolan, ed. Timothy O'Keefe (London: Martin, Brian and O'Keefe, 1973), pp. 91-92. Op Anne Clissman comes to the same conclusion: "The circular nature of the hell in which the hero endures is similar to that envisioned by Sartre in his play Huis Clos. . . 'many of the plays in the Theatre of the Absurd have a c i rcular structure, ending exactly as they began"'(p. 354). 3 3 Shirley Chew, "Mr. Livedog's Day: The Novels of Anthony Burgess," Encounter, 38 (June 1972), p. 59. 3 4 Chew, p. 59. 3 5 Clissman, p. 170. 3 6 Rabinovitz, p. 315. 37 Rabinovitz, p. 313. 3 8 Rabinovitz, p. 313. 74. 39 Rabinovitz, p. 315. 40 Malcolm Bradbury, "Muriel Spark's Fingernails," Cr i t ica l Quarterly, 14 (Autumn, 1972), p. 250. 41 David Gascoyne, A Short Survey of Surrealism (London: Frank Cass & Co. , 1970), p. 3. 42 c Russel l , p. 29. 43 Robert K. Morris, The Consolations of Ambiguity: An Essay on the Novels of Anthony Burgess (Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press, 1971), p. 74. 44 Bradbury, p. 243. 4 5 Aggler, p. 173. 46 Gascoyne, p. 61. Breton defines the term 'Surrealism' "pure psychic automatism," based on the "superior" real i ty of association, the power of the dream and disinterested thought, this way, surrealism frees the imagination and allows us to perceive a clearer or truer real i ty . 4 7 Short, p. 160. 4 8 Short, p. 160. 49 ^ Russell , p. 21. 5 0 Russel l , p. 21. 5 1 E. K. Rose, "Iris Murdoch, Informally," The London  Magazine (June 1968), p. 66. 5 2 Rabinovitz, p. 314 5 3 Hays, p. 140. 75. 5 4 Hays, p. 93. 55 Clissman, p. 163. 56 Clissman, p. 165. 57 Fraser, p0 168. 5 8 Graham Martin, "Iris Murdoch and the Symbolist Novel," Br i t ish Journal of Aesthetics, 5 (1965), p. 298. 5 9 Scott Dawson, "On Art , Morals and Religion: Some Reflections on the Work of Iris Murdoch," Religious Studies, 14 (1978), p. 517. 6 0 Clissman, p. 157. 6 1 Short, p. 73. 6 2 Clissman, p* 180. CO Gascoyne, p. 60. 6 4 Morris, p. 71. 6 5 Short, p. 70. 6 6 Anthony Burgess, Language Made Plain (New York: Crowall, 1965), p. 163. 6 7 Burgess, p„ 8. 6 8 Aggler, p. 170. 6 9 Aggler, p. 170. 7 0 Morris, p. 69. 7 1 Morris, pp. 69-70. 7 2 Morris, p. 57. 7 3 Aggler, p. 173, 76 o Balakian, p. 92. Mays, p. 109. Clissman, pp. 174-175. Morris, p. 70. Rabinovitz, p„ 315. Fraser, p. 162. 77o Bibliography Aggler, Geoffrey. Anthony Burgess: The Art ist as Novelist. Alabama: The Univ. of Alabama Press, 1979. Balakian, Anna. Andre^Breton: Magus of Surrealism. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1971. Bienien, Henry. Violence and Social Change. Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press, 1968. B i l es , Jack I. "Interview with Iris Murdoch," Studies in the  Literary Imagination, 11, No. 2 (1978), 115-125. Bradbury, Malcolm. "Muriel Spark's Fingernails," Cr i t ica l  Quarterly, 14 (Autumn 1972), 241-250. Breton, Andre7. Manifestoes of Surrealism. Trans. R. Seaver and H„ R. Lasse. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1969. Burgess, Anthony. Language Made Pla in. New York: Crowall, 1965. . A Clockwork Orange. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972. Chew, Shir ley. "Mr. Livedog's Day: The Novels of Anthony Burgess," Encounter, 38 (June 1972), 57-64. Clayburgh, Arthur. The Grotesque in Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965. Clissman, Anne. Flann O'Brien: A Cr i t ica l Introduction to His  Writings: The Story Te l le r 's Book Web. Dublin: G i l l & MacMillan, 1975. Dawson, Scott. "On Art , Morals and Religion: Some Reflections on the Work of Ir is Murdoch," Religious Studies, 14 (Dec. 1978), 515-534. Fraser, John. Violence in the Arts. London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1974. Gascoyne, David. A Short Survey of Surrealism. London: Frank Cass & Co . , 1970. Hamilton, Alex. "Muriel Spark," Guardian, 8 Nov. 1974, p. 10. 78. Hays, Peter L. The Limping Hero: Grotesque in Literature. New York: New York Univ. Press, 1971. Hoi brook, David. "The Connection Between Sex and Violence," Contemporary Review, 221 (Sept. 1972), 142-145. Kermode, Frank, "Diana of the Crossroads," New Statesman, 4 June, 1976, pp. 746-747. Martin, Graham. "Iris Murdoch and the Symbolist Novel," Br i t ish Journal of Aesthetics, 5 (1965), 298, Matthews, J . H. Surrealism and the Novel, Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1966, Mays, J . C. C. "Brian O'Nolan: L i t e r a l i s t of the Imagination," In Myles: Portraits of Brian O'Nolan. Ed. Timothy O'Keefe. London: Martin, Brian & O'Keefe, 1973. Morris, Robert K. The Consolations of Ambiguity: An Essay on  the Novels of Anthony Burgess. Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press, 1971. Murdoch, I r is . "The Sublime and the Good," The Chicago Review, 13 (Autumn 1959), 42-55, . "Against Dryness," Encounter, 15 No. 1 (Jan. 1961), 16-20. „ The Sovereignty of Good. London: Bowes & Bowes, 1961. . The Time of the Angels, St. Albans: Triad/Panther Books, 1978, O'Brien, Flann. The Third Policeman, London: Pan Books, 1978. Rabinovitz, Rubin. "Iris Murdoch," In Six Contemporary Br i t ish  Novelists. Ed, George Stade. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1976. Restak, Richard. "The Origins of Violence," Saturday Review, 12 May, 1979, pp. 16-19. Robinson, Robert and Anthony Burgess. "On Being a Lancashire Catholic," Listener, 96 (30 Sept. 1976), 397-399. 79. Rose, E. K. "Iris Murdoch, Informally," The London Magazine (June 1968), 65-66. Russel l , John. The Meanings of Modern Art: The Dominion of the  Dream. Vol. VII. New York: The Museum of Modern Art , 1975. Saunders, Trevor J . "Plato's Clockwork Orange," Durham Univ. Journal (June 1976), 113-117. Short, Robert. Dada and Surrealism. London: Octopus Books, 1980. Spark, Muriel. The Ballad of Peckham Rye„ Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1979. Stubbs, Patr ic ia . "Two Contemporary Views on F ict ion: Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark," English, 23 (Autumn 1974), 102-110. Thomson, Philp. The Grotesque. The Cr i t ica l Idiom Series, No. 24. Ed. John D. Jump. London: Methuen & Co. , 1972, Toynbee, Phil ip and Muriel Spark. "Muriel Spark," Observer, 7 Nov. 1971, pp. 73-74. Weiner, Phil ip P. and John Fisher, eds. Violence and Aggression  in the History of Ideas. New Brunswick: N. J . Rutgers Univ. Press, 1974. 

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