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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Brian Moore's special cachet: a study in characterization Jeffery, Irene Brenda 1972

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BRIAN MOORE'S SPECIAL CACHET : A STUDY IN CHARACTERIZATION by Irene Brenda Jeffery B . A . , Univers i ty of Bri t ish Columbia , 1960 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Engl ish We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA M a y , 1972' In present ing th is thes is in p a r t i a l fu l f i lment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make i t f r ee ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extensive copying o f th is thes is for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is representat ives . It is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of th is thes is f o r f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ^["j V) 191%. ABSTRACT The purpose of this study, is to establish the thesis that Brian Moore's predominant concern with the characterization of his individual protagonists influences both the form and content of his first seven novels . Chapters I and II discuss the effect of Moore's interest in character on the structural elements of plot and point of view. Chapter I describes the typical Moore plot which traces the gradual transformation of the character of the protagonist as the result of a series of disi l lusioning events which climax in a moment of revised self-recognition. Thus, plot is operative in determining character. The most striking aspect of Moore's narrative technique, discussed in Chapter II, is his accomplished mixing of first and third-person narration. As a consequence, Moore is able to present the protagonist with the objectivity of third-person narration at the same lime as he advances the protagonist's subjective view in the f irst-person. In a l l Moore's novels, however, the emphas is on the protagonist's view ensures that his personality dominates the narrative. Chapters III and IV deal with the elaborate patterns of language and image which illuminate Moore's novels . Chapter III links the unique linguistic quality of each novel to ife source in the language, character, and situation of the protagonist, while Chapter IV describes the patterns of imagery which reveal the protagonist's vision of himself and of his world. In the latter chapter, the several methods by which Moore depicts the physical and psychological qualities of his characters are discussed as well as his special visualization of each novel in its entirety. Both chapters argue that Moore's considerable skil ls in manipulating language and image find a focus in the central .character of each novel. Chapter V deals with the underlying ideas in Moore's fiction and, in particular, with the search for identity which is fundamental to a l l seven novels. Like Moore's protagonists, who are themselves ordinary human.beings, Moore's themes are founded in common human experience. And so, the discussion of thematic content which concludes this study illustrates yet another area in which Moore's concern with the portrayal of character influences his fiction. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Introduction i Chapter I, P l o t . ' ' - . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter II, Point of View . . . . . . . . . 2 2 Chapter III, Language 49 Chapter IV, Imagery 90 Chapter V, Thematic Development . . . 139 Conclusion 157 Bibliography 159 Appendix A: The Revolution Script . . . 161 INTRODUCTION Like many novelists before him, Brian Moore is primarily concerned with the depiction of character. The very titles of several Moore novels -Tudith Hearne, The Luck of Ginger Coffey, I am Mary Dunne, and Fergus -point to his overriding interest in people and, especially, in one person who is the novel's subject. A l l Moore's novels illustrate how the character of the protagonist is altered by the events which he initiates. The surprising feature of this preoccupation with a single character is that Moore's pro-tagonists are typically unimportant people. The only characters who verge on the extraordinary, Brendan Tierney and Fergus Fadden, are by no means famous writers. Therefore, the truth or the moral which a Moore novel im-parts is a realistic truth about ordinary human beings. As Christopher Ricks notes, "The singular strength of Brian Moore's novels is manifest in their abolishing brow-distinction."* Brian Moore's novels are short (he has pointed out that he intends 2 his novels to be read in an evening) , brilliant exercises in characterization. He effectively brings to life an ordinary person who totally engages the reader's sympathies. It is because Moore's characters are so essential to his art and so successfully realized that his skills in characterization deserve to be examined. This thesis w i l l discuss how the plot, the narrative point of view, the diction, the imagery, and the themes are a l l instrumental in the realization of Moore's protagonists. Although Brian Moore is a contemporary novelist, his novels are not remarkably modern in technique. Moore's dominating interest in creat-ing characters precludes, for example, such experimentation as the French - i i -anti-novelists have undertaken. In'f'act, it is obviously Moore's success in portraying character which exonerates him from Iris Murdoch's frequently echoed criticism of the modern novel in general: The 19th century novel (I use these terms ^oldly and roughly: of course there were exceptions) was not concerned with "the human condition," it was concerned with real various individuals struggling in society. The 20th century novel is usually either crystalline or journalistic; that i s , it is either a small quasi-allegorical object portraying the human condition and not containing "characters" in the 19th century sense, or else it is a large shapeless quasi-documentary object, the degenerate descendant of the 19th century novel, tel l ing, with pale conventional characters, some straightforward story enlivened with empirical fact, j "The real various individuals" who people Moore's fiction ensure that Iris Murdoch's "crystalline" and "journalistic" labels cannot be applied to his novels which belong, as Christopher Ricks maintains, "without any embarrassment in the tradition that the Victorians magnificently 4 • established." A consideration of Moore's fictional techniques reveals in some instances, particularly in his handling of plot and point of view, a develop-mentaltrend from one novel to the next, while his treatment of diction, imagery, and the underlying themes of each novel often shows interesting parallels between novels. In order to. illustrate both the developments and the similarities it is preferable to discuss Moore's methods of character-ization with examples from a l l the novels rather than to discuss the techniques of each novel in relation to that novel alone. Accordingly, the - i i i -chapters of this thesis w i l l be devoted to Moore's techniques beginning with his formulation of plot. 1 Christopher Ricks, "The Simple Excellence of Brian Moore," New Statesman, 71 (Feb. 18, 1966), p. 227. 2 Hallvard Dahlie, "Interviews Brian Moore, " The Tamarack Review, 50 (Winter, 1968), p .23 . .3 Iris Murdoch, "Against Dryness , " Encounter (January, 1961), p.18 4 Christopher Ricks, "The Simple Excellence of Brian Moore," p.227. CHAPTER I PLOT Brian Moore has an old-fashioned penchant for telling a good story. His novels have the prime requisite for a good story - a plot - which rises to an important and revealing climax near the end of each novel. In Moore's novels, the plot centres on one character, and the climactic moment brings to this character a revelation about himself of such magnitude that the character's life must be different from that moment on. That i s , Moore's plots are based on the notion of personal change which is the result of events affecting the protagonists. In the early novels, these events bring about a gradual stripping away of the central characters's illusions until the climax which is usually the moment of greatest disillusion. In the later novels, the protagonists also forfeit their illusions, but the climax is not always totally disillusioning. In either case, it is clear that the character of the protagonist has altered to some significant extent because of the events he has experienced. Consequently, in Moore's novels, the plot itself is an instrument of characterization, not only because actions reveal character, but principally because the events of the novel shape and change the character of the protagonist. In short, Moore's concern with character influences the very structure of his novels. Brian Moore brought this type of plot to perfection in his first novel, Judith Hearne He has said that this novel describes loss of faith for an 2 ordinary person, and certainly, at the climactic moment, Judith Hearne's illusions about religion are destroyed. This climax is rendered even more pathetic because previous to this moment all Miss Hearne's other hopes - 2 for the future have also been crushed, one by one. The events of Judith Hearne, then, comprise a series of ever-increasing disillusions which lead to a total breakdown for the unfortunate protagonist. The following detailed examination of this plot w i l l reveal the intricate pattern of development which Moore follows in a l l his subsequent novels. At the outset of the novel Judith Hearne is endeavouring to begin a new life in another admittedly shoddy boarding house. . Her new "digs" appear especially promising because of James Madden, an eligible man who does not, as a l l other males before him, reject her at their first meeting. In fact, he even invites her out in the evening and accompanies her to mass on Sunday. Her new boarding house also provides her with anecdotes to entertain her friends, the O 'Ne i l l s , for Judith Hearne things that a single gir lhas to have a store of entertaining stories about other people, like new new landlady, M r s . Rice and M r s . Rice's son, Bernie. However, Judith Hearne's hopeful new circumstances are more apparent than real; it is painfully clear that she is s t i l l very poor and lonely. Nevertheless, her upbringing by her wealthy Aunt D'Arcy has instilled in her a certain condescension. For instance, she agrees with her aunt that "church affairs . . tend to put one in contact with a l l sorts of people whom one would prefer not to know soc ia l ly . " (p.58). As for religion, Judith Hearne feels that, Religion was there: it was not something you thought about and if, occasionally, you had small doubts about something in the way church affairs were carried on, or something that seemed wrong or s i l l y , we l l , that was the Devil at work and God's ways are not our ways. You could pray for guidance. She had always prayed for guidance, for help, for her good intentions. Her prayers would be answered. God is good. (p.52) It is apparent to the reader that Judith Hearne's prayers have never been answered, for Moore makes it clear that she is unattractive, unwanted, and impoverished. Judith Hearne, however, manages to cling to the illusions that she has good looks, good friends, and hopes for a better future. Judith Hearne is encouraged in her illusions right up until the moment in Chapter VII when she mistakenly believes that James Madden w i l l propose to her, and ironically he mistakenly believes that she is a woman of some social status who has money to invest in his restaurant scheme. This moment of greatest happiness for Judith'Hearne is immed-iately followed by the first in an inevitable series of disillusioning events In Chapter VII Judith Hearne learns that James Madden far from being a hotel manager in America was a doorman. This revelation about James Madden which does not, of course, deter her from wanting to marry him, coupled with an unpleasant interview with Mrs . Rice and her son, Bernie, so upsets Judith Hearne that she rushes to alcohol for comfort thereby confirming earlier hints in the novel that she is an alcoholic. Alcohol, Moore explains, is particularly comforting to those who deceive themselve A drink would put things right. Drink was not to help forget but to help remember, to clarify and arrange untidy and unpleasant facts into a perfect pattern of reasonableness and beauty. Alcoholic, she did not drink to put aside the dangers and disappointments of the moment. She drank to be able to see these trials more philosophically, to examine them more fully, fortified by the stimulant of unreason, (pp. 106-7) Naturally, alcohol does not really put things right for Judith Hearne. Humilated because the Rices and James Madden know of her carouse, and disillusioned because she has not been able to resist temptation, Judith Hearne goes to church to seek expiation and solace. But since she feels rejected by everyone, she even begins to feel rejected by God who does not give her the sign she prays for. She is terrified by her blasphemous doubt that "in the tabernacle there was no God, " (p. 123) but she cannot dislodge i t . As she leaves the church, she feels cheated: She began to walk. Supposing, just supposing, her heart cried, supposing nobody has listened to me a l l these years of prayers. Nobody at a l l up above me, watching over me. Then nothing is sinful. There is no s in . And I have been cheated, the crimson nights in that terrible book from Paris, the s in, permissible then. (p.124) However, when she is almost hit by a car, she interprets her near escape from death as a sign from God, and she momentarily repents ever having doubted. Because of her bout with alcohol, Judith Hearne suffers a third d is i l lus ion. She naturally thinks that James Madden avoids her after her carouse because he is appalled by her drinking. . But in a stormy interview outside the church he tells her that he is no longer interested in her because he has learned that she is poor. They both realize that they have been deceiving themselves about each other. Judith Hearne has to accept the unwelcome truths that not only did James Madden not alter his plans to marry her because of her drinking, but also that he never had any such plans in the first place. 5 Deceived by James Madden, Judith Hearne falls back, on the illusion that she has some true friends who would not deceive her. There is irony in Judith Hearne's remark, "Thank God I have some real friends left, the O ' N e i l l s , " because as Moore has shown in Chapter V, the O'Nei l ls invite her each Sunday out of charity, not friendship. As Judith Hearne tells the O'Neil ls a modified version of her relations with James Madden and the Rices, Moore comments on the process by which she habitually deludes herself: Telling it , reversing the events to fit a more dignified pattern, she was uneasily conscious of the obligations of the l i e . Told once, it must be retold until , in the blurring of time , it became reality, the official version, carefully remembered, (p.145) Judith Hearne has also convinced herself that she w i l l not need alcohol again, but the sherry she drinks with the O 'Ne i l l s , an incident on the bus, and the memory of James Madden's cruel words lead her to a second bout with whiskey. .This time she is encouraged by Bernie Rice who greatly disturbs her by suggesting that James Madden really does wantto marry her and by describing her situation in blunt, truthful terms she does not want to hear: "Religion is it? And what has religion.ever done for you, may I ask? Do you think God gives a damn about the likes of you and me? • I don't know what got you.into this mess. I can guess — you're no beauty and this is a hard country to find a man in — but I know what's keeping you this way. Your s i l ly religious scruples. You're waiting for a miracle. Look at yourself: . a poor piano teacher, lonely, drinking yourself crazy in a furnished room. Do you want to thank God for that? " (p. 159) 6 The scene ends with a tumultuous confrontation between the Rices and James Madden as well as Judith Hearne's eviction from the boarding house. Judith Hearne has finally realized that James Madden definitely does not want to marry her. This disillusioning experience prompts Judith Hearne to look again to religion for solace, this time from her new confessor Father Quigley who, she imagines,will help her: ' God's confessor. . His anointed priest would hear it a l l , he would give comfort. Father Quigley; . . ...Hollow-cheeked, he came before her, his accusing voice calling his parishioners to repent, to forget the world and its fol l ies , to get down on their bended knees and prepare for their last end. He w i l l be glad, a man of God, seeing the sinner sworn in God's ways, the erring sheep shorn of her s ins . And at Mass , that day when I saw him first, I knew he would take poor Father Farelly's place, a real shepherd, and maybe even better than Father Farrelly, more stern, (p. 167) However, once again Judith Hearne is disil lusioned. Father Quigley can only reprimand her for coming to the wrong confession, mouth cliches about alcohol, and look noticeably bored by her confession. Since "even God's anointed priest did not understand, " (p. 143) she again concludes that God does not exist, that the tabernacle contains only bread. But this time she is not frightened by her blasphemy: She stood up, staring at the tabernacle. She stepped out of her bench. She did not-genuflect. She turned away from the altar and walked slowly out of the church. Her hand, from the habit of a lifetime found the Holy Water font, dipped two fingers in i t . But she did not make the Sign of the Cross. Show me a sign, she said. (p.175) - 7 -At the climax of the novel, when the sign has not come,,and Father Quigley has again failed to help her as she feels a priest should, Judith Hearne finally tries to prove for herself whether or not God exists by trying to open the door of the tabernacle. Although she cannot open the door, she is so totally deranged by alcohol and depression that she does imagine that God appears. However, the God she sees is actually Father Quigley— "He came out, terrible, breathing fire, his face hollow-cheeked," — (p.211) who catches her as she collapses in a total breakdown. . Judith Hearne's assault on the tabernacle is her last brave effort in the struggle to keep her illusions alive; afterwards she is totally defeated and quiescent. She finds herself supported by the O'Nei l ls who have placed her in Earnscliffe Home, the hospital run by nuns that she has dreaded. And even at the end of the novel when it seems that Judith Hearne can have no more illusions to lose, she realizes the truth about her friendship with the O'Nei l ls : Friends. Oh, how did I deceive myself a l l these years? A friend is hurt when you are hateful. No one is Christ . Friends are human, they resent. You don't resent, Moi ra . No, you pity me, you urge me to come again. Come and we w i l l be nice. We w i l l feel sorry for you. , No, I have your charity, I lost friendship for i t . You are paid. You are rid of me. (p. 218) Judith Hearne is spared nothing. Moore has shown how.all her life-giving illusions have been destroyed dramatically in but a few days, so that she is left with only her familiar possessions to comfort her and absolutely no hopes for a better future either in this world or the next. In Judith Hearne, then, the plot traces the process of disillusionment which irrevocably alters Judith Hearne. This type of plot, based on the notion of personal change, is germane to a l l Moore's novels as the following plot summaries of Moore's later novels w i l l i l lustrate. Moore's second novel also involves several disillusioning events 3 for the protagonist. In The Feast of Lupercal, Diarmuid Devine , like Judith Hearne, is forced by new circumstances to face unpleasant and unsuspected truths about himself. And if Devine's disil lusion is not as devastating as Judith Hearne's, it is certainly equally poignant. At the beginning of the novel, Devine chances to overhear a remark made about himself by one of his colleagues prompted by the insulting nature of this remark to prove his colleague wrong. Devine imagines that courting Una Clarke, a much younger girl than himself who is also of a different faith, w i l l enable him to break out of the stultifying pattern of life which is turning him into "an old woman. " (p.45) And, indeed, Devine's. amorous intentions lead him to act in a most unusual fashion for him. It is these actions, however, which eventually bring Devine to the climactic moment of self-discovery. When his courtship abortively ends in scandal, a totally unprecedented situation for the circumspect Devine, he makes some discouraging discoveries about his inadequacy to help Una in her predicament. Sadly, Devine realizes that, Every dreamer must one day wake. Until a few days ago, he had thought well of himself. . . .One of his dreams was that he had not yet been tried, but that, if tried, he would not be found wanting in the deeds of this world. Love and loyalty. A week ago, he would have said he was capable of both. They were only words, last week. But now he had failed in both. (pp.217-18) And when, too late, Devine finally defends Una and even defies his superiors, he is depressed to see that his defiant self-assertion is virtually ignored by the authoritarian figures who control his life: It was a relief, in a way. But it was also disappointing. After a l l , for once in his. life he had spoken up; for once he had told the lot of them where they got off. He hadn't minced words, either. But they sent him home in a taxi and paid the fare. It w i l l a l l blow over, the President said. (p. 241) Ultimately, Devine is reconciled to the notion that he is incapable of becoming his own man. After his last meeting with Una he concedes: She was right, he couldn't change. For the rest of his life he'd go on telling people what they wanted to hear. (p.246) In the end, Devine knows that he is doomed to living as he always has. He can no longer delude himself into believing that he can change his way of l i f e . To the extent that he has become more fully conscious of his limitations, Diarmuid Devine is a changed man at the end of the novel. Clearly, the plot of The Feast of Lupercal, based as it is on the d i s i l l u -sionment of the protagonist, is very similar to the plot of Moore's first novel. Ginger Coffey and Gavin Burke, the protagonists of The Luck of 4 5 Ginger Coffey and The Emperor of Ice-Cream, are also changed during the course of the novels in which they appear. Although one is a man and the other, an adolescent, each undergoes a similar transformation: they both grow up. And while the truths they must face in order to mature destroy certain illusions which they at first cherish, both Ginger Coffey and Gavin Burke profit from being disillusioned. ' Because their moments of disi l lusion are later followed by hopeful revelations, Gavin and Ginger, unlike Judith Hearne and Diarmuid Devine, end their stories on a promising note. That i s , Moore's first two novels in which the protagonists move from hopeful expectations to disillusionment are in the tragic mode, while his third and fifth novels in which the protagonists progress from hope to despair and again to hope are in the comic mode. Northrop Frye has outlined the typical movement of these two basic plots: A tragic or comic plot is not a straight line: it is a parabola following the shapes of the mouths on the conventional masks. Comedy has a U-shaped plot, with the action sinking into deep and often potentially tragic complications, and then suddenly turning upward into a happy ending. Tragedy has an inverted U , with the action rising in crises to.a peripety and then plunging downward to catastrophe through a series of recognitions , usually of the inevitable consequences of previous acts. But in both cases what is recognized is seldom anything new; it is something which has been there a l l along, and which, by its reappearance or manifestation, brings the end into line with the beginning. ^ Since Moore uses both types of plot for what is essentially the same subject, — bringing one's expectations into line with reality — it is evident that in Moore's novels reaching a mature understanding of oneself is not always tragic. Ginger Coffey reaches a point of despair when, having failed to get the promotion he was striving for, he believes that he w i l l lose his wife and daughter to another man. To make matters worse, he has also been arrested, while extremely intoxicated, and charged with indecent exposure in a public place. At this moment Ginger finally realizes that luck is an illusion he can no longer count on to improve his lo t . But it is also at this moment of despair that he begins to mature, and for the first time in his life he admits that he is responsible for his acts: But Oh! He knew something how, something he had not known before. A man's life was nobody's fault but his own. Not God's, notVera's, not even Canada's. His own fault. Mea culpa.• (p.223) The "new" Ginger Coffey subsequently tries to spare his family the shame of being involved with him by giving a false name in court. This selfless act so impresses his wife that she reverses her decision to leave him. Ginger also learns from his daughter's behaviourwhile he is in jail that she cares for him more than he had suspected. Fortunately, Ginger is given a suspended sentence. And so, the novel ends happily with Ginger reunited with his family and reconciled to accepting a .less glamorous job than the one he had wanted. The events of the last part of<the novel also lead Ginger to a more mature, if less romantic, understanding of the nature of happiness and love. After he has been allowed to leave the courthouse, he experiences a. moment of tremendous,', elation on the courthouse steps. The mature Ginger Coffey is able to accept the notion that such moments of pure happiness are rare indeed: . . . - Y e s , a momentary happiness might come to him again. But was that a l l he could hope for now — a few mystical , moments spaced out over a lifetime? Yes, it might be a l l . (p.2 26) Similarly, the mature Ginger realizes that the love he feels for his wife is less a matter of desire than of companionship: Ah, you idjit, you. Don't you know that love isn't just going to bed? Love isn't an act, it 's a whole life . . . . Why, I ' l l tell you what love is: it 's you at seventy-five and her at seventy-one, each of you listening for the other's step in the next room, each afraid that a sudden - 12 -silence, a sudden cry, could mean a lifetime's talk is over. (p.243) At the end of the novel Ginger Coffey is an altogether different person from the puerile fellow who had counted on luck to bring him wealth, love, and happiness. The same movement from despair to mature self-knowledge charact-erizes the plot of The Emperor of Ice-Cream. In this novel, Gavin Burke be-comes totally disillusioned about his inability to break out of the repre-ssive atmosphere of his father's world^where Gavin is always a juvenile and a failure, into the adult world where he imagines he w i l l be independent and successful. His spirits reach their nadir when, after a year and four months in the Air Raid Precautions Unit which he had joined in hopes that it would be his entry to the adult world, he dares to come home intoxicated only to find himself going "down with a bump to being a child again, slapped by Daddy, lectured about exams, sent to bed in disgrace. " (p.191). However, it is also at this-point that Gavin realizes that the childhood sin of lack of purpose which s t i l l besets him is also a sin in the adult world. Fortunately, Gavin is allowed an opportunity to act with a purpose, thereby demonstrating that he_is an adult, when the war finally comes to Belfast. Like the mature Ginger Coffey, the mature Gavin Burke begins to see his life in a new way. He discovers that he is able to act independently of his family who are fleeing Belfast for the safety of Dublin. Gavin elects to stay in Belfast to do his job with the A . R . P . , defying his family. To his surprise he realizes: - 13 -I didn't even say good-bye to them, any of them, I've finished with them, let them run off to Dublin, I can live here alone, (p.217) Then he finds that he is even capable of defying a priest when he and Freddy, who are free-thinkers, refuse to kneel when the priest recites the Lord's Prayer. Gavin is again almost surprised at his own behaviour, but he also realizes: You're not afraid now of bombs, or priests, of Our Father of your father or anybody. You've changed Gavin, (p. 224) Gavin's girl friend, Sally Shannon, on the other hand, w i l l never change, and therefore the mature Gavin finds that he is "over her. " Gavin definitely knows that he has changed when he discovers that he is no longer torn between the demands of his two angels, one which counsels orthodox behaviour and one which seductively suggests the opposite. Instead.he hears "a new voice, a cold grown-up voice within him, " which he heeds as he had never heeded "the childish voices of his angels." (p.250) At the end of the novel an adult Gavin comforts his father who weeps like a child when he discovers how terribly wrong he has been in his opinions about the war which has apparently destroyed his world. The war, rather than an action of the protagonist, is the precipitating event in The Emperor  of Ice-Cream, which is the only Moore novel in which circumstances out-side the control of the central character affect the outcome of the novel. 7 For different reasons, An Answer From Limbo is also an exception to the typical Moore novel. Instead of one main character, An Answer from - 14 Limbo really has three main characters, although Moore does confer special status on Brendan Tierney. His sections are the only ones the first person, and it is a question about his character to which an answer (from limbo) is supplied at the end of the novel. In the beginning Brendan wonders whether he is capable of becoming a "true" writer, and he ponders a question posed by an old friend: w i l l he sacrifice himself for his work? At the end of the story, when his first novel is going to be published, Brendan is saddened by the realization: I know at last the answer to Ted Ormsby's question. I have altered beyond al l self-recognition. . I have lost and sacriffed myself. (p.319) The irony of Brendan's realization i s , of course, that while he had prev-iously feared the oblivion of being an unsuccessful writer more than any-thing else, success brings him an even greater oblivion. He is truly consigned to limbo when he loses the only thing he believes in , himself. Moore also confers special status on Brendan's-mother, M r s . Tierney, since she is the most sympathetic character ,in the novel. Her lingering and solitary death, which is certainly the emotional climax of the novel, confirms her intuition of her children's indifference and Brendan's egoism. Whereas Mrs.. Tierney had left her familiar Ireland expecting to enjoy a new life in New York with Brendan's family, she finds instead that she is misunderstood, rejected, and even abandoned by them. After her death, Brendan comments on the cruel irony of his mother's fate: 15 Yet my mother's life was what is called a success. She was pretty; she married a successful man; she lived in a large house; had maids, a car and holidays abroad. She bore her husband four children and nursed him through his final i l lness . She had known in her lifetim*.perhaps a thousand people and some of these people loved her. Yet she died alone in the limbo of a strange apartment and lay dead unti l , by accident, a stranger found her. (p.318) The third important character, Jane Tierney, Brendan's wife, is also bitterly disappointed at the end of the novel. At the outset she is enthusiastic about returning to work to support her husband while he writes a novel and at the same time, "doing something creative for godsakes, after years of parks and prams and diapers." (p.56) But her dream of a happy, creative life turns into a nightmare of adultery. In the end she discovers that not only has her marriage been destroyed but also that her life completely lacks meaning. She reasons: At twenty-eight, wasn't it an admission of failure to have no person/no thing which you loved more than you loved yourself? I do not love myself, she thought, but if I do not love others either, then I am no better than Brendan, (p. 309) The outcome for each of the three major characters of An Answer From Limbo is both disillusioning and ironic. A l l three are disillusioned in themselves. Brendan is disappointed that he cannot be both a writer and a sentient human being; Mrs . . Tierney feels she has failed as a Catholic parent; and Jane realizes that her existence is pointless. The irony of each realization lies in its unexpectedness, especially for Brendan and Jane who had proudly never imagined that they could fail as people. - 16 The irony in the outcome for the protagonists of An Answer from Limbo is also evident in the outcome of the novels already discussed. The ending is never quite what the protagonist expects in the beginning, but it is also never improbable. The conclusion always involves a recognition by the protagonist of some facet of his character which becomes apparent as a result of what he experiences. The main character, then, gains a measure of self-knowledge from the events of the novel and develops accordingly. These novels are based on Moore's assumption that the self is determined by what it.experiences. Moore has said in reference to g himself, "People's lives change them" and obviously this notion lies 9 in back of Moore's fiction. In his two latest novels, I Am Mary Dunne 10 and Fergus, Moore explores the assumption on which the earlier novels are based. These two novels are centered on characters who examine their pasts (that i s , what they have experienced) in order to understand them-selves in the present. While in both novels the action is limited to the events of a single day, it is not the events themselves which bring the central character an understanding of himself, but the recollections and ideas which the day's events generate. In both novels, then, memory is an important element. In I Am Mary Dunne.Moore suggests that memory, in fact, constitutes identity, and then he examines what happens to Mary Dunne whose memor-ies are guilt-ridden and destructive. Mary Dunne experiences a crisis of identity which brings her close to madness, even to suicide, but her recollections of one day's experiences reassure her in at least two ways. First, she concludes that the act of remembering itself must mean that she - 17 ' -has a self which remembers, and secondly, the fact that someone else's memory of her is unchanging means that she has a self which in turn is. remembered. She realizes that her panic upon not being able to remember who she is at the beginning of that'day was unjustified. The novel ends with Mary's affirmation: And see, when I put my mind to it , I did manage to remember most of the thoughts, words and deeds of today, and now I w i l l not panic . . . .1 am not losing my memory. I know who I am, my mother said tonight that I am her daughter. . .1 have not changed, I remember who I am and I say it over and over, I am Mary Dunne, I am Mary Dunne, I am Mary Dunne, (p.217) i Where Moore's earlier novels have a climax which brings a degree of self-knowledge to the protagonist, the climax of I Am Mary Dunne, which serves to convince the protagonist^.of her identity, involves a much deeper level of self-knowledge. Memory is equally important in Fergus, the protagonist of which is a writer, Fergus Fadden. When.he is asked to make a wish for anything at a l l , Fergus asks for total reca l l . "If I had total r eca l l , " he reflects, "then I wouldn't go on making the same mistakes, year after year." (p. 204) While Mary'Dunne's memories Q'^ re of people and events, Fergus is principally concerned with memories of people, for other people and their opinions of him are very important to Fergus. His life, has been dominated by the need to be well-thought-of by relatives, by friends, by a contemporary reading public, and even by posterity. But whereas Mary Dunne's recol l -ections • <ure triggered by real people from her past who visi t or telephone her a l l in one day, Fergus's memories are inspired by ghosts. Fergus is so full of anxiety that he imagines that his past has risen up in judgment of his present. During the single day which the novel covers he invokes a myriad of dead or distant relatives and acquaintances who appear to converse with him in a very real way. The day's conversations with his "ghosts" bring Fergus certain revelations about his character and his l i fe . He realizes the truth of the dictum often cited by his friend, Paddy Donlon, "A man is what he does, not what he says he does . " (p. 89) Further, he sees that if people w i l l judge him by what he has accomplished , then he must be certain of the principles which guide his actions . His ghostly father sums up Fergus's situation: "Don't you see? If you have not found a meaning, then your life is meaningless." (p.227) Fergus' "ghosts," it must be remembered, are his own invention. Instead of voicing his own complairife about himself, he imagines that the criticisms are spoken by other people. But, of course, the ideas are his own, as even he acknowledges, (p. 124) In other words, Fergus is a dramatized stream-of-consciousness novel, and like a l l novels of this type, the subject of the novel is the psyche of the central character.^ The plot of Fergus i s , then, less a matter of events than of an argument by which a question about the protagonist is solved. Although this loose plot, like the plots of other Moore novels, builds up to a revelation about the character of the protagonist, the novel s t i l l suffers from a lack of structure. As one critic has pointed out, the coherence of the theme is too slow to 1 ? emerge. It is not clear until halfway through the hovel that the rather predictable opinions of Fergus's ghosts w i l l bring Fergus an important reve la t ion . And the revela t ion , when it comes, fa l l s short of the r evea l -i n g . Surely the meaninglessness of human existence is not a discovery for the i r re l ig ious , educated, and sensi t ive observer of twentieth century l i fe that Fergus is supposed to be . The plot of each Moore nove l , though not always as sl ight as the plot of Fergus, is generally s imple . However, in a few novels the plot is complicated by a sub-plot w h i c h , without direct ly involving the central character, does show to what degree that character is a v ic t im of c i rcum-stances he cannot cont ro l . Judith Hearne, for example, does not know that she is being used by Bernie Rice in his M a c h i a v e l l i a n (or so he would l i k e to think) schemes to evic t James Madden from his mother's boarding house. And Diarmuid Devine is the hapless pawn in a power struggle between the Reverend Dan ie l Keogh, President of S t . M i c h a n ' s where Devine teaches, and the Dean of D i s c i p l i n e , Father M c S w i n e y , who would l i k e to usurp the President . S i m i l a r l y , Jane Tierney who is manipulated by Vito Italiano comes to feel that her marriage is ended as a consequence w e l l before Brendan Tierney has any notion that a stranger has designs on his w i f e . This view of a character as v ic t im of another's schemes, which Moore ' s sub-plots suggest, is a corollary to his bas ic assumption that character is influenced by events . In a l l Moore ' s novels the development of the main character and of the plot are c lo se ly in ter- re la ted. The central character who ini t ia tes the act ion of the novel is a l so affected by this ac t ion and in every novel is substant ial ly changed by- i t . When the character of the protagonist at 20 -the outset of the novel is compared to his character at the end, the extent of the changes wrought in him by the events of the novel is clear. However, the protagonist is never changed so much as to become unrecognizable or in a manner which is inconsistent with his character. The Judith Hearne who has lost a l l .her illusions but who s t i l l bravely tries to think of her hospital room as a new home is latent in the Judith Hearne who is desperately trying to make the best of her new "digs" at the beginning of the novel. As Northrop Frye suggests, the end of either a comic or tragic plot should come 13 into line with the beginning, and in Brian Moore's novels, basing the plot on the development of the central character makes this symmetry possible. - 21 -Footnotes for Chapter I. ^Brian Moore , Judith Hearne (London, Andre Deu t sch , 1955). Further references to this novel are from this edit ion and are identified by page number after the quotation. 2 Richard B . Sa l e , "An Interview in London wi th Brian Moore , " Studies, in the N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969), p . 7 2 . 3 Brian Moore , The Feast of Lupercal (Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1957). Further references to this novel are from this edit ion and are identified by page number after the quotat ion. 4 , Brian Moore , The Luck of Ginger Coffey (Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1960). Further references to this novel are from this edi t ion and are identified by page number after the quotation. 5 B r i a n Moore , The Emperor of Ice-Cream (New York: Vik ing Press , 1965) . Further references to this novel are from this edi t ion and are iden t i -fied by page number after the quotation. 6 . Northrop Frye , Fables of Identity (New York: Harcourt, Brace & W o r l d , 1963), p . 25 . 7 Brian Moore , An Answer from Limbo (Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1962). Further references to this novel are from this edit ion and are identif ied by page number after the quotation, g Hal lvard D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " 'The Tamarack Review, 50 (Winter, 1968), p . 2 9 . 9 • • ' Brian Moore , I Am Mary Dunne (New York , V i k i n g Press , 1968). Further references to this novel are.frbm this edit ion and are identif ied by page number after the quotation. ^ B r i a n Moore , Fergus (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1970). Further references to this novel are from this edi t ion and are identif ied by page number after the quotation. ' ^See Robert Humphrey, Stream of Consciousness in the Modern Nove l (Berkeley and Los Ange les , Univers i ty of Ca l i fo rn ia Press , 1968), p . 2 . Humphrey defines such novels a s , "Novels which have as their essen t ia l subject matter the consciousness of one or more charac ters ." 12 Bruce D . A l l e n , "Reviews Fergus, " "The Library Journal (August, 1970).p.2718. See supra, p.10 22 CHAPTER II POINT OF VIEW Brian Moore molds his novels around a central character not only by centering the plot of each novel on a main character but a lso by the very t e l l i ng of that character's s tory. Genera l ly , Moore adopts Henry James's method of f i l ter ing his narrative through the consciousness of the main character. The variations Moore makes in this bas ic narrative -technique, however, reveal a trend in his novels toward an ever - increas-ing concentration on the point of view of the protagonist. The first four nove ls , told pr inc ipa l ly from the point of view of the main character, are also narrated by minor characters and by the author. The later novels , by contrast, are more consis tent ly seen through the eyes of the central character a lone . Moore ' s s ix th nove l , I Am Mary Dunne, a f i rs t -person narrative by the protagonist, has , of course, the most concentrated point of view of a l l Moore ' s nove l s . . But even when Moore ' s protagonist is not, l i k e Mary Dunne, the o f f i c i a l narrator of a nove l , Moore s t i l l ' con t r ives to give maximum exposure to his central character by constantly adopting his point of view so that the aura of the protagonist permeates the entire n o v e l . W i t h the single exception of I Am Mary Dunne, Moore ' s novels begin from the point of view of the author. Then — in some novels it is only a matter of sentences - - he shifts to the view of the main character and resumes the author's point of view only when the shift is necessary . Thus, whi le the main character seems merely to be act ing out his role in the nove l , he is actual ly performing the function of the author. As - 23 Wayne C . Booth points out in his study of the various modes of handling point of v i e w , The Rhetoric of F ic t ion : The most important unacknowledged narrators in modern f ic t ion are the third-person "centers of consc iousnes s , " through whom authors have fi l tered their narrat ives. Whether such "reflectors," as James sometimes ca l l ed them, are highly pol ished mirrors reflect ing complex mental experience, ot* the rather turbid, sense-bound "camera eyes" of much f ic t ion s ince James, they f i l l precisely the function of avowed narrators - - though they can add intensit ies of the ir own. 1 In Moore ' s novels , not only is the narrative f i l tered through the consc ious -ness of the main character whose "complex mental experience" is the subject of the nove l , but a l s o , and more s ign i f ican t ly , the main character frequently speaks in his own v o i c e . Every time the protagonist's voice replaces the voice of the author, the novel gains in dramatic in tens i ty . The reader, l ike the audience at a p lay , is overhearing the character without the apparent intervention of the au thor . . Moore ' s combination of authorial exegesis and v i v i d dramatic rendering reveals his desire to achieve the fullest poss ible rea l iza t ion of the character of the protagonist since he is seen, as it were, both from wi th in and from without . Natura l ly , Moore does not use an ident ica l combination of the two voices in every nove l . In fact , a trend toward a greater and greater emphasis on the protagonist 's point of view is discernible in his nove l s . This trend includes el iminat ing the view of minor characters as w e l l as l imi t ing the author's role as narrator. Moore ' s artful blending of voices is as sure in his first novel as in his seventh. , Judith Hearne begins wi th the author's v o i c e , "The first thing 24 M i s s Judith Hearne unpacked in her new lodgings was the silver-framed photograph of her aunt ." (p. 7) Then, in the fourth paragraph, Judith Hearne's d i s t inc t ive voice is heard as she muses on the deline of her new neighbour-hood: (l)Like this house, she thought. (2) This be d - s i t t i h groom must have been the master bedroom. (3) Or even drawing-room. (4)And look at it now. (5)She turned from the window to the photograph on the mantelpiece. (6)A11 changed she told i t , a l l changed since your day. (7)And I'm the one who has to put up wi th i t . . (p. 8) C l e a r l y , sentences 1, 5 and 6 can be ascr ibed to the author. The intervening sentences 2, 3 and 4 are apparently Judith Hearne ' s , and the last sentence, 7, is undoubtedly hers . This deft mixing of first and third-person narration a l lows Judith Hearne to speak in her own voice without any prefacing remark from the author. As a matter of course, her own words provide a dramatic insight into her own character: her l a d y - l i k e language, her nostalgia for a former gent i l i ty , and her consciousness of the injust ices that she has to suffer are a l l marks of the spinster . Throughout the nove l , Judith Hearne's personality and her reactions to any other character are constantly kept before the reader by the interplay of her voice wi th the voice of the author. So s k i l l f u l is Moore in combining first and th i rd - . person narration that one can read the fol lowing paragraph in context without being jarred by the inconsistency of pronouns: "Yes , Good-bye , M o i r a . " She did not k i s s her..I_ ccoa ldn ' t . Not after what_I s a i d . (my i ta l ics) (p.203) The subtle blending of voices which is the essence of Moore ' s technique - 25 -total ly accustoms the reader to hearing Judith Hearne speak in her own voice without introduction. Despi te the prevalence of passages narrated from Judith Hearne's point of view or even in her v o i c e , the control l ing presence of the author is always discernible in the n o v e l . As Wayne Booth has pointed out, "Though the author can to some extent choose his d i sgu i ses , he can 2 never choose to disappear ." In this nove l , what is written from the author's point of view tends to make the reader aware of the irony of Judith Hearne's i l l u s i o n s , and in sortie ins tances , the c lose juxtaposit ion of the author's objective view to Judith's subjective view is humourous as w e l l as i r on i c . When , for example, Judith Hearne is identifying wi th the characters in a f i l m , the author is at the same time s l y l y drawing the reader's attention to the incongruity of her romanticizing: M i s s Hearne, her glasses s l ipped furtively on her nose under the cover of darkness, saw Samson Madden stride into the h a l l s , dazz l ing a l l wi th . . . his s m i l e . . . . .He loves her s t i l l , he w i l l always love her. And she went up unto the Temple of Dagon, her heart f i l l e d wi th love and long ing . . . . He implores her, D e l i l a h Judith, to leave for her own safety.. . . She watches from the shadows, welcoming ,v death. And Samson spoke with Madden 's v o i c e , unfolding the f inal stupendous spec tac le . Beside her M r . Madden ate jujubes and thought of C a l i f o r n i a . Bible stuff was okay but there was too much talk in i t . (p.85) By simply reminding the reader that D e l i l a h Judith wears glasses and that Samson Madden eats (/;ii jubes, the author renders the whole episode comic as w e l l as pathet ic . - 26 -The above passage also illustrates how Moore varies the narration of Judith Hearne to include the points of view of minor characters . General ly their v i e w s , l ike the view of the author, point up Judith Hearne's se l f -decept ions . It i s , for example, M r . Lenehan, a fellow-boarder at M r s . R i c e ' s , who is the first to mention that James Madden is showering attentions on M i s s Hearne because he thinks she is wealthy and not, as she th inks , because he is interested in her personal ly , (p. 80) However / t h e passages narrated by minor characters also serve to advance the act ion; in fact , they are often used to describe Judith Hearne's actions between important scenes . Chapter X V , for example, describes what she does from the time she leaves M r s . R ice ' s boarding-house unt i l she is settled in the Plaza H o t e l . It includes the views bf characters as varied and as marginal as the cashier in Judith Hearne's bank, the proprietor of a shop for wines and spiri ts , the clerk and the bel lboys at the P laza H o t e l , M r . Lenehan'and M i s s F r i e ] / , Bernie and M r s . R i c e , and James Madden's drinking companion, Major Mahaf fy -Hyde . By using minor characters as narrators, Moore is obviously opting for a more dramatic means of t e l l ing his story than a straightforward recounting of events by the author alone would be . However, there is some evidence that Moore is not easy in this multiple type of narration. In the first p lace , he is forced to use the rather unsophist icated and mechanical technique in Chapter VI of ent i t l ing the passages which reflect the views of minor characters wi th the names of the speakers . Secondly , in the novels which fol low Judith Hearne Moore tends to l imi t the point of view to fewer and fewer characters and thus to focus greater and greater attention on the - 27 central character of each n o v e l . The narration of Moore ' s first nove l , then, sets a pattern which is both fol lowed and refined i n t h e later n o v e l s . Although the narration of Moore 's second nove l , The Feast of  Luperca l , is l imi ted to fewer points of v i e w , the technique of mixing first and third-person narration is essen t ia l ly the same as that used in Judith Hearne. Diarmuid Devine ' s story is largely told from his point of view and in his characterist ic language. Where Judith Hearne has three chapters completely al lot ted to the points of view of minor characters, The Feast of Lupercal has only one, Chapter VIII, which , i s told from the points of view of a dancing teacher, a t a i lo r , and student of S t . M i c h a n ' s who is a lso Una C la rke ' s c o u s i n . Here Moore is us ing minor characters to describe what amounts to unusual behaviour on Devine ' s part as w e l l as events of which he can have no knowledge. In addi t ion , parts of other chapters are narrated by minor characters to i l lustrate how others view Devine ' s actions and to make the narration more dramatic . For example, Moore elects to describe Devine ' s rehearsals wi th Una part ia l ly as they are seen by the sexton who looks after the h a l l . He is a crusty o ld fel low who intensely d i s l i kes any interruption of his normal rout ine. The reader learns from his complaints that Una and Devine have been rehearsing very frequently (pp.62-3) , that Devine is moved by these "quare r ehea r sa l s . . . , him and her alone in this p lace , act ing out love stuff," (p.67) and that Devine has shaved off his mustache, (p.68) The sexton, unlike an omniscient author, does not d i scuss the motivations of their behavior, but the reader has no diff icul ty in-imagining, them for himself . - 28 -However, as was the case in Judith Heame, the omniscient author is never far from the scene. It is Moore who first describes the sexton wi th his sour o ld face set in a righteous s c o w l , "shouldering his feather duster l ike a soldier carrying a r i f l e , " (p. 62) to prepare for the tone the sexton w i l l adopt in his narration. S imi l a r l y , s ince the novel is concerned wi th depic t ing 'Devine as a v ic t im of a repressive and cruel environment, the author always describes the setting and Devine in that setting both before and after moving to Devine 's point of v i e w . Chapter II , for instance, begins wi th a descr ipt ion of Devine approaching Tim Heron's house for the party where he meets Una Clarke : A damp night w i n d , b lowing along the C a v e h i l l Road, almost took M r . Devine ' s hat wi th it as he entered the street where Tim Heron l i v e d . It was a streetof s m a l l , red br ick houses, their bay windows thrust out to repel the stranger; (p. 16) At the end of the chapter the author describes Devine ' s lonely departure from the party: Nobody cares , he thought s ad ly . I ' l l never be mi s sed . ' .And. he was not . j No one ca l l ed after him "as he shut the front door. It was dark and co ld in the street. The wind sent his hat brim patting gently against his forehead as he bent forward, hurrying to the C a v e h i l l Road and the bus stop (p.34) In the author's descriptions of Devine ' s s i tuat ion, even the wind is part of the host i le circumstances which seem to render Devine as helpless as his hat. The author's judgment of the characters^ he introduces in both Judith Hearne and The Feast of Lupercal is implied by the figurative language 29 -wi th which he describes them. The long-suffering Judith Hearne sits alone in her bed-s i t t ing room, "wait ing l ike a prisoner for the long night hours . " (p. 34) The ludicrous Bernie Rice who is both spoi led and petulant is " l ike some monstrous baby swel led to man, s i z e . " (p. 9) The self-righteous M i s s F r i e l , when she is protesting M r s . Rice ' s preferential feeding of her son , has "the air of a woman storming the bar r icades . " (p. 36) And the eas i ly -ba i t ed James Madden,rebutted in argument^ "gasped l ike a b ig f i sh landed on a d o c k . " (p.39) Moore 's first descript ion of Tim Heron's appearance c lear ly prepares the reader for Heron's subsequent neurotic and angry treatment of Diarmuid Devine: His bony body was warped by t i c s and tremblings of suppressed rage, his e lec t r ic -b lue eyes f l ickered to and fro in search of a sneak at tack. His hand constantly calmed his brow, smoothing his gray waved ha i r s , each of which lay single on his sku l l as though drawn on in p e n c i l , (p.17) S imi l a r l y , when Devine ' s M r s . Grundyish landlady is outraged by Devine ' s behaviour, she is pictured, "enormous1 in the doorway, staring down at him wi th the serenity of the apex figures in a monument to motherhood. " (p. 178) But although she so l id ly stands for morali ty, Moore also suggests that there is something faintly r id iculous about her unyielding bulk when he shows her, "backing s l i gh t l y , . . . le t t ing her great velvet rump meet the edge of the armchair, l ike an a i r l iner ' s undercarriage, swinging s lowly into pos i t ion . " (p.179) Thus, without overt;comment Moore is influencing the reader's opinions since his figurative language not only supplies the facts about these people but a lso the feel of the facts . , 30 In Moore ' s first two nove l s , then, his narrative technique is an important means of presenting the central figure who is the subject of the n o v e l . As Dorothy Van Ghent explains in her d i scuss ion of Richardson's narrative method in C l a r i s s a , the author must always consider his subject when deciding on a particular point of view: The technica l problem with which we are confronted here is that of the "point of v i ew" (or "focus of narration"), a problem which may be phrased thus: given a certain k ind of subject matter, how can it be brought into focus for the reader? From what "angle", what point of obser-va t ion , can the drama best be seen? From the author's own? or from that of the chief character in the novel? or from that of one of the minor characters? or from the points of view of several characters? or from some presumably automatic and mechanical point of view (like that of a camera)? Moore uses three of these methods in Judith Hearne and The Feast of Lupercal . The bas ic narrator is Moore whose ironic juxtapositions and figurative language influence the reader's attitude to the protagonist and other characters . But for much of each nove l , the narrative voice is that of the protagonist. . who reveals himself in his own words . And occas iona l l y , the speaker is a minor character whose comments provide an ironic commentary on the actions of the protagonist . The manner in which the story is told necessar i ly affects the way the reader perceives the protagonist. The reader is both sympathe-t i c a l l y drawn to the central character who appears to address him direct ly and i ron ica l ly made aware of the protagonist 's i l l u s ions when the author or minor characters take up the narrat ive. . Moore ' s handling of point of view in his third n o v e l , The Luck of  Ginger Coffey, constitutes to some extent a spec ia l c a s e . In an interview 31 wi th Richard B . Sa l e , Moore confesses that the idea which governed his choice of narrative method was actual ly based on a misconception: When I wrote The Luck of Ginger Coffey I had read an interview wi th Alberto Morav ia in which he sa id , "One of the most interesting things for a writer to do is to write a f i rs t-person narrative in the third-person, wr i t ing it from a f i rs t-person point of v i e w . " And that's what I tr ied to do in Ginger . Years later I met Morav ia and told him I 'd read what he s a i d . He told me: "I wasn ' t t a lk ing about anybody doing that today. I was ta lk ing about Ceasar ' s G a l l i c W a r s . " In another interview with Robert Fulford, Moore describes his handling of point of view as a k ind of technica l experiment: This book was a f i rs t-person novel writ ten in the third person. In other words , I tr ied to have everything seen through the eyes, of my central character. That's very l i m i t i n g , but it was interesting to try, t e chn ica l ly , and it a lso gave the book a unity .ry. But, in point of fact , the narrative technique of Ginger Coffey is not markedly different from that of the two earlier n o v e l s . Again the story is f i l tered through the consciousness ,of the central character, Ginger Coffey, and the same mixing of first and third-person narration occurs . Contrary to what Moore says , the novel is not writ ten exc lus ive ly in the third-person, and even when Moore uses the third-person, the d ic t ion which is obviously Ginger 's creates precise ly the effect of f i rs t-person narration. A typ ica l paragraph i l lustrates that the handling of point of view is very s imilar to that of the first two novels: ' Y e s , dear . ' F lu te! . Couldn ' t a man get a bit of breakfast into him before she started that nattering? He knew about t e l l i n g Madam Beaul ieu . A l l r ight . (p.4) Obv ious ly , Moore is mixing first and third-person narration in this passage and is not at a l l wr i t ing so le ly - in the th i rd-person. Although:i t is generally 32 -true, as Moore c l a i m s , that everything is seen through the eyes of the central character, Ginger himself is often described from the author's point of v i e w . A sentence such a s , "And so , at one. in the morning, when Coffey rode home on the bus', a newly printed newspaper on his l ap , he had, by his habitual processes of ra t ioc inat ion , convinced himself that the day was not a defeat but a v ic tory , " (p. 78) c lear ly communicates the author's opinion of Ginger in the author's language. The control l ing v i s i o n of the author, though less obvious than Ginge r ' s , is perceptible throughout the nove l . One feature of the narrative technique does differentiate Ginger Coffey from the earlier novels: on only three occas ions does Moore introduce the views of minor characters and these instances are not prolonged. Apparently Moore cannot res is t the ironic implicat ions of the opinions that two Canadian businessmen have of Ginger 's inappropriate outfitt ing as a Dubl in squire, and he a l lows them their say . (pp.23,136) He a lso includes a brief comment by one of his fellow proof-readers (pp. 210-211) on Ginger 's erratic behaviour after MacGregor refuses him a reporter's job . The consis tency wi th which Moore does narrate the- novel from Ginger 's point of v i ew , however, and the reduction of the views of minor characters do mark a s ignif icant change in Moore ' s narrative technique and do bear out his c la im that Ginger Coffey is. a "first-person n o v e l . " Moore ' s fourth nove l , An Answer From Limbo, i l lus t ra tes , in part, a l o g i c a l progression in his s ty le , s ince sections of it are ac tual ly writ ten i n the f i r s t -person . In this nove l , Moore replaces the usual d i v i s i o n by chapters wi th shorter sections, which contain the views of the three main characters . Brendan Tierney, his mother, Ei leen Tierney, and his w i f e , - 33 -Jane Tierney, each take up the narrative by turns, so that the point of v iew of each character is kept constantly before the reader whi le the story never l a g s . But of these three narrative strands, only Brendan's is written in the f i rs t-person throughout. The sections devoted to Ei leen Tierney and to Jane Tierney are narrated by the author wi th frequent shifts to the direct words of the character concerned. In addi t ion, the drama which involves a l l three is a lso described from the points of view of characters who are indirect ly invo lved . For example, an incident in Brendan's struggle to become a published novel is t is caus t i ca l ly described by his fe l low-wr i te r , M a x Bronstein, to Brendan's disadvantage; and the seduction of Jane Tierney is co ld ly planned by Vito I ta l iano, who ca lcu la t ingly plays on Jane's weaknesses . Of the novel ' s f if ty-eight sec t ions , eight are given over to minor characters, fifteen to Jane, s ixteen to M r s . Tierney, and nineteen to Brendan. C l e a r l y , Brendan is the character who receives the greatest atten-tion in this allotment of narrative space . Moreover, Brendan's sec t ions , the only ones narrated in the f i rs t -person, are generally longer. Brendan is a lso the only character who seems aware that he is thinking or "reflecting" a s tory. Natura l ly , as a wri ter , he is more given to observing the other characters and, in part icular , to observing himself , a pastime which he seems to enjoy. In a sense, then, Brendan emerges as the central character in the novel and his longer, autobiographical sections wi th their se l f -consc ious language reveal much about his character. A typ ica l para-graph written from Brendan's point of view is dotted with "I 's" which are the subject of every sentence: ' . _I am happy. _I cannot expla in this happiness except to say that_I wake each morning sure that there is no place in the world I_ woul d rather be than' here, nothing in the world I_ would rather do than get on the subway and go down to that shabby, a i r less room. I_ feel a sense of excitement which I_ would not have bel ieved poss ib l e . . I_ am not bored or l one ly . I_ w i s h this state to last forever but, of course, it is almost over . . I_ am nearing the last paragraph and the rest is r e v i s i o n . On Sunday, before I_ start those r ev i s ions , Sidney Gerston wants to read the last two chapters. I_ am not worried about his verdict; not in the l ea s t . : I_ know the bookvls r ight . I_ have never been so confident of anything in my l i f e . (pp.245-6) (my i ta l ics) Brendan's egotism may be the result of or even the requirement for creative a c t i v i t y , but it a l s o renders him incredibly insensi t ive to the needs of his wife and mother. At the very moment that he is declaiming his sheer happiness, Jane Tierney is agonizing over her miserable adultery and the concurrent failure of her marriage, and Mrs . .T i e rney is suffering the reject ion of her chi ldren as she is left to fend for herself in a lonely New York apartment. Since Brendan's sections are written in the f i rs t -person, the author's v iew of his behavior is never e x p l i c i t l y phrased. However, Moore ' s condemnation of Brendan's egotism is implied by the juxtaposit ion of his narrative wi th those sections devoted to the other characters . This condemnation is nowhere more obvious than in the f inal portion of the novel where the passages which describe M r s . . Tierney's painful death are immediately juxtaposed to those sections in which Brendan's frantic object-IcmsTto his editor 's demands for a few apparently inconsequential changes 35 -in his novel prompt him to behave in a near-demented fashion and, natural ly , to abandon his mother. There is no mistaking the author's v iew of Brendan's cruel thoughtlessness .when this .section in wh ich 'Mrs . Tierney dies: I'm not dy ing , O my G o d , I'm not dy ing , help me, somebody come, somebody please come, somebody, help , Grattan — Brendan — Rory — help me? Somebody, please? The thump, I feel i t , afraid, O please , I'm worse , I know i t , worse , my breath, can't get, my br Love me? is immediately followed by Brendan's ins ip id whinings over lo s ing face: Today I did something so embarrassing that I can hardly bear to remember i t . Even now I cannot credit that I , of a l l people, made such an'abject fool of myself , (p. 290) Even though the author is obstensibly absent from. Brendan's first person narration, he c lear ly does make a comment on Brendan's character, just as he a lso contrasts Jane Tierney's self ishness to Mrs . Tierney's se l f -l e s s n e s s by the posi t ioning of their sec t ions . And whi le their portions of the narrative are written in Moore ' s usual style of mixed first and th i rd-person narration, Moore does a l low both characters to speak for themselves in large measure just as Brendan does . Essen t i a l l y , then, An Answer from Limbo, is a series of three f i rs t-person narratives artfully intertwined wi th each other and wi th the views of minor characters to add further depths to the character izat ion. The Emperor of Ice-Cream, Moore ' s fifth nove l , which has only one main character, demonstrates a further narrowing of the narrative focus . - 36 Moore 's t yp ica l mixture of first and third-person narration here involves only two -narrators, Gavin Burke and the author. At no times does Moore devote an entire chapter or even a sect ion of the novel to the point of view of a subsidiary character as he does in An Answer From Limbo and other earl ier nove l s . But the author does exercise his power of omniscience to move freely into the minds of Ga vin and his acquaintances to relate what they are thinking although he does abstain from commenting on their behaviour. The author, for example, recounts that "Freddy {Hargreaves} considered himself an independent M a r x i s t , " (p.22), that Soldier (MacBrideJ wanted to become Cra ig ' s deputy, "and if getting the job meant k i s s i n g Cra ig ' s Royal I r i sh arse, then Soldier could do i t , on his soul he cou ld , " (p.27), and that Sa l ly Shannon "had been more than keen on Gavin Burke, even though he was a year younger than she and an awful baby in some ways . " (p .53) As usual when Moore elects to d isc lose what a character is th ink ing , he adopts that character 's idiosyncrat ic language. And since Gav in Burke is the only character to share the narration wi th the author, much of the novel is related by Gavin in his spec ia l d i c t i o n . Gavin ' s : indecis ions are often represented as an argument between his two angels: W e l l , Burke, sa id the White Guardian A n g e l . Are you a man or a mouse? Take off your ra incoat . Y e s , and put your t in hat on whi le you're at i t , mocked the Black A n g e l . Salute that Nava l l ieutenant, he's your superior. Nonsense , the White Angel s a i d . You're a c i v i l i a n , he has no authority^over you . How can you be sure, the Black Angel whispered, (p.35) By means of the two-angel convention, Moore dramatically renders Gavin ' s inner confl icts unt i l Gav in outgrows his angels and replaces them wi th the single voice of maturity. This t radi t ional story of growing up i s , appropriately, the least experimental in narrative technique of a l l Moore 's f i c t i o n . The use of the omniscient author is a lso appropriate to the semi-autobiographical subject 7 of youth maturing, s ince , as Dorothy Van Ghent exp la ins , the point of view of the omniscient author "implies a removed standpoint ," and "a 8 godlike sweep of v i s i o n and knowledge of the meaning of events , " which the mature Moore presumably can exe rc i se . The point of v iew is a lso more l imi ted in The Emperor of Ice-Cream than, in any previous Moore novel. ' Moore concentrates his narrative powers on the development of Gav in Burke's character to the exc lus ion of minor characters as he never has before. .It is not surpr is ing, then, that Moore should next write a novel which focuses even more intently on the protagonist by making her the sole narrator. I Am Mary Dunne, Moore!s s ix th nove l , is writ ten entirely in the f i r s t -person . . The s ignif icance of f i rs t-person narration l i e s , as Wayne Booth has pointed out, in the character of the narrator: Perhaps the most overworked d is t inc t ion is that of person. To say that a story is told in the first or the third person w i l l t e l l us nothing of importance unless we become more precise and describe how the particular quali t ies of the narrators relate to speci f ic effects.Q - 38 -Several of Mary Dunne's character traits which influence any reading of her story are apparent in the first pages of the n o v e l . From the beginning the reader perceives that Mary Dunne is in te l l igent , enough so to be concerned wi th phi losophica l issues l i ke the nature of ex i s tence . The first scene of the novel is fol lowed by Mary ' s speculat ion: If we are what we remember, d id that g i r l I was die because I forgot her? As now, perhaps, I am be-ginning to die because some future me cannot keep me in mind. (p.3) Secondly , the reader can immediately sense the nervous tension which pervades Mary Dunne, not only because she freely confesses i t , but also because her dic t ion reveals her anxiety: . . . t h e n shut up, heart, calm down, there's nothing to be afraid of . I t e l l this to my heart as I would t e l l it to a very stupid person. I t e l l it it is a perfectly normal heart: the reason i t ' s act ing up is anx ie ty . I t e l l it no wonder i t ' s act ing up after a day l i ke today, and espec ia l ly tonight wi th that story about Ha t . But. that has nothing to do wi th me, no matter what people say, it has nothing to do wi th me, a l l that is over and done w i t h , I'm in love wi th Terence, I'm happily married at l a s t , the only thing we haven't got is ch i ld ren , but that w i l l come, the doctor says we're both fine so that w i l l be a l l right too . (p.4) Mary Dunne's near hysteria is a lso communicated by very long run-on sentences here and elsewhere in the n o v e l . Third ly , one is soon aware of Mary Dunne's s ens i t i v i t y . The f i rs t few pages of the novel reveal that she is .constant ly atune to what other people are thinking about her. She remembers thinking of Mother Superior 's smile in c l a s s , "Tt could mean, 'A s i l l y g i r l has misunderstood Desca r t e s , ' or 'See how we have - 39 -engaged the attention of Mary Dunne ' . " (p. 3) She senses that the respectable- looking man on the street who makes an obscene remark . to her is exci ted by the outrage v i s i b l e in her face . (p.7) And she knows that the young boy, a friend of her former s tep-son , does not bel ieve her when she says that she remembers his unusual surname. (p.10) Mary Dunne's in te l l igence , her anxie ty , and her sens i t iv i ty inevi tably affect her account of a day 's encounters wi th friends and relatives and the memories which the day's events evoke . , • In addi t ion , Mary Dunne's narration is further influenced by her notion of herself as narrator. L ike Moore ' s other se l f -consc ious narrator, Brendan Tierney, she is intent on relat ing everything. In the beginning she hopes that, "far from los ing my memory, I cou ld , if I put my mind to i t , remember every single thought, word, and deed that happened to me today," (p.4) and ends on a note of confidence, "And see, when I put my mind to i t , I d id manage to remember most of the thoughts, words, and deeds of today, and now I w i l l not p a n i c . . . " (p.217) Part way through the novel Mary remarks wi th typ ica l honesty: This is a~story of how I lost part of my innocence, los t part of that Mary Dunne who left Butchersvi l le and never can go back . It is a story of what money did to me. If I am to learn anything from past mis takes , then there's no sense blaming it a l l on Jimmy, (p. 139) If the reader is to bel ieve that Mary Dunne is honestly trying to es tab l i sh her sense of se l f by faithfully r eca l l ing her past, then the reader has to bel ieve in her integri ty . This .qual i ty is gradually revealed in the nove l , part icularly in Mary Dunne's conversations wi th Janice S loane . As far as - 40 -t r i v i a l matters are concerned, such as Janice's mistake about the name of a restaurant, Mary pol i te ly l i es or is s i lent to avoid hurting Janice's feelings or sparking a pointless argument. But when they begin to d i scuss important i s s u e s , l i ke the question of Janice's husband's in f ide l i ty , then Mary ' s , integrity emerges.. It is c lear that Mary is appalled by Janice's intention to deceive her philandering husband in turn as w e l l as by Janice 's se l f i sh notion of seeking revenge by buying an expensive.fur coat . It is a lso clear from what Mary confesses about her two previous i l l - f a t ed marriages that she has learned the necess i ty of never deceiving herself or others: r • ' . . . And later , very late that night, I lay awake beside Hat in the dark and I remember a t iny feeling that it hadn't been a l l it might have been, a feel ing so s m a l l , so unwelcome to my mood that night that I d i smissed i t . I never should have d ismissed i t . Never . For the central thing was no better than it had been wi th Jimmy. I knew i t , yet I did not want to know it and that was my fault , my fault , my most grievous fault , (pp.34-5) C l e a r l y , Mary Dunne has learned from past mistakes to be honest. As Mary Dunne relates her day's "thoughts, words, and deeds ," her in te l l igence , anxiety, s ens i t i v i t y , and integrity are a l l revealed to the reader. But in addi t ion, the reader becomes increasingly aware of her vu lne rab i l i ty . Pre-menstral tension makes her nervous and depressed and intensifies the anxiety she would normally feel over Janice Sloane 's dup l i c i ty , Ernie Truelove's se l f i sh claims to her affect ion, and the suggestion by both of them that she is to blame for her second husband's death. She even feels, threatened by Karl Dieter Peters 's harmless charade as a potential 41 -lessee for her apartment. In fact, she feels menaced by the world of men in general; as she points out herself when she rea l izes that she has no recourse after she is verbal ly molested in the street, "You can' t fight male so l i da r i t y . " (p. 7) By the end of the day, Mary has been driven by feelings of guilt and suggestions of impending madness to fear even her third husband, Terence, to whom she has been happily married. The effect of Mary Dunne's fragile psyche on her narrative is to increase the reader's sympathy for her. Wayne Booth has noted that any f i rs t-person narration increases the reader's sympathy for the narrator: Perhaps the most important effect of t ravel ing wi th a narrator who is unaccompanied by a helpful author is that of decreasing emotional d i s tance . We have seen that much tradit ional commentary was used to increase sympathy or to apologize for fau l t s . When an author chooses to forgo such rhetoric, he may do so because he does not care about conventional sympathy, l ike Gide in Les Caves du Va t i can . But he may also do so because his central intel l igence is of the kind that w i l l seem most sympathetic if presented as an i so la ted , unaided consc iousness , without the support that a re l iable narrator or observer would l e n d . In the case of I Am Mary Dunne, the reader's sympathy for Mary Dunne is heightened by his sense of her valuable qual i t ies and of her vulnerabi l i ty in a sometimes host i le wor ld . Although Mary Dunne is "unaccompanied by a helpful author", it is nevertheless clear that Brian Moore , the implied author of I Am Mary Dunne does sympathize wi th her. His values Obviously approach those of Mary Dunne and her husband, Terence Lavery , who are both morally and i n t e l l e c -, ; tua l ly superior to most of the other characters in the n o v e l . Terence, for 42 example, shares Mary Dunne's w e l l - p l a c e d d i s l i k e of the boorish Ernie Truelove whom he upbraids for wanting to hurt M a r y . Moore 's concern for Mary Dunne is also implied by therho-peful conclus ion of the n o v e l . By the end of the novel Mary has rejected the accusat ions of respons ib i l i ty for Hat B e l l ' s death, she has demonstrated to herself that she does'-hot want to commit su i c ide , and she has discovered that she does have a s ingle identity wh ich does not alter no matter how often she changes her name or others change it for her. And so , the reader who travels alone wi th Mary Dunne can sense that her creator wishes his heroine w e l l . Brian Moore has, in fact , spoken of his empathy wi th Mary Dunne: I am Mary Dunne, because I have taken my own life and transmogrified it into hers . I have taken my years of wandering from country to country, my changes of nat ional i ty , my forgettings, rememberings, my feelings of being lost and a stranger and have . . . made them One might expect Moore to show equal or even greater sympathy for Fergus Fadden, the hero of Moore ' s seventh nove l , Fergus, since Moore resembles Fergus in many more ways than he does Mary Dunne. Fergus is an I r i sh , male, novel i s t , whose upbringing and school ing , emigration to North Amer ica , and subsequent career as a fi lm writer a l l resemble Moore ' s experiences. However, the same empathy between author and central character is not evident in Fergus. A certain distance between them is: in part created by the ghost convention wi th which Moore introduces Ferguses) past . C l e a r l y , neither Moore nor the reader bel ieves in ghosts . Yet Fergus hers . 11 is bound by the content of the novel to take the ghosts se r ious ly . As one reviewer complains , "For me the weakness of the book emerges in F e r g u s ' v i r t u a l l y total inabi l i ty to defend himself , to mount any sort of counter-attack, to send them [the ghosts] p a c k i n g . " In addi t ion, because Moore has reverted to his earlier technique of mixing first and third-person narration rather than dupl icat ing the straight f i rs t-person narrative of I Am Mary Dunne, Fergus appears as less a character wi th whom Brian Moore identifies than as a character he presents. True, Moore and Fergus share a common background and perhaps even the same moral dilemmas; s t i l l one senses a c r i t i c a l coolness between author and protagonist which is not suggested in I Am Mary Dunne. Moreover , the presence of the author and in Fergus much of the narration is in the third-person diminishes the confessional tone which in Mary Dunne's f i rs t-person narration has the effect of l i nk ing author and narrator. The handling of point of view in Fergus indicates that this "portrait of the art is t" is not a portrait of Brian M o o r e . Although Moore ' s reversion to the narrative technique of his earl ier novels appears to be a retreat from what is regarded as a s t y l i s t i c break-13 through in I Am Mary Dunne, in other respects Fergus does mark an advance in Moore ' s narrative technique from The Emperor of I ce -Cream. The omniscient author of that novel moves freely into the minds of other characters besides Gavin Burke to inform the reader what they are th ink ing . In Fergus, however, the author's omniscience is l imited to Fergus so that he becomes the centre of the novel ' s attention to an even greater extent than Gav in Burke. In part, this res t r ic t ion of the focus of narration is due again to the ghost convention since the ghosts are actual ly extensions of Fergus 1 psyche . But the thoughts of characters who do have minds of their own, such as D a n i , M r s . S i n c l a i r , and Boweri , are never revealed except insofar as they speak their minds in conversat ions . The narration of Fergus is focused on Fergus and his point of view almost as ful ly as if Moore had written the novel in the f i r s t -person. And , of course, as in a l l Moore ' s novels of mixed first and third-person narration, much of the narrative is spoken by Fergus himself . He recounts his meetings wi th Boweri and Redshie lds , and his courtship of D a n i , and even his dialogues wi th his ghosts may be regarded as dramatized interior monologues. The concentration on Fergus and the concomitant exc lus ion of other points of v iew are appropriate to this nove l , for the c r i s i s which Fergus must over-come is entirely his own and the resolut ion which concludes the novel applies only to himself . It is a lso this concentration on Fergus who is always at the centre of the novel which dis t inguishes Fergus from earl ier novels such as Judith Hearne in which Judith Hearne is occas iona l ly pushed aside to make way for other points of v i e w . Fergus marks a further step in the gradual evolution which- is evident in the intervening novels from a multiple to a more l imited point of v i e w , and thus, to a greater concen-tration on the character of the protagonist. Another factor which necessar i ly influences the depict ion of the pro-tagonist is the attitude taken towards him by the implied author of each n o v e l . In most of his novels Moore remains sympathetic but distant from the main - 45 -character: he portrays both their strengths and their weaknesses and he a l lows them to speak for themselves whi le also presenting the contrasting views of other characters . The author's object ivi ty is further attested to by his desire to write dramat ical ly , to present rather than to t e l l . Moore general ly, for example, conveys the phys ica l appearance of his main characters by their mirror image. This often repeated device in Moore ' s novels is frequently awkward though.indicative of the author's desire to remain outside the scene . As Wayne Booth points out, "When we remember the many cumbersome 'mirror-views ' - - 'What he saw i n the mirror was a man of middle height' — we see how much trouble the dramatize such descript ive detai l can cause . Moore ' s distance from his protagonist is never quite the same in every nove l , however. In fact, his attitude to the main character becomes ever more sympathetic as he restricts the point of v iew in each succeeding ' n o v e l . In the first three novels Moore is aT"sympathetic but detached observer of the fates of Judith Hearne, Diarmuid Dev ine , and Ginger Coffey . One senses , in part icular , the in te l lec tual distance between Moore and these three characters, e spec ia l ly insofar as they are examples of an I r i sh .Ca tho l ic p rov inc ia l i sm. Moore 's attitude to the three Tierneys is more complex. W h i l e M r s . Tierney is a t yp ica l Ir ish p rov inc ia l , Moore obviously presents her as a moral example to Brendan and Jane. Brendan, however, is more Moore ' s in te l lec tual equa l . Later , in The Emperor of Ice-Cream, Moore appears both morally and in te l lec tual ly closer to Gav in Burke. He obviously shares Gavin ' s - 46 -contempt for his family 's outdated po l i t i c a l at t i tudes, and for Cra ig ' s cruel s tupidi ty , whi le he approves of Gavin ' s attempts to find meaning for himself in modern poetry. Paradoxica l ly , in the one novel in which Moore ' s voice as author is never heard, I Am Mary Dunne, "his_ re la t ion to the protagonist is the c loses t of a l l . It is perhaps because of his moral and in te l lec tual identif icat ion with Mary Dunne that he does not need to speak in his own person. The events in Fergus confirm that the author agrees wi th Fergus';- .estimation of his l i fe : "In the past year his l i fe seemed to have become some other person's story, a fa rc ica l tragedy or a t ragical farce from which he was trying to emerge and start a new l i f e . " (p.10) But although Moore is c r i t i c a l of Fergus for his sins of the past, he is s t i l l obviously closer to Fergus in terms of in te l lect and values than he is to one of his earlier protagonists such as Ginger Coffey . The evolv ing relat ion between Moore and the protagonists of his seven novels reaches a degree of greatest proximity in I Am Mary Dunne and to a lesser extent in .Fergus . And so it appears that Moore grows increasingly closer to the protagonist of each succeeding nove l , just as his concentration on the character of the protagonist is intensif ied by the narrowing of the narrative focus . The divers i ty in narrative method of Brian Moore ' s seven novels i l lustrates his ar t i s t ic awareness of the many ways a story can be t o l d . From the several speakers in Judith Hearne to the single voice of I Am  Mary Dunne, from the ironic distance of the author of The Feast of Lupercal to the sympathetic ident if icat ion of the author and protagonist in - 47 -The Emperor of Ice-Cream, and from the multiple view points of An Answer from Limbo to the restr icted view of The Luck of Ginger Coffey , Moore eas i ly adapts his rhetoric to present his protagonist and his tale as effectively as pos s ib l e . The important consideration as Wayne Booth exp la ins , is not the particular method chosen but the s k i l l wi th which the author te l l s his story: We have seen that the author cannot choose to avoid rhetoric; he can choose only the k ind of rhetoric he w i l l e m p l o y . . He cannot choose whether or not to affect his reader's evaluation by his choice of narra-t ive manner; he can only choose whether to do it w e l l or poorly. 10 Inasmuch as Moore frequently defers to the point of v iew and the voice of the protagonist, his narrative method reveals his s k i l l in using narra-t ive techniques for the depict ion of character as w e l l as for t e l l i ng his t a l e . Once aga in , Moore ' s technique points up his dominating interest in the central character of each n o v e l . - 48 -Footnotes for Chapter II *Wayne C . - Booth, The Rhetoric of F ic t ion (The Univers i ty of Chicago Press , 1961), p .153. ' 2 Wayne Booth, The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n , p . 2 0 . Dorothy Van Ghent, The Engl i sh Novel : Form and Function (New York: Harper & Row, 1953),pp.45-46 . ' i 4 Richard B . Sa le , "An Interview in London wi th Brian Moore , " (Studies in the N o v e l , I(Spring, 1962)', p .10. ^Robert Fuhford, " Interviews Brian Moore , " The Tamarack Review, 23 (Spring, 1962), p .10 . 6 In one instance, Moore drops his objective stance to make a d ig at Freddy Hargreaves' p o l i t i c s . . Having learned that Capta in Lambert has been evicted from his lodgings , Freddy forgets his usualzdistain for the Capta in to come to his a i d . As Moore points out, "Freddy might not have much time for the Cap ta in , but a man without a bed was a man in confl ic t wi th the sys tem." (p. 78). . 7 In an interview with Richard B . Sa l e , Moore sa id that The Emperor  of Ice-Cream is his most autobiographical nove l . See-Studies in the N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969), p . 73. 8 Dorothy Van Ghent, The Engl ish N o v e l , p . 4 6 . . v 9 The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n , p.150. 10 . The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n , p . 2 7 4 . Brian Moore Te l l s About I Am Mary Dunne, " 'Literary G u i l d M a g a -zine (July, 1968), p . 5 . 12 Julian Moynahan, "On t r i a l a t a ghostly family p icn ic : Fergus , " New York Times Book Review (Sept.. 2-7, 1970), p . 4 . See , for example, H a l l v a r d ' D a h l i e , Brian Moore (Toronto: Copp , C l a r k , 1969), p.104, or Ph i l ip French, "Mary ' s D a y , " New Statesman, 76 (Oct. 25, 1968), p . 5 5 0 . 14 The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n , p .172. The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n , p .149. - 49 CHAPTER III LANGUAGE Brian Moore ' s artful handling of point of view concentrates the reader's attention on the central character of each nove l , but it is. Moore ' s consummate s k i l l with language which makes his characters spring to l i f e . The f ic t iona l world of any nove l , as Dav id Lodge shows in Language of  F i c t i o n , is a verbal wor ld , "determined at every point by the words in-which it is represented."* In Moore ' s novels language plays a par t i -cular ly important part in the characterizat ion of the protagonist because the narrative voice is often the protagonist 's and because the novels themselves proceed largely by dialogues which are always r e a l i s t i c . Moore is part icularly adept at reproducing the id iolects of a wide se lect ion of people: from Belfast landladies to New York sophis t ica tes , he captures id iosyncracies of speech which strike the reader as absolutely authentic . In addi t ion , Moore ' s language is t h e p r i n c i p a l s o u r c e of humour in his f i c t ion , wh ich is rarely comic in mode. S t i l l the most s ignif icant feature, of Moore ' s s ty l e , which i l lustrates again his concern wi th the central . character of each nove l , is his technique of .elaborating unique patterns of language around the protagonist wh ich characterize at the same time as they draw attention to the main themes of each n o v e l . Dorothy Van Ghent points, out, 'that each author does not consult the whole body of the language in select ing words for his meanings; that he is dr iven, as if compuls ive ly , to the se lect ion of a highly particular part of the language; and that the individual character of his work, its connotations and spec ia l i n -s ights , derive largely from the style he has made his own — - 50 -that is to say, from the vocabuiatry and verbal arrange-ments he has adopted out of the whole gamut of words and rhetorical patterns avai lable in the l anguage . ' ^ C l e a r l y , the " individual character" of each Moore nove l , which is created by the patterns of language associa ted wi th the protagonist, is as uniquely different from one novel to the next as the protagonists them-s e l v e s . The Luck of Ginger Coffey, as its t i t le suggests , is concerned wi th Ginger Coffey 's gamble " a l l on one horse, a horse coloured Canada , which now by hook or crook would carry him to fame and fortune . " (p. 11) And so , 3 words and expressions relat ing to gambling, to l u c k , to hopes, to vic tor ies and defeats, abound in the n o v e l . In the first paragraph of the nove l , Ginger reflects that the decorations of his Tyrolean hat "might be 4 lucky to h im, " that the fine weather is ".good augury," and that "maybe today his ship would come i n . " (p. 3)>. Before applying for two posit ions he does not obta in , he assures himself , There must be a law of averages in l i fe as w e l l as in cards . And surely if anyone's luck was due for a change, his was? (p.20) S i m i l a r l y , before he applies to be an editor on the Tribune — another posi t ion for which he is refused — h e interprets his wife ' s matitudinal kindness as "a good omen somehow," and hopes again that "maybe today his ship would come i n . " (p.43)^ Ginger , whose "habits of an habitual ratiocinator must be f ixed in.hope',' (p.179) is always ready to find " l i t t le 7 v ic to r i e s" (p.41) in depressing c i rcumstances . When his wife and daughter have left him and he is struggling to perform two menial jobs on an empty 51 i stomach, the gift of ten dollars from his employer prompts him to forget his misfortunes and to think instead; There was always a bright side: . you fjtust had to look for i t , that was a l l . It was s t i l l u p h i l l , but, wi th a l i t t l e victory now and then, you could keep running. As long as you had hopes. And he s t i l l had hopes. . (p. 140) It is soon apparent in the novel that G inter's references to his luck are the verbal manifestations of his failure to accept respons ib i l i ty and u l t i -mately of his immaturity. Moore constantly stresses the boyishness of Ginger 's language and the contrasting adult tone wi th which others address h im. .Ginger, who s t i l l goes by his boyhood name, is given to juvenile expressions: he "r isks i t" into rooms (pp.3,30) he "shanks'mares i t " down the street, (pp. 10,11) he "dawdles" on the way home, (p.28) he cons-iders himself "a fine b ig f e l l o w , " (p.6) and avoids thinking of his d i m i n i -shing capi ta l because "it was a frightener to think how l i t t l e " was left , (p.19). Even his habitual explet ives — "F lu t e , " By J " , "Holy Smoke ," and "Suffering J, " — are c h i l d i s h , and when he challenges Gerry Grosvenor to fight (a boys ' way of set t l ing disputes) , he does so in the juvenile phrase, "Put up your dukes! " (p.91) L ike a boy, Ginger is hot a lways s t r ic t ly truth-f u l . When the clerk at the Unemployment Insurance Commission takes him up on his false c la im to a completed B . A . by suggesting that Ginger is qual i f ied to teach, Ginger is forced to act out a bashful d i sc la imer , "Holy Smoke ," said Coffey, giving J . Donnel ly an honest g r in . "That was years ago . Sure, I 've forgotten every s t i t c h . " (p. 8) 52 -Ginger has a delightfully ch i l d i sh and uneducated notion of the names of people in the news . He complains of Gerry Grosvenor 's habit of le t t ing s l i p names l ike "Joe Enlee or J . F . Dee or Rab or M a c or M a t s y Dong or M i c k O'Yan as if he was re la ted to a l l of them." (p.46) When Ginger rea l izes that Gerry Grosvenor has become his r i v a l for his wi fe ' s affection, his complaints against Grosvenor turn into c h i l d i s h invect ive: "Be seeing y o u , " Coffey e c h o e d . . . .Seeing y o u , yes; and, seeing you , aren't you one of the drippiest drinks of water I 've ever l a i d eyes on? Expense account or not , artist or not, what could she see in you , you se l f - sa t i s -fied sausage? (p.85) Soon after making this remark Ginger does see Gerry Grosvenor — t e t e - a - t § t e over lunch wi th Veronica , Ginger 's w i f e . Ginger flees from the s ight , "a boy escaping a pair of b u l l i e s . " (p.86) Equally boyish are his skirmishes wi th the Godhead: If there was a God above, was that what God wanted? To make him poor in sp i r i t? To make him c a l l pax, to make him give up/,.* to herd him back wi th the other sheep in the fold? He looked at the tabernacle. His large ruddy face set in a scowl as though someone had struck i t . H i s l ips shut tight under his ginger mustache. I never could abide a b u l l y , he sa id to the tabernacle. 'In a world of bu l l i e s it is smal l wonder that Ginter is most comfort-able wi th his f ive -yea r -o ld friend, M i c h e l Beaul ieu , for whom he buys "Gob-stoppers " which he cannot afford. "But ah! Coffey remembered his boyhood, the joys of a penny paper twist of b u l l s e y e s . " (p.6) The most tender moments in the novel occur when Ginger and M i c h e l find themselves united in lonel iness (". . . 1 and gravely, thir ty-nine and five years o l d , they bui l t a house wi th a long sugar-lump chimney. " p . 82), in a misdemeanour ("Man and ch i l d exchanged g lances , strangely united in apprehension." p .88) , and in fantasy ("I w i s h we had a whole lot of toys and you and me could play wi th them a l l the t ime. Because I love you , M ' s i e u r , " p.98) Games and toys signify happiness for Ginger; between himself and a l l harm he interjects the finger game whenever pos s ib l e , (pp.49,153,172-3) He is often nostalgic for the days when his daughter was younger and for the games they played together, (pp. 29 ,148,178) Although he cannot retrieve the past, Ginger can s t i l l see his relat ion wi th Paulie in terms of p lay , as Moore i l lustrates when he describes their s i tuat ion without Veronica: "And so, in his fortieth year , Ginger Coffey began playing house wi th a fourteen-year-old g i r l . " (p.147) Ginger 's ch i l d i sh speech and manner e l i c i t condescending responses from other adul t s . His wife ' s habitual tone to him is one of redress: "Sit down, Ginger , you're as bad as the c h i l d , " (p.3) or worse , when she is angry, of contempt: "And stop standing there l ike a dog wai t ing for a pat on the head. You're, not getting any pat. Not any more. Now, go away . " (p.61) Beauchemin's receptionist addresses Ginger in a "school-mis t ressy tone ," (p.12) and Beauchemin himself things that Ginger should know better than to dress l i ke a col lege boy . (p.23) MacGregor also scolds Ginger for attempting to bluff his way into a job for which he is. not qual i f ied and, before hiring him as a lowly proofreader, insul t ingly verif ies his ab i l i ty to s p e l l , (p.51) - 54 Even Rose Alma who sees Ginger but briefly recognizes the. ch i ld beneath his man's exterior: Behind that large trembly digni ty , behind that mil i tary facade of mustache and middle age, Rose Alma saw his true face . L ike a boy, she thought. L o s t . (p.217) Ginger himself comes to see behind the facade of boyish optimism which he presents to the wor ld . Indeed, the novel traces' the changes in Ginger as he moves from recognizing the fol ly of his boyhood i l lu s ions to actual ly g iv ing them up. At the beginning of the novel he rea l izes for a moment that his mother's estimate of his ab i l i ty to deal wi th money is s t i l l true: . A h , what 's the sense of giving Ginger money for his tram, she 'd say; h e ' l l never use i t . Doesn ' t he spend every penny on some foolishness the minute you put it in his pocket? And it was true, then as now. He was no great hand wi th money. (p.10) But he qu ick ly d ismisses this truth by thinking of himself as a romantic adventurer, " a l l on his o n l i e - o h , remembering that any man who ever amounted to anything was the man who took a chance, struck out, et ce tera ." (p. 11) He also remembers another judgment from his past, this one del ivered by his confessor, Father Cog ley , in a sermon directed at Ginger . Father Cogley warned that the boy who does not f in i sh his s tudies , who leaves Ireland to find adventure in other countr ies , who is "unable to accept his God-g iven l im i t a t i ons , " would end up as a labourer in "some place of sun and rot or snow and ice that no sensible man would be seen dead i n . " (pp. 17-18) i1 -As Ginger trudges through snow-bound Mont rea l , he obviously rea l izes that Father Cog ley ' s warning has come true, but again he d ismisses that sermon 55 -as "missionary malarky, of course . " (p.18) He uses the same word to dismiss Veronica 's harsh indictment of his character even as he recognizes the underlying truth in what she says: A h , sure that was a lot of malarky, that stuff about them le t t ing him go in those other jobs he had. A lot of malarky too about him being se l f i sh and putting the blame on other people — a l l nonsense — sure, what did she know, the woman? (p.62) > Hal f -way through the novel Ginger begins to see.that he can no longer dismiss the adult facts of his l i fe w i th boyish discla imers and unfounded hopes. When Veronica comes to t e l l him that she is leaving him for Gerry Grosvenor, Ginger is engaged in f ix ing M i c h e l ' s toy: And JMichej] ran off down the h a l l , the robot in his hand. S l o w l y , Coffey stood up . Oh, . to be a boy . . . tears one moment, a l l wiped away the next . A world of t oys . Nothing so terrible a kindness would not change i t . O h , to be a b o y . . . . '. Too o ld for toys , he turned to face her; (p. 89) S i m i l a r l y , when'Ginger has to stop playing wi th M i c h e l to leave for his unpleasant proof-reader's job, his longing to be a boy is qu ick ly followed •i ' ' • . by the ref lec t ion , "but chi ldren must grow u p . " (p.98) It is a lso at this point in the nove l , when Coffey is los ing his family , that he is confronted wi th the fu l l rea l iza t ion of what he has become: Look at yourself , would y o u . Take a good look . . He looked at h im. A stupid man, dressed up l i k e a Dubl in Squire . Looked at the frightened, ch i l d i sh face frozen now in a mil i tary man's d i sgu i s e . He hated that man in the mirror, hated h im. Oh G o d , there was a useless bloody man, coming up to forty and s t i l l fu l l of boy's dreams of ships coming in; of adventures and escapes and glories to b e . (pi93) - 56 -Once Ginger has faced the "True.Facts" of l i f e , he begins his lonely struggle to regain his family and to become its self-support ing head. In the last half of the nove l , the language which depicts Ginger as a boy is therefore less evident, and Ginger is .correspondingly less ebul l ien t . The process of accepting one 1 s "God-g iven l imi t a t ions " is a sobering one, and without his boyish attributes Ginger no longer cuts a jaunty f igure. On only one occas ion does Ginger experience the joy which his c h i l d i s h dreams could evoke before. After his release from j a i l , Ginger is over-whelmed by the sensation of freedom: He was free. The night that had passed, the ce l l s below s ta i r s , the shouting warders, the terrifying laughter of the spectators in court; it happened and yet it had not. It was a nightmare washed into nothingness by the simple and glorious fact of f r e e d o m . . . . For one l iberat ing moment he became a ch i ld again; los t himself as a c h i l d can , let t ing himself go into the morning, a drop of water joining an ocean, mys t i ca l ly becoming one . (p. 2 35) Sad ly , the mature Ginger Coffey assesses that moment of c h i l d i s h joy as a rarity; he knows that he w i l l not often feel l ike a ch i l d aga in . So grown-up has Ginger become that even Veronica admits her admiration for his adult behaviour at the end of the n o v e l , (p.241) C lea r ly the words and phrases which Moore chooses to depict Ginger Coffey stress more than the Irishness of his speech. They also portray the fundamental and gradual growth in Ginger ' s character from boy to man which is the subject of the n o v e l . . Gav in Burke undergoes much the same kind of maturation in The  Emperor of I ce -Cream. L ike Ginger, Gav in begins by feel ing he is a failure and only sensing the truth in the advice which adults and friends give h im . Whi le Ginger ignores his respons ib i l i ty and blames his misfortune on fate, Gav in prefers to bel ieve that his fa i lure , part icularly in exams, is predetermined by "the author i t ies ." Both Ginger and Gavin come to rea l ize that only they can change their l i v e s ; by the end of both nove ls , both characters have matured. In The Luck of Ginger Coffey Moore stresses Ginger 's juvenile language, an anomaly in a th i r ty -n ine-year -o ld man, but in The Emperor of Ice-Cream Moore takes a different approach to Gav in ' s language since a boyish remark is hardly s ignif icant when spoken by eighteen-year-old Gav in Burke. The most s ignif icant fact about Gavin ' s language is the small proportion of it that is represented as being spoken a loud . Freddy Hargreaves and Sa l ly Shannon are the only two people wi th whom he speaks at any great length . The rest of the time Gavin is ac tual ly very re t icent . Espec ia l ly in those scenes in which a group of people are gathered together, Gav in ' s remarks are min imal . At the Reverend M c M u r t y ' s soiree, Gav in ' s sole utterance is " O . K . " (p.94) Gav in ' s s i lence s ignif ies his estrangement from other people and in part icular , from his fami ly . He thinks that his mother would no longer speak to him if she spent merely thirty seconds, inside his mind, (p.134) and he has completely given up t rying to converse wi th his father: Hi s father, a so l i c i t o r , be l ieved that his l ega l training had made him impart ia l , l o g i c a l , and reasonable in judging i s s u e s . A c t u a l l y , Gav in thought, he's one of the most prejudiced, emotional , and unreasonable people I've ever met. It was more than a year s ince he had decided there was no longer any point 58 in arguing wi th his father. S i lence and s i lent rebel l ion were the only defense against his father's pious prate about C a t h o l i c i s m , his father's fasc is t leanings in p o l i t i c s , his father's l i terary pronuneiamentos . (p.33) Gav in even finds himself at a loss to explain himself to his brother who is only s l igh t ly older than G a v i n . Instead he enumerates his problems to Owen's bent back: How could you expla in to Owen the feeling you had before every examination, a feel ing that the authorities had some-how predetermined your fai lure? . . .How could you expla in to Owen that you suspected there were things wrong wi th you , that, for one thing, you were a sex maniac whose every moment was plagued by thoughts of g i r l s , that you sensed you would become a drunkard the first chance you got, that you no longer be l ieved in G o d . . . , yet remained reasonably in dread of God 's vengeance for the fact of this• unbelief? How could you t e l l the l ikes of O w e n . . .that your only thoughts of the future were elaborate daydreams . . . ? Of course, these questions are rhetorical ; Gav in cannot converse mean-ingfully wi th people who do not understand or who threaten h im . His typ ica l response is either to say nothing, as he does wi th Shei la Luddin , (p.52) wi th his father, (p.70) and wi th John Henry, (p.170) or to say " a l l the right things — but to h imse l f , " as he does after an argument wi th Sa l ly Shannon, (p.41) When Gav in does bring himself to t e l l Sa l ly the truth about his s i tua t ion , he experiences the same rel ief which he knew " in the days when he had be l ieved in confes s ion . " (p.139) But if committing himself to the spoken word is diff icult for G a v i n , the endless mental reci ta t ion of his fears and the constant inner debate about his conduct are apparently effort less . The two sides of every dilemma are frequently deliberated by the voices Gav in ca l l s his "angels": the White Angel takes the accepted, "decent" point of v i e w , whi le the Black Ange l , predictably, argues for a - 59 more l iberated and daring behaviour, (p. 10) When , for example, G av in is outwardly si lent in response to Soldier ' s plan to "let [Craig] out wi th a brick, on the noggin, " he is mentally struggling to f ind the right reply: This is the way sins are committed, the White Angel warned. You have to make a stand somewhere, do you hear me, Gavin? But Sold ier ' s black eye was upon h im. Lynan leaned forward, his crooked teeth showing in an anticipatory gr in . Come on , the Black Angel urged. Stop being a wet-nosed k i d . Uneas i ly Gav in nodded, (p. 129) Since Gavin ' s reply is s t i l l not ar t icula ted, it is clear that he has no intention of becoming an accomplice to a murder, as he later points out to Freddy Hargreaves. In the debates between Gav in ' s angels , such as the above, in his own imagined conversations wi th a rel igious statue, the D iv ine Infant of Prague which obviously represents Gav in ' s consc ience , and in his less frequent conversations wi th compatible people, the two recurring and signif icant words are "fai lure" and "authori ty." At the beginning of the nove l , Gav in who bel ieves that his failure to obtain the Schools Leaving Cert i f icate was preordained by the authori t ies , (p.6) avoids the suggestion made by his Infant /Conscience that he fa i led because of s lo th , , se l f -indulgence, and l u s t . .(His Ca tho l i c training is evident in this select ion from the Seven Deadly S ins . ) Gav in imagines that his new job wi th the Air Raid Precautions Uni t is going to free him from school and that its require-ments w i l l a l low him time to study for the alternate London Mat r i c exams which he w i l l certainly pas s . He takes comfort from the prediction of certain modern poets that the future.for everyone is uncertain, that Wor ld War II , when it comes to Ireland, w i l l mean "freedom from futures, " s ince - 60 the grownups whose world w i l l be destroyed w i l l no longer have any authority. Gav in part icularly l ikes Wa l l ace Stevens' couplet , Let be be finale of seem. The only emperor is the emperor of i ce -c ream, (pp. 7-8) This couplet seems to sum things up for Gav in although he is not quite sure what it means. It is s ignif icant that at the outset of the novel Gav in ignores the second stanza of this poem to concentrate on the vague impl icat ion that rea l ly no authorities exis t except the fleeting power of the moment. When Gavin ' s job at the A . R . P . turns into an emprisoning nightmare rather than an escape, Gavin ' s sense of failure grows. G a v i n , who is forced in particular by his uniform to admit to being a member of the A . R . P . , is ashamed of his job . As he explains to S a l l y , "We're the unemployables, we're a joke and everybody things we're a pack of loafers . We a re . " (p. 36) And worse , Gav in sees in the older A . R. P . members, what he may become. "They and their condit ion are what I fear; they are my fa i l ing future." (p. 39) He recognizes that the A . R. P . . members are misfits and in an imaginary conversation wi th Sa l ly makes" the obvious conclus ion: I am l ike them, S a l l y , that is the thing that scares me. Don' t you see, I'm a part of this A . R . P . farce, I fit i n , perfectly, I'm the k i d who fa i led his school exams, the boy going to the d o g s . . . . (p . 39) As Gav in makes this s i lent confession to S a l l y in a restaurant, he sees , in contrast to his own hated uniform, a naval officer 's cap , "arrogant and elegant, symbol of an authority he would never command." (p.41) After seven months of enduring idle hours interspersed wi th Post Officer Cra ig ' s increasingly lunatic d r i l l s , Gav in becomes more dejected, 61 and his future seems to him total ly unpromising: The war w i l l be over one d a y . . .and a l l the boys you went to school wi th las t year w i l l have f inished universi ty and have good jobs . But where w i l l you be? A boozer, an e x - A . R . P . stretcher-bearer, a some-time amateur actor, an e x - C a t h o l i c , a masturbator, a marginal loafer, s t i l l wai t ing for some r e v o l u t i o n . . . . There ' l l be no exp los ion , and you know it: your father's world w i l l not be blown up. This war is a phony war and one day it w i l l be over, wi th the only Irish casual t ies you and your buddies who w i l l then be put of work. Take a look at yoursel f . You're what you feared. A f lop . ,(p.76) Gavin's sense of fa i lure , of " fa l l ing over a c l i f f , " is naturally increased by his poor performance on the London M a t r i c . Cer ta in that he has fa i led the math examination, Gav in at first affects a k ind of bravado in another of his imaginary conversat ions, this one wi th a statue of Queen Vic tor ia outside Queen's Univers i ty : Puff away, the Queen s a i d . As a fa i lure , you w i l l never have the money to smoke decent cigarettes . So be i t , Gav in told the Queen . S i l l y o ld cow, don't you know that fai lure 's not so ter r ib le . Nothing's terrible once you accept i t . . .You w i l l never get in here, she s a i d . Not after today, (p.98) Gav in comforts himself again wi th the thought that in any case' the expanding wan w i l l certainly come to Northern Ireland and destroy the universi ty to which he cannot gain entrance. But his conscience, taking the Queen's part, points out the egoism of that idea: But the Queen was on to h im . You 'd l ike that, sa id she, y e s , you 'd l ike to see the whole world blown up just because you're a miserable l i t t l e fa i lure . . (p.99) After Owen reproaches Gavin wi th the; obvious reason for his failure — "You bloody w e l l didn't study hard enough, " — G av in s t i l l prefers to place - 62 -the blame elsewhere: I am running down. There is something wrong wi th me. I know I'm more intel l igent than the l ikes of Clooney and other fel lows who were in my c l a s s . Yet I am doomed to f a i l , whi le t h e y ' l l go on to become the doctors, l awyers , engineers, pr ies ts , their l i t t l e hearts des i re , (p.100) Gavin ' s father's judgment of the reason for Gav ins ' failure in math is harsher than O w e n ' s . He concludes that Gav in ' s second failure must indicate a lack of ab i l i t y and that therefore no further money should be wasted on. Gav in ' s education: Gav in must go into trade wi th his wealthy Unc le Tom. Gav in is crushed by his father's pronouncement which he feels echoes the "mysterious judgment of a l l authority" that G a v i n , a second son , w i l l never amount to anything in l i f e . (p. 119) As the months pass between the London Mat r i c and the bombing of Belfast , G a v i n , who is frustrated by his apparently futile A . R . P . job and by his inab i l i ty to study, drifts further and further from his parents' expectat ions . Again and again he is reminded of his failure in other 8 people's eyes and even in his o w n . He gloomily reflects that he is even a failure at pretending to enjoy being a fa i lure , (p. 132) F i n a l l y , after he has truly reached a nadir in his l i f e , he rea l izes that s lo th , se l f - indulgence , and lus t are not the sins which damn him, but simply, lack of purpose: In both worlds [the adult 's and the chi ld ' s ) l ack of purpose, lack of fa i th , was the one deadly s i n . In both wor lds , the authori t ies , detecting that s i n , arranged one's punishment. A l l of l i f e ' s races are f ixed and f a l s e . You stand at the starting l i n e , knowing you can run as w e l l as the others, but the authori t ies , those in imica l and unknown arbiters, have decreed that you will:;-not get off your marks . They know, those authorities , that your place is wi th the misfits , that your future; w i l l be v o i d . (pp.191-92) - 63 Fortunately for G a v i n , if unfortunately for everyone e l s e , the war comes to Belfast on the fol lowing day a l lowing Gavin to achieve a sense of purpose. He discovers that given the chance he is capable of "dashing into a burning bu i ld ing , snatching a g i r l from beneath a tumbling w a l l , walk ing among exp los ions , any th ing ." (p.299) He even performs that most unpleasant task of a l l , coffining the dead, for which his stamina is applauded, (p.237) From this experience Gavin rea l izes that "The Emperor of Ice Cream" is also about the harsh facts of l i fe and death and not just the ephemerality of the "author i t ies ." Mos t pleasing to G av in is that he himself acquires some authority in this new situation; i ron i ca l ly , his hated uniform becomes an asset: He was aware that his uniform gave him some authority in the eys of these g i r l s . It was pleasant being a hero, if he could only keep awake . • (p. 243) More s ign i f ican t ly , he even finds himself comforting his father and hearing his father's confession as if Gav in were the adult , the person wi th the authority to put things r ight . Gav in ' s failure in his exams, his intel l igence notwithstanding, and the advent of Wor ld War II are the events which enable Gav in to break out of the pattern which the "authorities" who direct his l i fe would have him fo l l ow . Had he not fa i led and had he been born w e l l before the war, it is easy to imagine that he could have become another Diarmuid Devine who is a lso Roman C a t h o l i c , the son of a successful father, and a scholar of Engl ish l i terature. Dev ine , who is the central character of The Feast of Lupercal shares Gavin ' s natural t imidi ty of character, but whereas Gav in ' s ret icence results from his sense of separateness, Devine ' s s i lences stem from his self-effacing and self-deprecating nature. Both Gav in and Devine feel intimidated by the authorities of family , church, and school; Devine admits that although he is a grown man, Father McSwiney can " s t i l l make him feel l ike a wee b o y . " (p.40) Of course, as a teacher, Devine is himself an authority, but when he becomes involved in a compromising s i tua t ion , he is just as fearful of the arbitrary powers of his superiors as is G a v i n . Ye t , when the opportunity comes to both of them to escape their restr ict ing l i v e s , Gav in has enough rebel l ious courage to break away from the family mold whi le Devine is too schooled in what is expected of him to do the unusual . When he f ina l ly does speak out against those arbitrary authori t ies , his outburst is simply ignored. The language of The Emperor  of Ice-Cream prepares for Gav in ' s rebel l ion by stressing his necessary spi r i tua l and mental estrangement from the adults ' world; in contrast, the language of The Feast df Lupercal ca l l s Diarmuid Devine ' s acquiescence both before and after his abortive r ebe l l ion , and to the condit ioning which makes Dev ine , as Una Clarke points out, "afraid-to fight against what l i fe is doing to h i m . " (p.192) At the beginning of the nove l , Moore ' s many references to the habitual nature of Devine ' s l i fe es tabl ish the degree to wh i ch he has become thoroughly enmeshed in a system: "In ten years of teaching he had learned to calculate each forty-minute c l a s s period without consul t ing his w a t c h . " (p. 3) "With practiced gentleness he ra ised Frankie Dugan's arm to shoulder l e v e l . " (p. 8) "He could remember that question was asked in '36, in '39 , and again in '49 and ' 5 3 . " (p.10) " M r . , D e v i n e , as a lways , was the first master to catch the bus wh ich took them from the suburb of Glengormly to the center of Be l fas t . " (p. 100) His l i fe at his "digs" is no less rooted in habit; he i s , for example, famil iar ly irritated at the hurrying up of his twice-^weekly bath . (p.13) M r . Devine occupies his leisure hours wi th an amateur drama group, but even in this endeavour he is regularly the hard-working stage-manager, the essent ia l man behind the scenes whose contribution is regularly ignored in the programme. After Devine meets Una Clarke he rea l izes that although he is young he has s l ipped into "old bachelor hab i t s , " (p.54) that his comfortable digs are " l ike an o ld pensioner's place: a d i sg race , " (p.141) and that his school behaviour has fa l len into a routine: "Normal ly , he guided his speech and actions as a conductor leads an orchestra: his school conduct fol lowed a set patter^ designed to evoke the proper response from pup i l s , co l leagues , priests . " (p. 78) Devine ' s "old bachelor habits" account for the uncertainty about his age to which other characters at test . Young Connol ly refers to Dev as "that o ld woman," (p.5) and Heron speaks to him as a peer when, in fact, Heron is nearly twice as o ld a s i D e v i n e . (p.17) Kevin C o o k e , the director of Trini ty Players says of Dev ine , "Poor o ld D e v . He ' s too good-natured, that's his t rouble. Though I don't know why I'm c a l l i n g him o l d . He ' s younger than I a m . " (p.62) 9 Yet Father McSwiney who does not know Dev ' s exact age speaks of him as a young man: "Sure, Devine ' s a harmless enough l a d . What age is he, 66 Devine? " Moore explains the divergence of a l l these opinions about Dev ine ' s age when he describes Devine: "He was a t a l l man, yet d id not seem so: not youthful, yet somehow young; a man whose appearance suggested some painful uncertainty." (p.6) Devine ' s acquaintance wi th Una Clarke shakes him out of his more superf ic ia l bachelor habi t s . He begins to pay more attention to his appearance: he shaves off the mustache which ages him and dresses as a younger man. He r e a l i z e s , however, that he cannot change certain deeper aspects of his character. His self-restraint which borders on pass iv i ty is too deeply engrained in his character. Moore s k i l l f u l l y brings out this trait in his depict ion of Devine ' s language. In the first p lace , Dev is not garrulous and his speech is often awkward and hesitant, dotted wi th "ah's" 10 and nervous "ha, h a ' s . " He frequently lets a remark pass rather than speaking out and causing a d ispute . Una Clarke complains to him that he would betray his own mother to avoid a row. (p.192) Moore carefully builds up a picture of Devine ' s polite deference to other people . No matter how rude or insens i t ive Una and Tim Heron are in conversation wi th h im, he rarely defends himself . Devine ' s courtesy is exemplif ied by his re la t ion-ship wi th Goehegan, the gym master, who is snubbed by a l l the other l ay staff. .Moore remarks, however, that " M r . Dev ine , who did not l i ke to hurt any man's fee l ings , never had the heart to put Goehegan in his place and as a resul t , Goehegan sought his company wi th the tenacity of a poor r e l a t i o n . " (pp.83-4) This picture of Devine as "the fe l la that wouldn' t say boo to a dead duck, tr ipping over himself agreeing wi th everybody," (p.49) 67 makes Devine 's outburst at the end of the novel a l l the more dramatic: It was as though heaven had thundered at his impudence. In one moment of defiance he had negated the years of obedience and respect . But Devine ' s "moment of defiance" is brief; it is much more natural for him to go on being the humble and deferential person he has been through-out the n o v e l . Devine ' s circumspect nature explains his sheer horror at the thought of scandal , and indeed, the word, " scanda l" , is so loaded wi th emotion that throughout the novel scandal seems more heinous than s in i t se l f . At first Devine sees only the poss ib i l i t y of scandal; he rea l izes that coaching young, Protestant Una Clarke and taking her to public restaurants w i l l not be viewed as innocent behaviour by the author i t ies . On the contrary , "the authorities would say he had courted an occas ion of s in ; he had r i sked giving s canda l . " (p. 78) Then, because Tim Heron accuses him of i l l i c i t Ibehaviour, a scandal does in fact develop when three students overhear their conversat ion. The three boys are caned by the Dean of D i s c i p l i n e for "malicious slander, . . . sneaking under windows, l i s ten ing to your e lders , giving scandal to two other b o y s . " (p.94) After Heron's second angry conver-sation wi th Devine outside his c lassroom, Devine is appalled by the r e a l i -zat ion that his students have overheard Heron's angry words . Devine thinks of his students as "twenty-eight l i t t l e wire less transmitters, primed wi th scanda l , ready to broadcast it a l l over the schoo l , a l l over the c i t y , " (p. 161) and after the doggerel and graffiti appear on the w a l l s of the boys ' lavatory, Devine thinks of a l l the day boys as " l i t t le t a lk ing newspapers, primed wi th - 68 -s c a n d a l . " (p.177) When the President begins the d i scuss ion which is to decide Devine ' s fate, he announces, as if it were his text for a sermon, "Woe to the scandal g ive r . " (p.230)' The irony of the novel is that D e v i n e , the circumspect and innocent v ic t im of scandal , does suffer a l l the woes for a s in that was never committed. At the end of the nove l , Devine broods sadly on his fate: He would never l i ve i t down. He had not even been a l lowed to disgrace himself , to run off to Aust ra l ia or Canada or someplace, and never be heard of again , a man to be gossiped about, a man who ruined himsel f . N o , he had promised the President he would not r e s ign . He must ignore the whispers and the smiles: he must even pretend to be friends wi th that luna t ic , Tim Heron, (pp. 241-2) Diarmuid Devine ' s terrible fate is that he must go on l i v i n g as before his abortive scanda l , working at the same job, l i v i n g at the same house, associa t ing wi th the same people, and, in a l l probabi l i ty , s t i l l t e l l ing them what they want to hear. Two characters in later novels whose l ives and .language stand in contrast to Diarmuid Devine ' s are Brendan Tierney and Fergus Fadden. A l l three characters share a common background of Ca tho l i c famil ies and S t . M i c h a n ' s s choo l , but Brendan and Fergus have both renounced their re l ig ion and escaped the narrow Belfast world for North Amer ica . There they both make a l i v i n g as writers — a further indicat ion of their more l iberated l i v e s . W h i l e Devine always plays a background role as teacher (Those who can , do; those who can ' t , teach.) and stagemanager, Brendan and Fergus are both ac t ive ly making their places in the l i terary scene . Brendan, who is just about to publ ish a nove l , is more se l f - consc ious ly 69 li terary in his speech than Fergus, a twice-publ i shed novel is t who is less anxious to prove he is a wri ter . Both expatriates seem to have left Diarmuid Devine miles behind in a musty, unchanging Belfast boys ' school . And ye t , their language for a l l its uninhibited Americanisms, s t i l l bears traces of their Irish Ca tho l i c pas t s . Sometimes the traces have been profaned — "Jesus Chr i s t " is usual ly a meaningless explet ive for Fergus (p.4) — b u t s t i l l their speech has a rel igious Ir ish cast which suggests that childhood influences are never completely erased. Brendan Tierney's language reveals his intense involvement with a.literary, l i fe ; his childhood boast that he w i l l become a famous and dedicated writer continues to haunt h im. Brendan's f i rs t-person narrative contains many a l lus ions to great writers such as Shakespeare, (pp.89-91) Hawthorne, (p.285) Kafka, (p.291) and to great literature such as the Greek myths.(pp.4,228) He quotes frequently from writers such as Baudelaire, (pp.9,72) Joyce, (p.36) E l io t , (p.70) Tennyson, (p.128) Ba l zac , (p.178) James Stephens, (p.277) and compares himself to Stephen Deda lus , (pp.50,193) Flaubert and G i d e , (p.82) Aschenbach, (p.246) Conrad, (p.12) and E l io t , (p.285). He even wonders if he w i l l take a place wi th Kierkegaard and Camus , Dostoevsky and G i d e . (p.276) Before Gerston and Key take an interest in his nove l , he fears that he may be one of the many false artists who inhabit New York, a "Vil lage Rimbaud, covered in the vomit of s i c k l y pas t i che . " (p.60) He refers to the li terary l i fe in New York as a "vast charade" played out by writers whose ambitions are merely "private fantasies , " and who have "neitherreal bel iefs not the courage to implement them." (p.82) Brendan, 12 however, not only discovers that he has the courage to be "ruthless" in the pursuit of his ambit ion, but even that wr i t ing has become for him "the bel ief that replaces be l ie f . " (p.3.01) But w e l l before Brendan makes this pronouncement to M a x Bers te in , he has been referring to his wr i t ing in rel igious terms. As a schoolboy, he is f i l l ed wi th the "convic t ion" that he w i l l be a wri ter , (p.6) The letter wh ich advises him of his first publ icat ion "baptizes him in a new communion." (p.30) He explains to his mother that he has made wri t ing his re l ig ion: "It's an act of faith that by my own efforts some part of me w i l l survive the undertaker." Natura l ly , he ignores his mother's riposte that.his act of faith is not a s ign of re l ig ion but of "pure van i ty . " (p.91) When he learns that his book w i l l be publ ished, he announces, " M y entry into Jerusalem has begun." (p. 191) Brendan becomes so fanatical about his novely the creative work 13 which he refers to as his " c h i l d " , that he w i l l not accede to his editor 's demands for smal l r e v i s i o n s . Solomon Si lver who does accept edi tor ia l suggest ions, has , according to Brendan, committed an or ig ina l s i n . (p.296) But having jeered at his mother's orthodox Ca tho l i c i sm whi le e levat ing his work to the status of a r e l i g ion , Brendan is jolted by his mother's death into r ea l i z ing that the sacr i f ices he has demanded in the ruthless pursuit of his new re l ig ion have cos t ly to himself as to others: . . .1 asked myself if my beliefs are sounder than my mothers. W i l l my wri t ing change anything in my world? To talk of that is to be l ieve in mi rac les . Is my motive any different from hers? Is it not, as was hers, a performance of deed 71 -in the expectation of praise? And what is that praise really-worth; how many of the praised l i v i n g do I , in my secret heart, admire? To w i s h to join their company is to desire , admission to a book of sa in t s , the true facts of whose l ives and achievements bear l i t t l e resemblance to the public legends. As for the verdict of posteri ty, is it any more deserving of, bel ief than a bel ief in heaven? . . . Is my bel ief in my talent any less an act of superstit ious faith than my mother's bel ief in the power of indulgences? And , as for the ethics of my creed, how do I know that my talent just if ies the sacrif ices I have asked of others in its name? O Mama , I sacr i f iced you; .. . . Jan^ I abandoned you. . . .Am I s t i l l my mother's son , my wife ' s husband, the father of my chi ldren? Or am I a stranger, strange even to myself? (p.319) The rel igious language which Brendan adopts to describe his l i terary aspirations is only party metaphoric: wri t ing has indeed become Brendan's r e l i g i o n . The irony is that in gaining a l i terary reputation, Brendan has lost his own s o u l . Brendan's descript ion of himself as a stranger, strange even to himself , cl imaxes the use of the words , "stranger" and "strange" throughout the n o v e l . Brendan, Jane, and M r s . Tierney a l l have occas ion to refer to one another as strangers. In the beginning, it is Brendan and M r s . Tierney who are most struck by the strangeness of each other. At Brendan's first sight of his mother arr iving in New York from Belfast , he cannot wave to her, 14 for he stands "rooted in the sight of her as a stranger." (p.35) M r s . Tierney is also aware that the son she remembers is nd k in to the stranger who meets h e r . ^ (p.35) After Brendan brings his mother home to meet Jane, their talk is l ike "the meeting of three strangers in a dentist 's wai t ing room." (p.39) M r s . Tierney sees Jane as "a pretty l i t t l e g y p s y , " (p.38) W h i l e Jane thinks of her as "the false note" which disturbs the decor of her l iv ingroom. ,(p.42) Jane and her mother-in-law do not achieve any rapport. M r s . Tierney complains to Jane that she never addresses her by her name but refers to her instead as "she" , (p.227) When Jane does c a l l her, "Mother" they are both surprised by the intimacy it implies: Why had she sa id "Mother? "; When the word came out it startled her as much as it d id her mother- in- law, who looked up as though recognizing a sound in some foreign tongue, (p. 256) This exchange takes place after M r s . Tierney has left her chi ldren 's home, and in the meantime, Jane finds that she has total ly lost her persona of mother - in- law. To Jane, i she has become aga in , "an elderly stranger, uninterested and uninteresting, a stranger who pol i te ly asked after the • • • ' i • chi ld ren , . . . " (p. 24 7)- M r s . Tierney is left alone in New York (although a stranger, M r s . . Hofstra , does invite her to tea , p .268) , which explains why, as Brendan admits , "She died alone in the limbo of a strange apart-ment and lay dead un t i l , by accident , a stranger found her . " (p.318) The formerly close relations between Brendan and Jane a lso deteriorate to a co ld detachment. , Jane, who has erotic dreams of a dark ravisher , "a feral stranger," (p.96) finds her dreams coming true in the person of Vito I ta l iano. Although Vito is no more to her than a stranger ( "She giggled: he was a stranger; the whole thing was a dream." p.168), her relat ionship wi th Brendan is affected by her affair . Brendan typ i ca l ly misunderstands her change in behaviour, never guessing that inf idel i ty might be the cause: "It was strange: I felt as though I was at las t master in my own house and, strangely, our lovemaking reflected i t . " (p. 177) At the end of the nove l , Jane .discovers that she loves no one in the w o r l d . Her s i s te r , Barbara, is a stranger, (p.309) and Brendan is "a person strange and familiar to her as her parents had been strange yet famil iar when she was a l i t t l e g i r l . " (p.308) After the many earlier 16 repetitions in varied contexts , the word "stranger" as used by Brendan to refer to himself - "Who is that s t r a n g e r ? ^ met him at my mother's funera l . " (p. 319) is powerfully evocative of the preceding narrative in which a l l three characters become strangers to each other. • Fergus Fadden is the character whose background and present status most resemble Brendan T ie rney ' s . Fergus is a lso a l i t terateur. He quotes from Xenophon, (p.4) Ben Jonson, (p.11) C y r i l C o n n o l l y , (p.94) and James Joyce, (p. 105) and makes references to Notes from Undergound , (p. 76) Kant, (p. 77) and the French an t i -nove l i s t s , (p. 132) W h i l e Brendan is inspired by Georges Clemenceau who worked unacknowledged in New York (p. 112), Fergus takes.courage from the example of Faulkner who Hol lywood.f (p .34) Fergus' language l inks him to several other Moore protagonists as w e l l . He shares Gav in Burke's predi lect ion for modern poets and quotes from Eliot (p.107) and Louis .rMacNeice.(p.172) . L ike G a v i n , Fergus remembers being very impressed wi th the first actual writer he met, Hugh G i l d e a , who looked l ike D . H . . Lawrence .(p. 170- 3) „ And more important, the pattern of language which expresses Gav in ' s anxiety over fa i l ing is repeated in Fergus, as Fergus is constantly a s s a i l e d 17 by the meaningless of his l i f e . Ferguses var iously descr ibed as afraid, a s h a m e d , ^ h u m i l i a t e d , ^ depressed, ^ and anxious. \ . Fergus rea l izes that the ghosts he imagines v i s i t him are in fact vo i c ing a l l his "irrational 74 fears, se l f -accusa t ions , and doubts . " (p.105-6) Although, as he confesses , Fergus has held re l ig ious doubts "from the very beg inn ing , " (p.122) the figures of priests keep recurring in his v i s ions as arbitrary authoritarian figures who sit in judgment on Fergus 1 , -character and l i f e . The appearances of Father Kinnea l ly , (p. 14) Father Byrne, (p. 121) D r . Keogh, (p. 124) and Father Alonzo A l l en (p. 195) indicate that Fergus 1 re l igious school ing , even though he has rejected i t , s t i l l affects his subconscious th ink ing . He is amazed at his complete r e c a l l of the rosary (p. 143) and at his ab i l i ty to detai l the six-;part s in against the Holy Ghos t , (p. 124) L ike Diarmuid Dev ine , he cannot escape his Ca tho l ic indoctrination and he is s t i l l intimidated by p r i e s t s . A l so l ike Devine , he has a brief moment of rebe l l ion against the Reverend Dan ie l Keogh (even the name is the same), but his imagined viole t caning of his former teacher leaves him weeping and ashamed of his vengeful fury against an o ld man. (p. 127) Echoes of the voices of Brendan Teirney, Gav in Burke, and Diarmuid Devine occur in the language associa ted wi th Fergus, but surpr is ingly , Fergus also shares certain character is t ics of speech, in particular a c h i l d i s h qua l i ty , wi th Ginger Coffey, a character who is very unlike Fergus in most respec ts . Ginger Coffey 's juvenile language emphasizes his inab i l i ty to achieve responsible adulthood; in Fergus' case , however, his ch i l d i sh language stresses his senseof insecur i ty . It is instructive that Fergus'", confrontation wi th the past, in addition to forcing him to consider the deepest aspects of his character, a lso brings out the ch i l d in h im . When his parents, (pp.24-5) 75 his Aunt M a r y , (p.30) his older s is ter , (p.50) and the priests who were a lso his teachers speak to him as if he were a c h i l d , he tends to respond in the same v e i n . He often reverts to schoolboy d ic t ion (pp .14 , 81-2 ,185), and he c a l l his parents, "Daddy," and " M a m a " . At one point he withdraws l ike a pouting ch i ld because his father w i l l not recognize his succes s . But when his father makes a sign of approval , Fergus tries to avoid him, for "he could not bear to have his father speak to him as a grown-up placat ing a c h i l d . " (p. 35) Fergus rea l izes that his fear of the ghosts is analogous to the fear he felt as a boy playing frightening games of h ide-and-seek . Like a c h i l d , and. in the ch i ld ' s language, he wishes the terrifying game to end: Somewhere, in these rooms, hidden in c lo se t s , under beds, those others'(the ghosts]); wa i ted , f i l l ed wi th ma l i c ious , anticipatory glee , waited to jump out, . y e l l , make his heart thump. If only he cou ld , i f only they would , let him stop, let him c a l l , "Pax! " (p. 37) As more and more ghosts appear and as Fergus becomes more and more accustomed to his former fami l ia rs , they begin to seem more rea l than the actual people around h im, part icularly Dan i and her mother whose American qual i t ies contrast to Fergus' Ir ish ghosts . Moreover , Fergus knows that h i s apprehension of people from the past i s e spec ia l ly keen since they are people "he had seen, smel led , and sensed wi th the spec ia l strong perceptions of a very young c h i l d . " (p. 114) It is With the imagination of a ch i l d that Fergus thinks the chi ldren 's playhouse as "haunted ground, " which v i v i d l y reca l l s "a fear he had las t known as a schoolboy when' he ventured at night into the moonlit battlements of Doe Cas t le in Donega l . " (p. 121) But just as fan tas t ica l ly , the playhouse a lso becomes a confessional where a ghostly 76 . Father Byrne addresses Fergus a s , "my c h i l d , " as he hears Fergus's confess ion . When Father Byrne abruptly disappears, D r . Keogh takes his place and begins to cane Fergus as if he were a subordinate student. Fergus , however, canes D r . Keogh instead, "revenging himself and a l l other b o y s . " (p.126) And natural ly , when Fergus's school chum, Paddy Donlon ar r ives , they joke about their schoolmasters (Tiny K e l l y , Stinks Garvey, Froggy Pusey) l ike a pair of schoolboys themselves, (pp. 176-7) and d iscuss their ch i l d i sh misconceptions about their parents, (pp.178-9) And so , although Fergus grows accustomed to the ghosts , he never ceases to fear them or to revert to ch i ld i sh language when they appear. The cl imax of the novel is a moonlight p icn ic on the beach arranged by the ghosts for Fergus as formerly they arranged his birthday p icnics at the seas ide . • Fergus assumes that he is f ina l ly going to discover why his past has chosen this time and this manner to reappear to him and that some kind of revelat ion is going to be made to h im. He feels that he is once again "the birthday boy, unscoldable" , (p.206) but discovers instead that he is being placed on t r ia l for his sins of omiss ion by a crowd of host i le strangers. When he pleads for help from his family , they merely, play an obtuse game of Twenty Questions wi th h im. . He f ina l ly gives up looking to his family for help and accepts Elaine Rosen's verdict: "Don't be c h i l d i s h . You know they're no he lp . " (p.218) And indeed, Fergus';} father's f ina l word to him is no more than a warning that unless he finds some meaning in his l i f e , then (fas l i fe is meaningless , (p. 22 7) By the end of the nove l , j . Fergus'f\father.has ceased addressing him as a c h i l d , and Fergus, a much wiser man, has ceased replying in k i n d . In the depiction of his two female protagnoists, Moore is no less concerned wi th bui lding up a pattern of language in assoc ia t ion wi th each character which is both meaningful and appropriate. The language wh ich Moore ascribes to Judith Hearne is part icularly effective: her speech is a wonderful amalgam of prejudice ("She'd find the commonness in h im, quick enough, seeing she had it in hereself ." p . 76), gent i l i ty ("Just a soupojon of c ream." p.10), ingenuousness (Bernard Rice is "creepy-crawley and a "slyboots" p.17), and self-decept ion ("A drink would put things r i gh t . " p . 106). Moreover , Judith Hearne is given to repeating herself —• she always announces herself at the O ' N e i l l ' s wi th the same, "It's only me ." (p.71) — and therefore, her speech is easy to parody as the O ' N e i l l chi ldren are quick to prove. Judith Hearne's language, then, conveys both the pathetic and ludicrous aspects of her character. Since Judith Hearne is a pract ic ing Ca tho l i c before the c l imax of the nove l , her conversation has a re l ig ious s t ra in . She regularly seeks comfort and hope in prayers and novenae. But re l ig ion is not her only source of comfort; certain repeated phrases indicate that she finds more solace in her few possessions and the language wi th which she describes them. Even at the end of the novel when a l l her hopes have co l l apsed , she is comforted by the sight of her "familiar t h ings . " The photograph of her Aunt D 'Arcy and the coloured oleograph of the Sacred Heart reassure her as they did at the outset of the nove l , and she th inks , "When they're wi th me, watching over me, a new place becomes home." (pp.18 and 223). 78 -S i m i l a r l y , Judith Hearne finds in her buttoned, pointed shoes and her quaint descript ion of them, a sense of security: She looked down at her long pointed shoes . . It was always comforting to look at them when tears threatened. The l i t t l e buttons on them, winking up at her l i ke wise l i t t l e friendly eyes v - L i t t l e shoe eyes , always there, (p.78) On one occas ion , , however, the sight of her shoes and the repeated i n -cantat ion, " l i t t le shoe eyes , always there, " do not a l levia te her sorrow. When James Madden rudely abandons her in the street, she finds that, "the magic didn't work . " (p.134) For the most part, however, the magic phrases which Judith invokes in times of distress are more potent than prayers. The source of Judith Hearne's, distress l i e s , of course, in her utter l one l ines s , a lone l iness .which can o n l y b e f i l l e d by " M r . Right" and ch i ld ren , (p. 114) But men, as Moore points out when Judith is introduced to Bernie R i c e , always turn away from her: "He stared at M i s s Hearne wi th bloodshot eyes , rejecting her as a l l males had before him, " (pp.9-10) and the O ' N e i l l offspring, the children Judith knows best , reject her hints of k in sh ip , (p. 141) " A l l men" and "reject" are the l i tany of Judith Hearne's 22 ' despair . When James Madden does not leave her, "as a l l men had gone before h i m , " (p.26) Judith bel ieves that her prayers for a husband have been answered. Consequent ly, when Madden later comes to reject her, she assumes that God has also turned away: O G o d , . . .1 have renounced Y o u , do You hear me, I have abandoned Y o u . Because, O Father, You have abandoned me. I needed Y o u , Father, and You did not answer. A l l men turned from me . And Y o u , Father? You too. (p.209). 79 The final irony for Judith Hearne is that even the door of the tabernacle which she desperately tries to open to reaffirm her faith, "rejects" her. (P. 211) Since men, even a man who like James Madden is "common as dirt, " (p.96) provide the path to Judith's salvation, the passages in which she imagines the unknown pleasures she could commit with a man are strikingly and unusually poetic: Whiteness hers, he seized, revelled i n . Virile he, his dark flashing eyes, they lifted beakers of wine and quaffed them, losing themselves in the intoxication of love, homage to Bacchus, lusts of the f lesh, (p. 124) 23 Sadly, the moments of sheer poetry in Judith Hearne's life can only be imagined; reality holds no greater charms for her than "the little shoe eyes, always there." That she should derive comfort at a l l from so slight a phrase, is a measure of the meanness of her fate. Mary Dunne Lavery, by contrast, is "by a l l normal standards, a fortunate woman. " (p. 18) She lives in a well-appointed New York apartment with her successful playwright husband. But even Mary Dunne is subject to paranoia; in a world dominated by men, she feels that her identity as a woman is threatened. For Mary Dunne and Judith Hearne, men are both a source of and a cure for anxiety: while Judith Hearne accuses God of deserting her "as a l l men had before Him, " Mary Dunne refers to her third husband as her Saviour and her new rel igion, (p.103) Of course, Judith Hearne's dilemma is more substantial, but Mary Dunne's fears do assume 24 "ominous proportions" for her and even lead her to consider suicide. 80 -Mary Dunne is much more the modern woman than Judith Hearne, and appropriately, her f irst-person account of a day's events reflect her procl iv i ty to analyze and d iscuss her fears in a more sophist icated manner. "I am a changeling who has changed too often, and there are moments when I cannot find my way back . " (p. 109) In thir ty-two years Mary Dunne has assumed many different personae and the various names by which she has been known have frequently changed. She has been Mary Dunne, Mary Phelan, Mary B e l l , Mary La very, other people have ca l l ed her M u t , M a r i a , Mar tha , The Virgin M a r y , and she has thought of herself as Big Gert ie 's daughter or o ld Dan Dunne's daughter. Mary is f i l l e d wi th panic when she cannot remember her name which, is the symbolic representation of herself . For although she often castigates her "mul i sh , unbiddable memory," (p.170) her memories are, in fact , very precise: people, p l aces , times are always exact ly labeled in her accounts of the past . M a r y , for ins tance, reca l l s the first time she met Janice Sloane in Montreal although Janice has to be reminded, and every name in M a r y ' s story is exact: I met Janice the time I came to Montreal with Hat to do that first story for Canada 's Gwn. When.I think of Montreal at that t ime, for some reason I remember one winter evening, snow on the ground and very c o l d , we were a l l bundled up in winter overcoats , scarves , furlined gloves , and overshoes , coming out of a bar ca l l ed the Blue C h i p near the Stock Exchange , wa lk ing arm in arm, five of us , coming up a steep, s l ippery , icy l i t t l e street toward S t . James Street. It was Friday night and Hat and Charles (they'd been to school together at Upper Canada College) had run into each other after work . Janice and I had come down to the Blue Ch ip to join them, and Eddie Downes , the photographer, was there too . . . .(p.95) Every character, no matter how peripheral , who is mentioned-in this novel is carefully named: M a r y ' s hairdresser, Hen r i ; M a c k i e M c l v o r ' s maid, Ger t ; 81 Janice Sloane 's mother, M r s . Dowson , and her former employer, the Due de Mirepont , a l l these characters who are mentioned in passing are care-ful ly named. This background of exact nomenclature makes Mary Dunne's uncertainty about her own name a l l the more bizarre , and her consequent fear, a l l the more understandable. "Down T i l t , " " P a n i c , " "The Juarez dooms, " — by these recurrent . phrases Mary Dunne expresses her depress ion. At moments of hypertension, "Mad Twin" as opposed to "Sensible Self" or " M y Buddy" takes charge and makes Mary say things for which she does not feel accountable . These phrases are, however, not as t e l l i ng as Mary ' s reversion to Ca tho l ic d ic t ion to express her strongest f ee l ings . C o n s c i o u s l y , she bel ieves that "the last vestige of being a" Ca tho l i c was the l i t t l e part of me which saw {abortion] as murder," (p.131) but, in fact , many vestiges of her Ca tho l ic training remain in her speech and affect her behaviour. For example, after she is s t r icken wi th the rea l iza t ion that.her mother's tumour may be malignant, she beings "to blubber out a plea to the A lmigh ty . " Of course, she t e l l s herself that "prayers are charms, they are knocking on wood; " (p.16) but she nevertheless prays . Although Mary Dunne is no longer a true be l iever , she has not lost a re l ig ious habit of mind . Her exp le t ives , "Sweet Jesus our Sav iou r , " (p.45) and "Sweet Mother of G o d , " (p.159) are quasi-prayers as much as exclamat ions . Cer ta in ly her Ca tho l i c training affects her attitude towards sexual l ove , for the "language she uses to d iscuss her relations wi th men is r e l i g i o u s . Before Mary (Moore could not have chosen a more apt name for his heroine whose latent Ca tho l i c i sm is such a powerful 82 force/) begins her account of three marriages, she explains that her anxiety over being thought promiscuous stems from her fears that she is 25 l i ke her apparently promiscuous father, (p.15) Fol lowing Ca tho l ic doctrine, she feels that the sins of her father have been v i s i t ed upon her. From the outset, then, Moore establ ishes that in M a r y ' s subconsc ious , sex and re l ig ion are l i n k e d . 'There is no doubt that Mary Dunne, l ike Judith Hearne, does not seek her sa lvat ion in Chr is t but in a l i v i n g man who, in the case of Terence, she then tends to dei fy . When her relat ionships wi th men f a i l , she immediately identifies herself as the guil ty party, just as a Ca tho l i c accepts the blame for fa i l ing in his duties towards G o d . Mary is constantly judging herself in her relations wi th men, finding herself at fault , and suffering from her gu i l t . She remembers thinking immediately after her marriage to Jimmy Phelan that she has committed the first real mortal s in in her l i fe : I sa id to myself , You are a rotten person, Mary Dunne, you 've married him, yet you don't even want to k i s s h im, let alone l i ve wi th him the rest of your l i f e . Talk ; about my rotten father, I felt I was twenty times as rotten as he ever was , . . . .;(p.l20) Later , when Jimmy accuses Mary of b e i n g "cold as a bloody plaster s a in t , " she bel ieves him and th inks , "Jimmy's r ight , . . .1 am c o l d , i t ' s my fault , there's something wrong wi th me. " (p.163) Mary ' s sexual relations wi th her second husband are unsuccessful from their first clandestine encounter, the aftermath of which she describes in re l ig ious terms: "Afterwards , I remember, there was a tenderness between us , there were I love you's 83 -and do you love me's and yes I do ' s , the first prayers for our earthly kingdom, the first of those l i tanies I would come to know as the prayers of fa i lu re . . . ." (p. 34) In this marriage Mary feels guil ty for not acknow-ledging the truth about her feelings and she expresses her guilt wi th words taken direct ly from the Confiteor: The tenderness, the I love you 's : that was fear. Our jokes and giggles were mild hys te r i cs . I knew i t , yet I did not want to know it and that was my fault , my fault , my most grievous fault , (p.35) And she feels an even greater guil t for confessing her inf idel i ty to Hat and t e l l i ng him the truth at last about their marriage at a time when he could not cope with these truths: Gentlemen of the Jury,. I remember d i s t inc t ly that on that very night . . . ,/»*I was not mysel f . But that excuse w i l l not satisfy me. I am my own judge, it is s t i l l M e a cu lpa , mea cu lpa , mea maxima c u l p a . . . .(p.101) Mary also speaks of her third husband in rel igious terms . On four occasions she parodies the Twenty-third Psalm to his pra ise , "Terence is my saviour , I sha l l not want, he maketh me to l i e down in green 26 pastures, he restoreth my s o u l . " (p.103) Although Mary enjoys good relationswith Terence — she ca l l s their love-making a "Mass of the senses" (p. 160) — even he can make her feel gu i l t y . On one occas ion she regrets comparing him unfavourably to the writers he admires, and she fears that because he may think that she is going mad.1''he w i l l be forced to commit her to an asy lum. To save herself from this terrifying thought, she begins to say an act of contr i t ion, "Oh my God I am hearti ly 84 sorry for having sinned agains t Thee , because Thou art so good'I w i l l never more offend Thee and I w i l l amend my l i f e . " (pp. 158-59) Of course , the "God" to which she makes this prayer could w e l l be Terence. M a ry ' s strong sense of guil t has Ca tho l ic overtones which she herself does not recognize . She ca l l s the depressions which her guil t inspire the "Juarez dooms, " but she then proceeds to describe them in Ca tho l ic terms; D i d he know the Juare£)dooms were 'on me, the e l ec t r i c -current dooms which cut me off from everyone e l s e , for in these dooms it is not the world which is at fault , it is me who is at fault , my fault , my most grievous fault , yet I do not know my fault , the Juarez dooms are not about real th ings , I do not think about Hat 's su i c ide , I do not know what it is I have done, and so , not knowing, I can-not forgive myself . -1 know only that I have done wrong, , that I am being punished,/that I w i l l never be happy aga in , (pp.214-15) C l e a r l y , Mary Dunne's overwhelming guil t for having committed unknown sins is analogous to the notion of o r i g i n a l s i n wh ich is equally inescapable for a devout C a t h o l i c . Mary-Dunne ends her narrative on a note of quasi-happiness . She has momentarily reassured herself of her ident i ty, but her-promise that, she w i l l not panic is spoken in a, lengthy run-on sentence of the type which throughout the novel indicates severe emotional d i s t r e s s . S i m i l a r l y , as she prides hereself on being able to r e c a l l the "thoughts, words , and deeds of today ," (p.217) she does not hear the echo of the Confi teor , "I confess to Almighty God , . . .that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed. . . , " which points again to her strong Ca tho l ic sense of s in and subsequent gui l t , or as she would say , to the "Juarez dooms." Mary Dunne's language i l lustrates the enduring effects of her childhood training in C a t h o l i c i s m . Her speech, however, has another important dimension which reveals later influences on her character and which is an index of her more modern way of l i f e . She is constantly making references to the worlds of theatre and cinema and seeing herself as w e l l as her acquaintances as ac tors . Mary senses the ins incer i ty of people l i ke Hat B e l l , who, she points out, "acted his whole l i f e . " (p.35) u n t i l , "at the end, [he was] so caught up in his se l f -dramat izat ion, 27 that he overplayed his role^/ 1 (p.217) During her few hours wi th Janice Sloane, Mary is frequently aware that Janice is playing up her role as the brave, wronged wife (p.41) and enjoying the New York episode in her 2 8 "great drama." (p.58) Janice's obvious pleasure in taking the part of a heroine makes her remark about actors - - "They're so dumb*." — a l l the more i ron ic . The bovine Ernie Truelove a lso reminds Mary of a character from fi lms: a cow in a Disney cartoon, (p. 169) But M a r y , a sometime act ress , finds even herself guil ty of playing r o l e s . When her agent te l l s her she is the ingenue type, she agrees, adding, "And in real l i fe i t ' s no different, I play an ingenue ro le , wi th spec ia l shadings demanded by each su i to r . " (p.31) She even wonders i f acting i t se l f was not just another role for her l i ke the other careers she played a t . Throughout her account of a day's events , Mary often sees herself as a figure from the entertainment w o r l d . She is by times "the triumphant prosecuting attorney," making the Perry Mason point, (p.27) the straight man in a vaudevi l le act , 86 (p.87) and even the cat in the movie cartoon who has just been handed a t i c k i n g bomb: The bomb explodes and when the smoke clears there's the s i l l y cat staring at the remains of the bomb in its paw. Pause. Then (quietly) the cat cracks into a thousand pieces. , (p.7) It is smal l wonder that M a r y ' s sense of identity is a lso cracking . into a thousand pieces since she and the people around her are very bus i ly engaged in act ing out decept ions . Mary often sees her past as a f i lm ("Surreal as an early Bunuel f i l m , I saw myself . . " p . 24) or as a play(*Those events are a play of which I remember every l i n e , stage d i rec t ion , entrance, and ex i t . " p.65):, and this penchant explains again why her memories destroy her sense of ident i ty . She herself points out that when she tries to t e l l the story of her l i f e , the result is "some fa l se , edited l i t t l e movie , " (p.4) at the same time as she holds, that "we are what we remember." (p.3) Obv ious ly , if her sense of identity is based on something as insubstantial as "a fa l se , edited l i t t l e movie" or memories of a past in which she is never herself but an actress playing a ro l e , she is feel insecure . Mary Dunne's narrative contains many other 29 references to entertainments, in particular to the p l ays , Marat-Sade (pp.39,177) and Macbeth (pp.100,150), which are both, appropriately, about madness and death. By making Mary Dunne's language reflect the world of ac t ing , Moore is subtly expla ining why Mary Dunne feels l ike a changel ing . I Am Mary Dunne is a novel based on memories. It begins wi th the preposi t ion, "Memento ergo sum — I remember, therefore I am" (p .3) , and traces Mary Dunne's memories over a l ife of thir ty-two years . Natura l ly , the words, "remember" and "memory" and, unfortunately, "forget" and "lose one's memory" recur more frequently than any other words . For Mary Dunne, forgetting is as frightening an experience as . it is for Fergus Fadden, e spec ia l ly since she bel ieves that forgetting implies a k ind of death]/("As now, perhaps, I am beginning to die because some future me cannot keep me in m i n d . " p . 3) And yet , remembering can be an equally terrifying experience as Mary ' s reversion to Ca tho l i c d ic t ion in times of distress and her many a l lus ions to the deceptive world of stage and f i lm r e v e a l . Mary Dunne's Ca tho l ic remembrances, Judith Hearne's feelings of re ject ion, Fergus Fadden's anx ie t i es , Brendan Tierney's new r e l i g i o n , Diarmuid Devine ' s scanda l , Gavin Burke's fa i lure , and Ginger Coffey 's boy i sh trust in luck — these are the themes which Brian Moore elucidates by the spec ia l patterns of language which he fashions around each pro-tagonist . Such a pattern, according,to Dav id Lodge is "some s igni f icant ly recurring thread which however deeply hidden in the dense texture and b r i l l i ance of l o c a l colour ing, accounts for our impression of a unique 30 identity in the w h o l e . " Because the readi ly discernible patterns of d ic t ion in Moore ' s seven novels are l inked to his protagonists, "the unique identi ty" of each Moore nove l is once again seen to be the result of Moore ' s overriding concern wi th the central character. 88 Footnotes for Chapter III *David Lodge, Language of F ic t ion (London: Routledge and Kegan Pau l , 1966), p . 4 6 . 9 Dorothy Van Ghent, The Engl ish Nove l : Form and Function (New York: Harper & Row, 1953), p . 110. 3 For further references to "gambling", see pp.14, 47, 72, 180, 195, 242. 4 For further references to " luck" and "the luck of the I r i s h " , see pp . 10, 22, 48, 84, 114, 198, 234. ^For further references to "his ship would come i n , " see pp. 50, 93, 222, 242. 6 For further references to "hope," see pp. 22, 52, 80, 166, 186, 230. 7 For further references to "v i c to ry , " see pp. 78, 152, 161, 174, 179,243, Q For further references to Gav in ' s sense of fa i lure , see pp. 60, 112, 113, 115, 134, 158, 159, 170, 184. 9 For further references to "old D e v , " see pp. 49, 61, 78, 109, 115. 1 C See , for example, pp.. 20, 24, 26, 30, 31-33, 47, 48, 65, 69, 74, 90, 92 . ^ S e e , for example, pp. 17, .21, 39, 86, 164. ' *%he word, " ruthless ," used to describe Brendan's determination, appears many t imes . See pp. 11, 48, 49, 50, 80, 82, 83 . 13 See pp. 6, 194, 282, 283. 14 See a lso pp. 4, 46, 49 . * 5 See also p . 87. ^ F o r further references to "strange" and "stranger," see pp. 34, 41, 254, 258, 314, 322 . 1 7 S e e pp . -2 , 3, 12, 36, 37, 38, 48, 88, 137. 1 8 S e e pp. 6, 17, 25, 109, 130. 19 See pp. 13, 26 - 89 2 0 S e e pp . 3 , 24, 89, 101 2 1 S e e pp. 11, 214. 2 2 S e e pp. 11, 23, 26, 67, 123, 134. 23 See a lso p . 125. 24 ' Ha l lva rd Dah l i e , Brian Moore (Toronto: Copp C l a r k , 1969), p .108. 25 See a lso p . 64 2 6 S e e also pp. 158, 160, 198. 27 See also p . 150. 28 See a lso pp. 43 , 91, 92 . 2 9 S e e also pp. 5, 7, 18, 22, 54, 81, 157, 197, 217. 30 Dav id Lodge, Language of F i c t i o n , p . 80 . - 90 CHAPTER TV IMAGERY Richard B . Sale: When does imagery come in as a part of the wr i t ing? I notice in almost a l l of the books there is a sequence of repeated images. Judith Hearne's button-eye shoes , for example. When does this come in the process? Brian Moore: If it doesn't come in at the beginning, it doesn't come i n . You've got to see that person wearing that k ind of shoes — I don't go back and put it in la ter . Perhaps I always w i l l write books around a character. Here is an instance where one can trust the artist as w e l l as the , work, for the tremendous wealth of v i s u a l deta i l which gives Moore ' s f i c t ion an intensely r ea l i s t i c quali ty centres on the main character. Natura l ly , Moore is not only concerned wi th the clear depict ion of his protagonist . He a lso creates an al l- important set t ing, both the place and its atmosphere, which influences the main character, and he v i v i d l y portrays the minor characters wi th whom the protagonist in teracts . Beyond creating the desired representation of characters and set t ing, the imagery of each novel provides psychologica l insights and makes s o c i a l commentary when it pertains to the central character. Moore uses several imagis t ic techniques which recur, wi th var ia t ions , in a l l his n o v e l s . This repetit ion is in no way reprehensible since the techniques are total ly successful in the ful l v i s u a l rea l iza t ion of both the main character and the novel i t s e l f . . The most notable v i s u a l technique used by Moore in the portrayal of his protagonist is the mirror image. At some point in every Moore nove l , his protagonists have occas ion to look at themselves in a mirror and to describe what they see . This technique results in part from Moore ' s desire to avoid 2 authorial comment in favour of a more dramatic rendering, and it is a lso 91 part icularly suited to Moore 's interest in character s ince a mirror, wh ich encloses the image in a frame, focuses the eye on a s ingle figure whi le cutt ing off the surrounding area . The mirror image serves the obvious necessary purpose of t e l l i ng the reader what the protagonist looks l i k e , and the manner in which the protagonist 'perceives his own image is of psycholog ica l interest as w e l l . Judith Hearne fondly enhances her mirror image to create the Judith Hearne of her i l l u s i o n s , (p.20) but Diarmuid Devine cannot alter the image he sees: As he switched on the ha l l l igh t , his face surprised him from the hal ls tand mirror. Disembodied, framed in that small rectangle, it stared: long , sad , bespec tac led . The heavy mustache aged him, he r e a l i z e d . Hi s face was of another species from the handsome men who da i ly looked down on him from cigarette, shaving cream, and hair tonic advert ise-ments. Wouldn ' t he look r idiculous in a cinema poster? It would have to be a comedy picture . And his clothes . O l d flannels and his father's watch chain in his was tcoat . He looked middle-aged. (p.53) S imi l a r l y , Fergus Fadden finds that neither side of a makeup mirror can hide the fact that he is too o ld for D a n i , the mirror's owner: Fergus shut his mouth on his loose , magnified teeth and turned Dani ' s mirror around, hoping that on the other s ide , in the smaller projection, his face would seem better-l o o k i n g . But in the smaller projection his face, no longer blurred by magnif icat ion, was l i n e d , harder, the face of an aging young man under a false winter t an . (p. 105) Brendan TierneyJs i n i t i a l descr ipt ion of himself , as befits the egocentric writer of a f i rs t -person narrative, is s e l f - consc ious ly del ivered without the a id of a mirror. "Shal l I describe myself and get it over wi th? " is his introduction to a rather studied portrait of himself , (p.6) The manner in which he describes himself is here more descript ive of his character than - 92 -the v i s u a l detai ls he vouchsafes . But Brendan, too, is caught and revealed in a mirror image. His lack of sophis t icat ion and tact is mirrored back to him as he impetuously barges into an interview wi th a famous writer who l ives in an elegant New York apartment: "As I crossed the mirrored foyer I saw, ref lected, an untidy, big-handed farmer in his best blue Sunday-go- to-meet ing-sui t . " (p.291) Genera l ly , Moore as author does not make overt comments about the mirror image his characters ref lec t . He either lets a character comment on his own appearance, as Ginger Coffey does when he castigates the ch i ld i sh man he sees in the mirror, (p.93) or Moore adds a t e l l - t a l e deta i l which is eloquent in i t s e l f . W h en , for example, Gav in Burke who is most eager to be an adult , is convinced by his appearance that he has f ina l ly achieved manhood, at least part of what he sees gives the l i e to his convic t ion: . . . G a v i n walked toward the mirrors, admiring the sight of himself , a grown-up stranger in his first dinner jacket . . . and marveled how a simple t h ing ; l i ke a rented dinner jacket made one, at l a s t , the compleat grownup. He eased the white handkerchief a . l i t t le farther out of his breast pocket, and then, his main worry, f iddled wi th the black tie — t ied for him by his mother - - which had an ugiy tr ick of twist ing, lops ided ly , one bow up, one bow down. (p. 157) That lopsided black t i e , inexpertly arranged by his mother, does detract from the image of "the compleat grownup." What each character sees in the mirror reveals a truth about himself wh ich he either chooses to accept as. do Diarmuid Dev ine , Fergus Fadden, Brendan Tierney, and Ginger Coffey, lor to ignore, as rdo Judith Hearne and Gavin Burke. In either s i tuat ion, the way the character interprets what he sees provides an insight into his character, or in the case of Mary Dunne, - 93 into her di lemma. Mary Dunne's problem of finding herself among the many personae she has assumed is exemplified by what she sees in the mirror: Naked in the bathroom, I stood and stared at myself in the ful l - length mirror. I had run a bath, and just as I went to get into the tub, I saw myself naked in this mirror. . I looked at my face, a mask which looked back at me, at my body, which hid what happens inside i t , for this is he l l and I am in i t , . . . .(p.215) One knows less about Mary Dunne's actual phys ica l appearance than that of any other Moore protagonist. One does know, however, that she is beautiful and that other people who are attracted by her good looks f a i l to know the real Mary Dunne who, as she s ays , is hidden behind her pleasing exterior . Mary Dunne's diff icul ty in es tabl i sh ing her real identity is compounded by people l ike M a c k i e and Jimmy, who, in the past, forced her to f i l l image they created which was not herself . As she exp la ins , I remember in the cab this morning I thought of Jimmy, who sa id he loved me but who in real i ty wanted a face and a body which happened to be mine. Sad as it sounds, M a c k i e was the same. For she loved a g i r l she invented, a g i r l she ca l l ed M a r i a . There was no M a r i a . . There was only me. (p.166) Ernie Truelove also loves a version of M a r i a he has created w h i c h , as Mary understands , is distorted by the mirror of his memory: In the carnival ha l l of mirrors which is our memory we distort what we see . In Ernie 's mirror image of me, I am magnified, elongated into a g i r l who led him on , the object of his great, unhappy,unfulf i l led l o v e . W h i l e he, in the equal of opposite distort ion of my mind's mirror is reduced to a squat mannikin from my past, a du l l stranger, remembered only for his minor qu i rks , (p.185) And so , it is less important in I Am Mary Dunne that one knows exact ly - 94 -what Mary Dunne sees reflected in her mirror than that one understands how her good looks encourage (her admirers to create other Marys in her image that nul l i fy her own sense of herself . Clothes a lso form part of the v i s u a l image of Moore ' s protagonists and his descript ion of their attire is both r i ch in deta i l and in nuance. Judith Hearne'rs long pointed shoes wi th the button eyes have often been 3 commented on , but equally reveal ing is her penchant for red c lothing wh ich Moore uses to i l lustrate the discrepancy between the image she feels she creates and the way other people see her. As she dresses for her first breakfast in her Camden Street boarding house, she wonders, Now, what to wear? A touch of cr imson, my spec i a l cachet . But what? Reds are so f i c k l e . S t i l l , red in my colour . Vermi l ion . Yes (9 The black dress wi th the vermil ion touch at c o l l a r and cuffs . (p.21) To complete her outfit she adds her garnets and her ruby r ing , as later she puts on her red raincoat and red hat wi th wax flowers . Unfortunately, other characters do not appreciate her " spec ia l cache t . " The cashier at her bank thinks Judith Hearne is "a sight:" On the wrong side of forty wi th a face as p la in as a plank, and a l l dressed up, i f you please , in a red raincoat , a red hat wi th a couple of te r r ib le - looking o ld wax flowers in i t . And two, i t ' s the mortal truth, two red rings on the one hand. (p.176) M i s s F r i e l is equally sarcast ic about Judith Hearne's brazen, as she sees i t , appearance in red: " W e l l , you should have seen her. She had on a red dress , bright red, you've never seen the l ike of i t . And a red hat, I t e l l you , it was c o m i c . " (p. 181) - 95 -Even Moore describes Judith Hearne as, "Bizarre and faltering in her crimson raincoat and her waxen flowered red hat ," when she walks to the bus stop wi th Shaun O ' N e i l l , (p.79) Judith Hearne's resis tance to aging into a drab spinsterhood as represented by her red clothing is both val iant and pathetic, e spec ia l ly in the las t portion of the novel when, wi th her red raincoat unbuttoned and her red hat awry or tumbling off her head, she makes a f ina l effort to assert her i l l u s i o n s , (pp. 197, 198, 202, 204, 205, 208.) When Judith Hearne has faced the truth of her s i tua t ion , she is reduced to wearing a grey, inst i tut ional dressing gown, a l l colour gone. Her f ina l mirror image, she admits , is of an o ld woman, (p.219) A change in attire also attends Ginger Coffey 's change in status and even symbolizes his change in out look. Unfortunately, Ginger bel ieves that clothes make the man. (p.6) Moreover , as Ha l lva rd Dahl ie exp la ins , Ginger 's exal ted view of himself as a "Dubl in Squire, " who wears a Tyrolean hat and a sheep- sk in - l ined coat , constitutes the major obstacle in Ginger's progress toward se l f -knowledge . In order to reach a true understanding of his a b i l i t i e s , Ginger must first strip away the cloaks of identity he has assumed. Ginger 's gift of the Alpine buttons and brush from his hat, i s , according to D a h l i e , "the first step in d ives t ing himself of the external manifestation of his assumed poses . And.later , Ginger 's dec i s ion to accept the posi t ion of diaper del ivery man.forces him to complete "the denuding process begun ea r l i e r . " ^ Off went his Tyrolean hat, his hacking jacket , his gray tweed trousers and brown suede boots . On the bench they l a y , the las t remains of Ginger Coffey . On went the uniform , anonymous and humil ia t ing. , (p. 114) - 96 -The hated anonymity is momentarily essent ia l for Ginger since it i s , as Dahl ie points out, "a necessary stage between the discarding of his 6 false identity and the assumption of ;his true one . " Gav in Burke's hated uniform symbolizes for him his humiliat ing assoc ia t ion wi th the failures who people the Air Raid Precautions U n i t . Hi s uniform is a lso an object of der is ion for his family and relat ives who jeer at him for looking l ike Char l ie Chap l in (p. 10) or a detested Black and Tan. v (p. 11) But the fact that Gavin ' s uniform does not fit him properly indicates that he, in truth, is not an A . R . P . misfit and that his family 's dire predictions for his future w i l l not mater ia l ize . At the end of the nove l , - . 7 G a v i n ' s uniform actual ly gives him a new-found authority, just as the ye l low s l i cker wh ich had caused him much embarrassment during decon-tamination d r i l l s acquires a gr i s ly usefulness during the coffining of the dead which is the job that establ ishes Gav in ' s manhood once and for a l l . (p.231) Moore ' s portrayal of Gavin Burke presents an interesting contrast to his depict ion of Diarmuid D e v i n e . On the one hand, Gav in can see himself as an adult , who drinks in pubs, looks l ike Ronald Coleman, or who s i ts wi th an older woman, L i l i , on his knees , but Moore constantly shows that Gav in ' s outward appearance does not match his adult pretensions. On the other hand, Diarmuid Devine thinks that changing his o ld mis-matched clothes for newer, sportier togs w i l l somehow effect a rejuvenating change in his character. But the change is a l l exterior . Un l ike G a v i n , Diarmuid has no interior se l f -image to match the younger man he tries to appear. - 97 -The Emperor of Ice-Cream is not the only novel in which the apparel of the younger generation symbolizes the rift between parent and c h i l d . In An Answer from Limbo, M r s . Tierney finds Brendan's appearance in dark glasses dis turbing. She wonders, "What was he doing wearing dark g l a s ses , looking l i k e some Dago Dan you wouldn' t trust your gir ls w i t h ? " (p.32) When Brendan accuses her of not knowing him — they haven't seen each other for several years — she r ep l i e s , "How would I know you? . . .Is it a t in cup you're earning your l i v i n g wi th? " (p. 32) Her astonishment at his North American habit of wearing sun glasses would be unimportant, were it not the occas ion of her f i r s t , irremediably damaging remark to Brendan's w i fe , Jane, who, is one quarter Jewish . When Jane asks M r s . Tierney if she finds Brendan changed, M r s . Tierney's innocent but tact less reply symbolizes the inevitable d i v i s i o n wh ich w i l l characterize their ensuing relat ion: "Sure, I didn' t know him at a l l , when he met me,""she s a i d , s m i l i n g . 1 1 *Wi th those dark glasses on h im, I took for for some Jew M a n . " (p.38) It is smal l wonder that a l l three Tierneys continue to regard each other as strangers. S imi l a r l y , Fergus Fadden's ghostly father cannot imagine that the older , foreign-looking ("I'd say he's a Yank") Fergus i s , in fact , the son he last saw twenty-one years ago in ; I re land . D r . Fadden comments on Fergus' odd clothes and in particular on his "damn awful s h o e s . . .Gu t t i e s , we used to c a l l them." (p. 19) Before they even begin to speak, Fergus' father has es tabl ished himself as a distant authoritarian figure who s t i l l c r i t i c i z e s his son's c lo thes , although his son is an adul t . - 98 -Just as Moore uses the mirror image differently in I Am Mary Dunne from a l l the other nove l s , so he a lso takes a differing approach to Mary Dunne's c lo thes . She is the only protagonist whose clothes are not described in any de t a i l , although she herself describes what other chara-cters wear . Terence, for example, she remembers wore a "black and white houndstooth jacket , tan corduroy trousers, blue workshir t , red kerchief, suede boots, " to their near-disastrous luncheon before Mary left for Mon t r ea l , (p.47) When Mary does make a point of descr ibing what she wore on a part icular occa s ion , it is only because she feels guilty about her choice of c lo thes . After Mary has become involved wi th Terence, she does not dress up for her husband: I p icked out the green and l i l a c s i l k , which was expensive and okay for a good restaurant but not something I 'd ever l i k e d . After a l l , I was going out wi th Hat , only Ha t . I was not in love wi th Hat , . . . .Yet when I remember p ick ing that green and l i l a c dress I d id not l i k e , it makes me want to cry for Ha t . (p.67) Many years later , Mary s t i l l feels guil ty for this s in of o m i s s i o n . In addit ion to presenting a v i v i d descript ion of the central character in terms of their dress , Moore a lso includes in each novel a scene in which the protagonist is revealed either par t ia l ly or completely disrobed. Such scenes involve a certain loss of dignity for the character in quest ion, but it is this s l ipp ing of the public mask which a lso lays bare their humanity. Judith Hearne, for example, often appears foo l i sh , pathetic, or even comic , but nowhere do her fa i l ings appear more humanly forgiveable than the moment when she presents hereself in drunken dishevelment to Moi ra O ' N e i l l , - 99 -a woman Judith has always half hated and half admired. M r s . O ' N e i l l is embarrassed to see the neck of a gin bottle s t i ck ing out of Judith Hearne's bag: "Somehow, it was l i ke seeing M i s s Hearne wi th her clothes undone." (p.197) The scenes which have the same effect in Moore ' s other novels do involve some degree of undress . There is Diarmuid Dev ine , squatting naked behind the bed to hide his "white , unpublic" body from U n a . (p.148) The picture he presents in this humulia-ting scene epitomizes his inexperience and modest c i rcumspect ion . There is Ginger Coffey whose boyl ike attitude to his wife is revealed when, afraid that she w i l l d iscover he has slept in his c lo thes , he hurriedly undresses and hops into a makeshift bed in his underpants, c los ing his eyes as his wife passes the door. (p.41) There is Fergus Fadden who blushes at the image of M r s . S inc la i r f inding him making love to her daughter because this image reminds him of being s imi la r ly caught by Peggy Sanford's " M a m , " and even reminds him that his ghost-parents may a lso catch him in flagrante. Fergus' parents, l ike Ginger 's w i f e , can s t i l l make him feel l i ke a guil ty c h i l d , (p. 130) And there is a humiliated Gavin Burke, naked in a shower during decontamination d r i l l i n which he, as a supposed v i c t i m , must endure the appl ica t ion of b leach paste by the "lunatic s ad i s t , " Post Officer C r a i g , (p. 76) It is not surprising that this experience causes Gav in to reflect that his present l i fe is degrading h im. In a l l these scenes , Moore is pointing to the vulnerabi l i ty of his protagonists when they, as Fergus Fadden would say , are seen in "a state of nature." (p.16) - 100 -In An Answer from Limbo and I Am Mary Dunne Moore uses the image .of his protagonist as naked and defenseless to spec ia l effect. Na tura l ly , Brendan, in his autobiographical account, never places himself in such an exposed posi t ion; Brendan is a lways carefully wearing the mask of the a r t i s t . He does humiliate himself in his interview with So l S i l v e r , but then, in Brendan's v i ew , So l S i lver is a compromised man whose opinion does not count. Moreover , Brendan's brash behaviour fits his portrait of the artist temporarily deranged, and> again. in Brendan's v i e w , genius is pardoned everything. It is prec ise ly this narc i ss i sm which Brendan reveals in such an episode, that v ic t imizes Brendan's wife and his mother. There-fore, they are the characters whom Moore presents as f ra i l and mortal in their nakedness. Firs t Jane, who has concluded that her marriage is a fa i lure , is pictured s i t t ing naked in a chai r , "hugging her breasts as though she cradled a baby ." As she watches her s leeping husband, she rea l izes that he represents no more to her than a figure, "without whose protection and help , l i fe would be uncertain and d i f f i c u l t . " (p. 308) At no other point in An Answer from Limbo does Jane appear so to ta l ly defense less . Secondly , M r s . Tierney is pictured by Moore as she l i e s injured and dying on the floor of a strange apartment. This descr ip t ion , unlike any other portion of the nove l , is printed in i t a l i c s : She l a y , just inside the door of the s i t t ing room, on her left s ide , her arms ra ised as though she had been shot down in the act of putting her hands up. She had moved her head clear of the vomit on the rug and her face rested on the floor boards . Her hair f e l l over her eyes , her nightdress was rucked up, baring her buttocks and lower abdomen, (p.270) 101 The voice one hears in this passage is apparently M o o r e ' s , as he ca l l s attention to the cruel neglect of M r s . Tierney's chi ldren who cause her naked suffering. . In I Am Mary Dunne, Mary Dunne alludes several times to her doom dreams, "when naked is panic ; when naked is the dooms, the glooms, the nightmare in which I see myself in unknown hotel rooms wi th nameless g men ; . . . . " (p.160) She recognizes that this dream stems from her irrat ional fear of being thought promiscuous, but she is nevertheless unnerved by •9/'' its recurrence. ' To her greater d i s t ress , Ernie Truelove surprises her when she is only half-dressed and later uses the incident to insinuate that Mary Dunne is one of the " s o - c a l l e d act resses" who appear naked on stage, "just l i k e a whore ." (p.178) Ernie 's cruel insul t reinforces Mary ' s guil ty fear which has already inspired her "doom dreams." Moore uses the image of Mary en deshabi l le and the incident based on it to i l lustrate that Mary Dunne is a v ic t im of both masculine insens i t iv i ty and of an over-ac t ive sense of gu i l t . In a l l of Moore ' s nove ls , the image of the protagonist as naked and vulnerable gives the reader a sense of his humanfrailty:, whi le in I Am Mary Dunfte and An Answer from Limbo, the image relates to major themes of the novel as w e l l . Mary Dunne's "doom dreams" are an example of another imagis t ic technique which Moore uses to reveal the psychology of his protagonists . The dreams, nightmares, and daydreams of Moore ' s main characters are so v i v i d l y rendered that they l i t e ra l ly become part of the imagery of each 102 n o v e l . Dreams or nightmares, l i ke Mary Dunne ' s , generally elucidate the fears of the dreamer: Mary Dunne fears she is the promiscuous daughter of a promiscuous father; (pp. 15, 64, 160) M r s . Tierney fears for the salvat ion of her immortal soul ; (p.211') Brendan-Tierney fears that a boyhood boast of becoming a great writer w i l l not come true; (p.6) and Fergus Fadden fears that his hal lucinat ions of the day are a sign of impending madness . (p. 160) Ginger Coffey experiences a waking nightmare when he is afraid that his wife rea l ly does love Gerry Grosvenor. (pp.148-49) Waking fantasies are even more prevalent than dreams in Moore ' s novel s ince he is frequently concerned wi th recounting how a character 's I l lus ions prevent him from accepting the real i t ies of his l i f e . Moore lav ishes considerable detai l on such fantasies which make his characters ' desires abundantly c l ea r . Brendan Tierney, for example, enjoys a highly flattering and dramatic v i s i o n of his resignation from his posi t ion as a magazine writer: T u s e d t o c h a y e ^ i the^towiyedi tor ia l s l ave , walk down the corridors of my place of employ-ment for the last t ime. There is a murmuring in the cubic les as I pass the recept ionis t ' s desk and enter the office of M a c k i n l e y Downes , ed i to r - in -ch ie f . There is further murmuring as Downes 's vo ice is heard, first reproachful, then entreating, He offers me a ra ise in salary; he paints a v i v i d picture of my possible future wi th the magazine. F i n a l l y , in a las t effort to keep me, he proposes a year 's leave of absence . A l l his offers are ignored. I r e s ign . Envious eyes fol low me as I walk to the e levators , my parting bonus check in hand. :;'K But; yesterday"fact'• did 'nbf 'ht"fantasy. (p./58) For most of Moore ' s main characters, fact does not f i t fantasy, but their fantas ies , important v i s u a l elements in each nove l , are nevertheless a guage of the i l lu s ions which the characters harbour. Judith Hearne's - 103 -fanciful daydreams grow increasingly divorced from real i ty as she approaches her f ina l breakdown, in apparent compensation for her many disappointments. Her domestic fantasies of being married to Madden (p.29) are less inconceivable than her erotic daydream of being sexual ly assaul ted by her doctor's ass i s tan t , (p.125) This fantasy is fol lowed by an even more incredible daydream in which she imagines herself first i l l and then dead, to everyone's chagrin, e spec ia l ly Madden 's . (pp.165-66) In Judith Hearne's grandest i l l u s ion of a l l , she sees herself possessed of wea l th , beauty, d igni ty , important friends and admirers, when in fact , she is approaching her greatest humi l ia t ion . Dr iv ing in a tax i to Earnscliffe Home, Judith pictures herself a s , A grande dame, M i s s Judith Hearne of B e l l a v i s t a , Malone Road, Belfast , relaxed among the soft cushions as her Daimler purred pol i te ly past lesser ca r s . M u s i c a l , she thought of the musicale she would give that evening . G ie sek ing had promised to be present and there would be a smal l reci tal . . . .The butler would announce the guests , y e s , they were a l l there, the'handsome soldier she had admired so much in the advertisements for The Greys ' c igaret tes . A diplomat, F r e n c h , . . .an o ld lady who wore a strange sash , Maude Gonne M a c B r i d e , . . . .And in a corner, dressed properly in evening c lo the s / a f f ab l e in the manner of his race , James Madden , impressed, hardly daring to speak to her. Grac ious , she smiled at him over the Lord Bishop's hand.. . .Father Qu ig l ey , the bishop s a i d , Oh my dear M i s s Hearne, I don't seem to r eca l l his n a m e . . . , P r ince ly , the bishop passed, rmade way for Moi r a O ' N e i l l gushing, Oh Judy dear, what a wonderful evening! Eyebrows s l ight ly l i f ted: O h , did you en joy i t , M o i r a dear? And how are the chi ldren? So long since I've seen them, y e s , it was Paris this t ime, the Due de Guise simply ins is ted I stay another week . I 've been so terribly rushed. Y e s , I must try to get over some Sunday, (pp. 187-88) 104 -What sweet yet innocent revenge Judith Hearne enjoys in th i s , her l as t and best fantasy, before she is confined to Earnscliffe Home as a patient. Ginger Coffey also seeks revenge in dreams against the people who, in his op in ion , have wronged h im. When his wife berates him and his daughter nags him, he enters a world where "no man was saddled wi th girning wives and ungrateful daughters, there were unlimited funds to spend, the food was plentiful and non-fattening, there w e r e . . .no sneerers and mockers wai t ing to see you f a i l , no rents to pay, no clothes to buy, no bank managers." (p.40) And again , when his wife and daughter leave him, he imagines himself l i v i n g a happy, d igni f ied , and solitary, l ife without them as "a mystery man, the hermit of the Y . M . C . A . " After many years of i so l a t ion , he te l l s a female singer that her voice has been his sole companion: Would she pause, the tears coming to her eyes , would she put out her gloved hand, leading him towards her l imous ine , saying Take me to your room and t e l l me a l l about yourself? What is your name? Why is a handsome, intel l igent man l i ke yourself l i v i n g this hermit's l i f e . Why? A h , it was cr iminal of that wife and daughter to abandon y o u . You gave them up? Why? Because you had your pride, you refused to stay where you were no longer wanted. A h , you are a sa int , James Francis Coffey . A saint to have put up wi th them so l o n g . (p.106) But Ginger can also reason himself out of his fantasies: he soon recognizes that the "Hermit of the Y . M . C . A . " would have no one to applaud his s a c r i -f i c e s , and after a l l , "What good was i t , doing something, if nobody in the whole world knew you were doing i t? " (p. 106) - 105 -Ginger 's emigration to Canada was based on a dream of the adventurous poss ib i l i t i e s of the New W o r l d . W h i l e s t i l l in Ireland he had decided that although it was too late to do the things he had once dreamed of, "paddling down the Amazon with four Indian companions, c l imbing a peak in Tibet or sa i l i ng a. raft from Galway to the Wes t Indies , " it was not too late "to head off for the New Wor ld in search of fame and fortune." (pp.13-14) He d i scovers , however, that the New Wor ld does not automatically offer him opportunities for success and that Montreal is a c i ty of co ld real i t ies . It is not unt i l the end of the novel that he has a v i s i o n of the c i ty as promising, and this only after he has been released from prison: "The c i t y , its roofs and cornices crusted wi th snow, its rushing inhabitants muffled in furs, seemed a busy , magical p lace , a joy to be abroad i n . " (p.235) The mature Ginger , however, rea l izes that his v i s i o n is but part of a f leet ing moment of happiness . Diarmuid Devine in The Feast of Lupercal is far too self-demeaning to permit himself flattering or promising daydreams. S t i l l , on one occa s ion , Diarmuid does a l low himself to dream of a future p o s s i b i l i t y , but even this dream is a measure of Devine ' s se l f -deprecat ion. Because of his mistaken notion that Una is pregnant, he is overjoyed by the prospect that she w i l l have to marry him: . . .h is face grew suddenly exci ted as though he had received an inspirat ion too start l ing to cont ro l . He began to walk,more qu ick ly now, as though his body must respond to this new and powerful s t imulus . Supposing the worst were true? W e l l then, the Dubl in fel low could not marry t w i c e , could he? A husband would have to be found, a husband who would take the c h i l d and breed legitimate brothers and sisters to keep it company. She would not refuse h im. She could not . (p.121) 106 Devine is further delighted by the thought that U n a , a g i r l in her pos i t ion , would not laugh at his lack of experience on their wedding night, (p.25) This pathetic, s e l f - s ac r i f i c ing v i s i o n , so unlike the romantic daydreams of Judith Hearne and Ginger Coffey, fa i l s to mater ia l ize , for 'Una does not need a husband after a l l . And as Devine apparently senses , she would not have him unless it were necessary . Aside from the occas iona l outright fantasy — "Maybe t hey ' l l name a theatre after me. The Burke, "(p.72) — Gavin Burke is a lso not given to harbouring elaborate daydreams. L ike Diarmuid Devine , his v i s ions of the future are generally connected wi th a possible eventual i ty , in his case , Wor ld War I I . Gav in ' s apparent l ack of concern for his future which his parents infer from his job w i t h the A . R . P . , stems from his reading of particular modern poets who have prophesied the utter destruction which war necessar i ly en t a i l s . Hence , the war produces in Gav in "a v i s i on of the grownups' world in ru ins :" It would not matter in that ruined world i f Gav in Burke had fa i led his Schools Leaving Cer t i f i ca te . The records would be buried in rubble . War was freedom, freedom from futures. There was nothing in the world so imposing that a b ig bomb couldn' t blow it up . (p.7) Gav in ' s notion of the war is highly romantic. He sees himself , "wearing his steel helmit , dashing into the house across the way to carry the typis t down-s ta i r s , she half-naked and hys ter ica l in her relief." (p.8) This romantic notion is abruptly amended, however, when Belfast is bombed. The people Gav in carries are ser iously injured and the only naked females he touches are corpses . Gav in ' s v i s i o n of the grownups' world in ruins is f u l f i l l ed , but to an altogether - 107 different effect than Gav in had imagined. Irony, which attends the unexpected consequences of dreams or v i s ions wh ich are fu l f i l l ed as Gavin's; is, is the dominant mode of An Answer  from Limbo, in which the dreams of a l l three characters are r e a l i z e d . W h i l e most of M r s . Tierney's dreams are of the past, one of her truly frightening dreams is a v i s i o n of the future in which she imagines herself after death being judged by God (in her dream, her father) on Judgment D a y . As she stands at the foot of a great s ta i rcase , dressed in a white nightgown stained wi th f i l t h , she is accused of having acted out of se l f - in te res t . None of her re la t ives comes to her defense. Just as she feels the flames of he l l at the back of her neck, she awakes in the s t i f l ing heat of a New York apartment^Jpp.. 211-13) M r s . Tierney's sole dream of the future is ac tual ly prophetic: the pain^ at death, the absence of r e l a t ives , even the stained nightdress a l l become r e a l i t i e s . Jane Tierney's daydreams of "potent, hairy La t in s" a lso material ize when,,;' ^ - i as George Woodcock points out",^becomes the appal led mistress of a sexual acrobat named Vito I t a l i ano ." The adject ive, "appal led" , exact ly describes Jane's amazed react ion to the unpleasant rea l iza t ion of her daydreams. Brendan is a lso appal led by the person he becomes when his dream of becoming a writer comes true. At his mother's funeral, he sees himself not as a feel ing human be ing , but as a mere observer and recorder of events , —a wri ter . The dreams of a l l three characters become fact and always wi th the same i ron ica l tw i s t . Moore ' s use of dreams as part of the v i sua l i za t ion of his f ic t ion is different in Fergus from his other nove l s . Here the v i s ions are so r ea l i s t i c - 108 -that Fergus, himself , apparently accepts his hal lucinat ions as phenomenal, or even "more than phenomenal, for a phenomenon in the Kantian sense could be an i l l u s i o n . . . " (p. 7 7) Fergus finds it v i r tua l ly impossible to d is t inguish between real people and the v i v i d figures of dead or distant relations and friends from his past who shoulder into his present. When Boweri appears unannounced in Fergus 1 house, Fergus' first thought is that he is a ha l luc inat ion too: He saw Boweri in his ice-cream sui t , royal blue shir t , orange-and-black scarf, white alpargatas. He saw Boweri laugh at his own joke, heard the stress of his breathing, even noticed a smal l pulse beating in Boweri 's temple. Yet there was seemingly no difference in the rea l i ty of Boweri , who could be here in th is place at this t ime, and these others, who could not. Thus a new anxiety was added to the day . From now on , how would he know who was real? (pp.67-68) Cer t a in ly , Fergus' hal lucinat ions of his ghostly v is i tors are as r e a l i s t i -c a l l y rendered as any other characters in the n o v e l . His s i s te r , M a e v e , for example, appears just as she must have looked as a school g i r l in her uniform wi th her hair done up in a thick bra id , "and on her right breast was the school badge, showing a heart, a c ross , and a wreath of thorns ." (pp. 52-53) Like the other appari t ions, she w a l k s , t a l k s , and even eats some food which she takes from Fergus' refrigerator. The rea l i sm of these ghostly v i s ions is j u s t i f i ed for, as Fergus explains to M a e v e , he is the writer in their family , the person wi th the imagination to invent her. (p.54) Yet another highly suggestive imagis t ic technique which Moore uses to exemplify the fears of his characters is the v i v i d portrayal of another character wi th whom each protagonist identif ies; general ly, Moore ' s 109 -main characters see this character as a forboding image of their future. In Judith Hearne, the image of Edie Marr inan , s i ck and abandoned in a hostel run by nuns, i s , indeed, prophetic. " Y o u ' l l see, Judy, y o u ' l l s e e , " Edie warns her, and she does . Eventually as a patient in the same hosp i t a l , M i s s Hearne looks for Edie Marr inan during chap'^'el, but cannot d is t inguish her among a l l the women c lad in grey dressing gowns. "We a l l look the same," she concludes , (p. 220) Mos t of Moore ' s other main characters see the foreboding characters in time to avoid their s i tua t ions . Ginger Coffey does not become B i l l y D a v i s , who, an emigrant l i k e Ginger , is ac tual ly l i v i n g the meagre role of "the hermit of the Y . M . C . A . " which Ginger had once romant ic ized , (p. 207) Brendan Tierney does not become Pelardy, "the l i v i n g Chr i s t of a l l [his] own fea rs . " (p.61) Gav in Burke does not become a permanent A . R . P . misf i t , a drunkard l ike Capta in Lambert, (p.62) or even, one supposes, an/arty homosexual l i ke Matthew and M a u r i c e , (p.95) And Mary Dunne does not become, . . .one of those drear wan women who wander the supermarkets, a imless ly pushing wire shopping carts up and down the a i s les of merchandise at three in the afternoon, their minds muzzy wi th M u z a k , whi le up front on the shopping cart some infant slobbers and pees in its snowsuit and farther up the a i s l e its bo i ly brother, aged three, no i s i l y upsets a soapflakes d i s p l a y , (p.130) Mary Dunne paints another v i v i d picture of her poss ib le future self: . . .1 w i l l get worse , I w i l l lose not only my memory but my mind, and at the end, I w i l l be that vegetable squatting on the floor of the asylum's disturbed ward , unable to say its name, any of its names, for it has forgotten, therefore it is not, it has no name, it cannot even c lean i t se l f , (p.215) no ; -Again one assumes that because Mary has momentarily coped wi th her depression at the end of the nove l , she w i l l not, in fact , become perman-ently dis turbed. The technique is s l ight ly altered in The Feast of Lupercal when -Devine sees in the lov ing behaviour of a young couple in a bar both what he expects to enjoy ("He had a right to l ive too.") and what he has never enjoyed ("Yes, that was what he had missed up to n o w . " ) , (p.125) And , of course, in Fergus, the technique is completely reversed. Fergus 1 attention is focused on the past, and therefore, instead of seeing a character who is the image of his possible future, Fergus imagines his younger self who takes his. place among Fergus 1 other ghosts: Fergus, his eyes c lea r ing , turned to peer, startled by the familiar in that v o i c e . In the center of the room, pale , sk inny , a thick lock of hair f a l l ing over his right eye , looking young and fool ish in an i l l - a d v i s e d suit of cheap Prince of Wales checks , wi th a badly t ied poka-dot bow tie and a straight-stemmed pipe which he he ld , l i ke a c h i l d playing a detective in a school p lay , the familiar of Fergus' first passport photograph pointed at Fergus, as though.indicating to the others in the room the man he would one day become, (p.8'8) Very l i t t l e mutual admiration is exchanged by the two versions of Fergus Fadden. His younger self is disgusted that Fergus, at the age of th i r ty -n ine , has not accomplished more, and that no one can guarantee that his wri t ings w i l l be read in fifty yea r s . Fergus finds his younger self c h i l d i s h , and posturing. He stares wi th revuls ion at "this greedy young smoker ," and s ince Fergus has been ordered by his doctor not to smoke, he even considers reprimanding h im. Fergus' younger self i s , however, a l esson to him that V. — I l l — the past cannot be undone. The technique of introducing a possible alternate image to the central character is double-edged in Fergus where the alternate image is his own . Fergus rea l izes that at present he has not l i ved up to the expectations he formed as a younger man, and he also sees that from his present point of v i ew , his past l i fe is not admirable. In Moore ' s other nove l s , the technique is a simple yet effective way of bodying forth the hopes and fears of the protagonists in the most r ea l i s t i c and convincing manner poss ible — the image of another person. This technique along wi th the mirror image, the detai led descript ion of c lo th ing , the inc lus ion of the denuding image, and the v i v i d depict ion of dreams constitutes the several artful ways in which Moore v i sua l i ze s his protagonists both phys ica l ly and p sycho log i ca l l y . The v i sua l i za t ion of the other aspects of each novel — the interior and exterior set t ings, the atmosphere, the symbolic s c e n e s — is not as open to categorization of technique as the depict ion of the main character. Each novel is a v i s u a l entity which depends on the spec ia l nature of the indiv idual protagonist whose character dominates events and their outcome. The remain-ing imagis t ic techniques must therefore be d i scussed novel by n o v e l . Many c r i t i cs have commented on the pervading gloom of Tudith Hearne which they attribute to Moore ' s v i s i o n of Belfast.'''''' Outside the designated centre of the c i ty which is Belfast 's ugly white C i t y H a l l , writes Moore , . . .everything that was Belfast came into focus . The news-vendors c a l l i n g out the great events of the world in f la t , un-interested Uls te r vo ices ; the drab facades of the bui ldings grouped around the Square, proclaiming the virtues of trade, hard deal ing and Presbyterian r ighteousness . The order, the neatness, the f loodl i t cenotaph, a white respectable phallus planted in a s inking Ir ish bog . The Protestant dearth of gaiety, 112 the Protestant surfeit of order, the dour Uls ter burghers wa lk ing proudly among these monuments to their mediocri ty , (p.90) Add to this descr ipt ion of the c i t y , the dinginess of individual places such as M i s s Hearne's shabby boarding house on a universi ty bywater (like M i s s Hearne, herself, once accustomed to a more genteel exis tence) , the grey facade of S t . F inba r ' s , the ugly brick pavi l ions which stretch out " l ike crucif ied arms" from Earnscliffe Home, (p. 188) and the individual nastiness of such Belfast c i t i zens as M r s . R i c e , M r s . Brannon, M i s s F r i e l , sundry surly wai t resses , even Father Qu ig l ey , and the sordid picture of l i fe in Judith Hearne's Belfast is complete. The importance of this grim atmosphere and setting i s , as H a l Dahl ie exp la ins , that M i s s Hearne cannot escape i t . . Dahl ie refers to the c l imax of Judith Hearne's ant ic ipat ion which occurs as she is wai t ing wi th James Madden, not so much for a bus home, as to go off to something better. "But, " writes D a h l i e , "there are no buses out of Belfast for the Judith Hearnes of that wor ld , so effect ively are they 12 locked wi th in its unyielding conf ines . " In the dismal settings which Judith Hearne comes to c a l l home, her only consistent comfort comes from two representations of people — a photograph of her aunt and a coloured oleograph of the Sacred Heart . In her l one l ines s , Judith Hearne invests these images wi th l i f e , and although their eyes often seem to look at her wi th sorrow or reproof at her behaviour, their images, at leas t , are fami l ia r . The repeated images of eyes , as John Stedmond points out, provide 14 " in Joycean fashion, a unifying leLtmotif running through the n o v e l . " This pattern of imagery is most appropriate s ince Judith Hearne is learning - 113 to see the discrepancy between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y . Moreover , at the c l imax of the nove l , Judith Hearne, who is afraid that her re l ig ious bel iefs have no b a s i s , demands v i s u a l proof of God 's ex i s t ence . "What she r e c e i v e s , " 15 writes Stedmond, "is a revelat ion of her human plight in a l l its so rd idness . " Just as s ignif icant in terms of seeing is the counterplay of dark and l ight imagery in the n o v e l . Judith Hearne feels comforted and secure in the darkness, where she is able to nurse her i l lus ions without the disturbance of l ight which is here associa ted wi th revelations of truth. At night she feels that the photograph of her Aunt D 'Arcy watches over her, but in "the frozen l ight" of the fol lowing morning, Aunt D 'Arcy is once again the tyrannical relat ive who says good day " in s i lver and sepia-toned arrogance." (p.19) S imi l a r ly , Judith Hearne enjoys romantic fantasies under the cover of darkness at the cinema^;, (p. 85) and she finds herself at peace in the obscuri ty of her church: "This quiet , this gloom, this immense repose, soothed M i s s Hearne as she stood in the deep shadows at the back of the chu rch . " (p.122) Again and aga in , however, a sudden blaze of l ight signifies the end of a delus ion for her. When she returns home through the night streets of Belfast wi th James Madden , she is fu l l of unfounded hopes for their future together. "But as he opened the door of the house in Camden Street, her pleasant thoughts were stopped by a l ight which f lashed bright in the h a l l . " (p.91) Judith Hearne's ensuing conversation wi th M r s . R i c e , after she has first f led to the darkness of the scul le ry to avoid the d is t ress ing sight of Bernie R i c e , ha l f -dressed , brings to l ight her first major d i s i l l u s i o n about Madden . And again , as M i s s Hearne prepares to make a general confession to Father Qu ig l ey , she is certain that he w i l l help her. Her certainty, however, is 114 -shattered when, "Plock! Light f i l l e d the dark box as he s l i d the wooden door a s i d e , " and Father Quig ley begins her confession by reprimanding her and total ly fa i l ing to understand the urgency of her desperation, (p. 170) Judith Hearne's se l f -delus ions often lead her to misinterpret "the l igh t" for her own purposes, to see it as representing something it is not . She overestimates a sudden burst of sunlight in church as a s ign from G o d , (p.66) as later she interprets a near accident ("A car, headlights l i ke ye l low angrey eyes , brakes screeching in rage.") as a warning from G o d . (p.126) She forms an incorrect impression of Father Qu ig l ey ' s ab i l i t i e s when his white and gold vestments made him appear to shine out in the dark church, (p.62) And most deceptive of a l l , she bel ieves that the red-gold glow from the small l ight of the hanging sacr is ty lamp s ignif ies that God exis ts in the tabernacle . (p.122) When she makes a direct assaul t on the tabernacle to es tab l i sh God's presence, she is f irst b l inded by a red l ight and then mercifully carried off "to darkness, a l l darkness, a l l forget t ing." (p.211) This patterning of dark and l ight imagery which merges into the gloom of Belfast , obviously complements the repeated images of eyes , both of which elucidate Judith Hearne's agonizing perception. A gloom-ridden Belfast is again the setting for Moore ' s second nove l . The Feast of Lupe rca l . Judith Hearne's dingy boarding house is matched here by Devine ' s basement flat which has iron-barred windows, ye l lowing w a l l paper, and stacks of dusty pe r iod ica l s , and which is a l so located in a fa i l ing street, once prosperous, (p. 11) The drab ins t i tu t ion , Earnscliffe Home, has its counterpart in S t . M i c h a n ' s School wi th its long 115 grey facade, its drafty c lassrooms, and its co ld bare refectory. The dour Protestant r ig id i ty as symbolized by C i ty H a l l and its environs in Judith  Hearne, a lso affects the atmosphere of Lupercal where, however, Devine has at least a momentary urge to shock and even to defy his joyless fel low c i t i zens : When M r . Devine left the teashop that afternoon, he was f i l l ed wi th an outrageous joy . He smiled into the shocked faces on strangers, walked across Donegal l Street against a red l ight and stopped to k i ck an apple core in the formal flowerbeds of C i t y H a l l . As he boarded his bus , the conductor decided he was l i t up . (p.50) For the most part, however, M r . Devine ' s travels through Belfast are s ta id and forlorn. Moreover , the dreariness of Belfast is intensif ied in The Feast 16 of Lupercal by the omnipresent r a i n . If in any scene it is not r a in ing , then it has.either just stopped or is about to beg in . Even the above scene is qu ick ly followed by the information that "a co ld Samp, the beginnings of fog, misted the houses across the road . " (p.50) The rain and bad weather are as inescapable for Devine as the in imica l establishment wh ich controls his l i fe in Belfas t . Almost the las t remark Una Clarke makes to Devine before her departure i s , "It's going to r a i n . " (p.245) Fo l lowing the numerous other rainy scenes in which they have met, this apparently off-hand remark alludes s igni f icant ly to the co ld and dismal environment from which Devine cannot escape . L i k e Judith Hearne, Devine also furnishes his lonely "digs" wi th photographs, both rel igious and secu la r . He too imagoes the shock of his parents who are represented in a large wedding picture which is witness to Una ' s unseemly conversation wi th D e v i n e . (p.142) He is equally abashed 116 -when his landlady 's daughter surprises him in the act of taking down his re l ig ious i cons , a picture of the Div ine Infant of Prague and a reproduction of Guido Reni 's Ecce Homo. (p.55) This scene is t yp ica l of many others such scenes in the nove l , the characters of which are constantly catching each other in flagrante or eavesdropping on supposedly private conversa t ions . Fi rs t Devine overhears Connol ly and Turvey discuss ing-him in the lavatory, (p.5) Then Devine and Heron are overheard by three students hiding in the masters' c loakroom, (pp.85-87) who are in turn overheard d i s cus s ing their daring adventure by Father C r e e l y . (p.96) Eamon Heron catches Devine saying goodnight to Una in the back entry of his home, (p.107) and on a later o c c a s i o n , Maeve Heron catches Una cl imbing in the back window early in the morning, (p.158) (She has a lso been seen leaving Devine ' s flat on the same morning, p.154) Devine ' s second stormy interview wi th Heron is over-heard by his entire c l a s s , (pp.160-61) and thus a scandal grows. The gym master findsigraffitii about Dev and Una in the students' lavatory, and as he goes to fetch material to remove the insu l t , Devine catches three students trying to erase i t . (p.169) Later Father Cree ly and the President of S t . M i c h a n ' s happen to see Tim Heron caning Devine in the street in front of the President 's house, (p.224) And unbeknownst to everyone, the school porter, o ld John Harbinson, who is os tens ib ly deaf, has been spying on everyone, act ing as the President 's informer on a l l aspect of school l i f e , even the actionsC}of the Dean of D i s c i p l i n e , (pp.196-97) The repressive atmosphere created by scenes such as these in which even photographs have ears , makes vic t ims of the innocent. As Devine exp la ins , 117 Practiced voluptuaries would have hidden a l l traces of las t night, they would have sinned undetected. But she and I , innocents the pair of us , are found out the first go off. And who'd bel ieve us , if we told the truth? (p.175) There is no doubt that Devine is trapped by the over -v ig i lan t and s e l f -righteous authorities of church and school as w e l l as by the inhospitable atmosphere of Belfast i t se l f , both of wh ich Moore pictures b r i l l i a n t l y . Moore ' s f inal image of Dev ine , in which his condit ion is l ikened to that of a dray horse, i l lustrates most powerfully and most pathet ical ly Devine ' s s i lent subjugation: Beside h im, in the avenue, a horse and cart wai ted i d l e , as their owner offered wood blocks by the bag at a front door across the w a y . The horse's head moved l i k e a mine detector along the gutter, reins s lack over the strong back . M r . Dev ine , watching as Una turned the corner, absently put out his hand and fondled the horse's neck . The powerful muscles fluttered at his unexpected touch and the horse swung its head up, looking w i l d l y down the avenue in the narrow focus of its b l i n k e r s . Horse and man looked down the avenue, and there was no one there. The horse, harnessed, dumb, lowered its head once more. The man went back into the house, (p.246) Another powerful image which symbolizes the stern order of Devine ' s world i s , of course , the cane . Masters in The Feast of Lupercal are never without their canes; they begin each c las s by putting the cane in the trough of the desk, near at hand. Students picture their masters as s t i ck men wearing mortar boards and carrying canes . The novel contains many scenes in which students are caned, of which by far the most horrifying is Father M c S w i n e y ' s sad is t ic flogging of the three boys who overheard Devine and Heron, (pp. 9 3-96) Even Devine canes students, (pp. 8, 78 , 207) but he, at l eas t , rea l izes that the cane has l imi ta t ions: 118 -What use was the medicine though? It was the Dean's medicine, the school medicine, wh ich made this kind of boy . When he himself had been a pupil at Saint M i c h a n ' s , he had not loved his masters . That was the rule of teaching: boys respected the cane, the cane was what got results in h i s day, and s t i l l d i d , But if a master showed a weakness , he was paid back . (p.163) The cane has yet another symbolic meaning in The Feast of Luperca l . After Deyme ' s singular confession to Heron — he had not v io la ted Una because he could not — Heron, an o ld and angry master, ins t inc t ive ly uses the cane on Dev ine . Devine sees this caning not only as evidence of Heron's uncontrollable temper, but also as a kind of exp ia t ion . L ike the barren women of ancient Rome who thought the flogging of the Luperc i would remove the reproach of barrenness from them, Devine feels that Heron's caning is \ penance for his failure to make love to U n a . (p.244) Heron's r i tual use of the cane on Dev ine , therefore, points to both the implacabi l i ty of the authorities for whom the cane is a l l too apt a symbol and to the power of the same authorities who have rendered Devine incapable of l o v i n g . Mon t rea l , which is the setting for The Luck of Ginger Coffey, is no more hospitable than the Belfast of Moore ' s two earlier n o v e l s . In this n o v e l , it is the snow and co ld wh ich typify the c i t y ' s lack of cheer and f r iendl iness . Mos t of the time Ginger considers Canada as "this land;of ice and snow, this he l l on ear th ," (p.217) and Mont rea l , far from being the "Frenchy" place he expected, strikes him as a cross between American and Russia : The cars , the supermarkets, the hoardings; they were just as you saw them in the Hol lywood films . But the people and the snows and the co ld — that woman pass ing , her head - 119 -t ied up in a babushka . . .—wasn' t that the real Siber ian stuff? (p.5) After Ginger has spent several disappointing months in Canada , the f i lmed America he views at the cinema no longer seems true. It has nothing to do wi th the facts of l i fe " in a co ld New W o r l d . " (p.171) Ginger 's d is i l lus ionment wi th the New Wor ld must stem in part from his experience of the smal l apartments and dingy rooms in which many people l i v e . The duplex he rents on a shabby street is "dark as l imbo, jerry buil t fifty years ago and going off kee l ever s i n c e . " (pp. 4-5) Hi s room at the Y . M . C . A . is t iny and spare, (p.103) Veronica 's room, located in a s lum, is even smaller , and, as Vernoica says , "filthy", (p.183) B i l l y D a v i s ' s room over a c lothing store is equally smal l and miserable , (p.204) Ginger 's shock at B i l l y ' s poverty-s t r icken existence is intensif ied when he discovers that B i l l y is an Ir ish emigrant l i ke himself , who came to America at the age of twenty, " looking for the streets that were paved wi th g o l d . " (p. 205) But in his o ld age, B i l l y is reduced to l i v i n g on a pension of forty dollars a month. Money , as Ginger 's fel low proofreaders devine, is a lso Ginger ' s problem. To make Ginger 's lack of money as clear as pos s ib l e , Moore constantly describes his exact f inanc ia l condit ion in precise dollars and cents . The novel begins wi th an image of Ginger counting out his wordly goods. "Fifteen Dol lars and three cents , " is the sum Ginger pockets that morning, (p.3) and, as he later confesses to Veronica , they have only eighty dollars left in the bank. (p.35) Although he can i l l afford i t , Ginger spends fifty cents on candy for M i c h e l , (p.6) for he could not disappoint h im. When he has only "nine dollars between 120 him and a l l harm, he gives one to Paulie for ska t ing , (p.97) Ginger 's generosity to chi ldren i l lustrates his off-hand confession that he is "no great hand wi th money. "(p.lO)But he soon rea l izes the importance of money for him: Money , oh those proofreaders were r ight . Money made this world go round. If he had enough money Veronica wouldn' t be leaving h im. If he had enough money he could have wooed Paulie to come wi th h im, promised a house-keeper, promised her treats . Money , that was Our Saviour . Not l ove , mind you , not good intentions, not honesty nor truth. Because if you couldn' t make money, they would leave you , w i fe , c h i l d , fr iends, everyone., (p.97) When Veronica does move away wi th Paul ie , she leaves Ginger a ten dollar . b i l l but no message, (p.100) and so , after he has paid the rent at the Y . M . C . A . , Ginger is left wi th "exact ly seven dollars and forty-five cents unt i l his first pay d a y . " (p.103) This amount dwindles to nothing w e l l before pay day, and Ginger has to ask his employer for an advance. This conversation leads to the best offer of employment Ginger ever receives (" ' I ' l l make you my personal ass is tant at ninety bucks a week . ' "p.198), which Ginger fool i sh ly turns down because he dreams of becoming a reporter. When Ginger is not made a reporter, he rea l izes that a l l his dreams are i l l - founded and that he w i l l probably die in "humble c i r c s . " (p.243) " M o n e y , " the proofreaders told h im, "is the Canadian way to immortal i ty ," (p.70) and Ginger , as Moore ' s detai led accounting graphically, i l lus t ra tes , fa i l s to make i t . The figure Ginger cuts of a rushing energetic man cer tainly suggests that Ginger does try to succeed in the New W o r l d . Although his problems prompt him to identify wi th "Cripple Mate" (pp .15 , 271,117,119) in the headlines of a sensat ional news story, the image Ginger presents hurrying through the streets of Montreal is able-bodied and vigourous. Ginger is 121 only cr ippled psych ica l ly by his.dream v is ions of the future. In real l i f e , Ginger shanks' mares i t , he hurries, he runs, he rushes "from pi l la r to pos t , " (p.147) as he works at two ful l - t ime jobs . To Ginger , l i fe is a constant struggle in which he is "running u p h i l l , his hope in his mouth, his shins k i c k e d by people wi th no faith in h i m . " (p.39) Once at the Y . M . C . A . ("For the first time in fifteen years , he had stopped runn ing ," pp. 103-4), and again on the courthouse steps after his t r i a l ("No longer was he a man running uph i l l against hope, . . . " p .235) , Ginger has some resp i te . And by the end of the nove l , Ginger feels he has changed into "someone who had stopped running uph i l l in hopes . " (p.241) Yet it is hard to imagine his jaunty figure s t i l l , so successful ly has Moore portrayed Ginger 's S i syphus -l i ke efforts to make money, "the root of a l l good in C a n a d a . " (p. 70) If Montreal is "he l l on eath" to Ginger Coffey, New York is l imbo, according to Mrs . Tierney in An Answer from Limbo . Mrs . Tierney has a dream v i s i o n of limbo as "a quiet place l i ke an airport lounge wi th green plants that were not real and food on a buffet that was not rea l f ood . " (p.212) This dream obviously reca l l s M r s . Tierney's ar r ival in New York when every-thing appears as futuristic to her as an H . G . W e l l s f i lm (p.33) and her v i s i t to a cafeteria in Times Square wi th Frank Finnerty, her cous in : The cafeteria was a i r -condi t ioned and had rows of green plants which were not plants and tables and chairs wh ich seemed to be made of wood but were some p las t ic stuff. Finnerty told her he often ate here. The food, he s a i d , was f i r s t - c l a s s . But as she bit into the cake she suffered a familiar disappointment. American food was for show, not for tas te . L ike the false wooden tables and the plants which were not plants , it was as though no one remembered what the real thing had been l i k e . (p. 183) 122 Life in New York implies a l imbo- l i ke state of ob l iv ion to M r s . Tierney who is appal led by the c i ty ' s inhuman aspec ts . Even London she feels is human "compared wi th this huddle of great upended cartons, a man was l i k e a fly beside them." (p.37) Brendan, however, feels at home in New York . He knows it is "this world he cares about, this world of moving s ta i r -cases , e lect r ic eyes , efficient loudspeakers." (p. 30) In M r s . Tierney's op in ion , the Americanized Brendan is w e l l on his way to lo s ing his s o u l . Another aspect of the sett ing which images precise ly the differences in personality of the three main characters is the room Jane prepares, for M r s . Tierney in their apartment. Jane is an artist (her enormous paintings of potato-headed creatures as tonish M r s . , Tierney, p.45) who is proud of having her own s tyle ; "i t was her ." (p.25) She feels creative and inspired as she sets about redecorating the spare room for Brendan's mother: The thing to do was make it seem larger than it was by creating a feel ing of space and l ight . . . .She painted the wa l l s wh i t e . She bought a Japanese bamboo bl ind on Fourth Street, a s ingle unboxed cont inenta l bed (where else but M a c y ' s ? ) , a rectangular mirror from a Second Avenue junkyard and a s m a l l , unpainted dressing table and chair from Bloomingdale ' s . Over the bed, a Noguchi r ice-paper lamp, and for color and contrast a gay red cotton bedthrow wi th b lack Chinese charac-cters on it and just one print, a l i t t l e H o k u s a i . (p.23) Jane is pleased that the result besides being attractive and funct ional , is cheap. Brendan sees at once that the room, which lacks even a comfortable arm chai r , w i l l not suit his e lder ly , I r ish mother: When I saw that room, Japanned by Jane, I began to feel afraid . Anyone who can conceive of that Zen shrine as suitable for my mother w i l l never understand my mother's w o r l d , (p.26) 123 Brendan does understand his mother's wor ld , but he makes no effort tcfj ielp his mother adjust to a new w o r l d . Natura l ly , she is appal led by the smal l "hospital ward" ass igned her. (p.46) To her, their whole flat is the same: modern, skimpy j cheap. M r s . . Tierney concludes that Brendan and Jane must be short of money. Yet later on , when she investigates their possess ions , she revises this op in ion . They are not short of money, just compassion: There in the bedroom, looking at the closets stuffed t ight , the jammed drawers. . . , Mrs . T i e r n e y felt a bitterness r ise in her; they were not hard up at a l l ; they did not go wanting for one b lessed th ing . She thought of the l i t t l e bungalow on Dromore Estates; she thought of the saving it would cost her to buy one pair of b lack shoes.. . . O h , and when she remembered the presents these ones had sent h e r : . . . ; when she remembered that, it was hard to be fond of them. (p.68) Brendan never views his si tuation through his mother's eyes , for his own are directed upward to the successful world of the famous wri ter , So l S i l v e r . "Why, " Brendan wonders in S i lve r ' s opulent apartment, "should he have everything, whi le I have nothing? " (p.296) The imagery of the various set-tings i l lustrates that Brendan's ambitions have made him se l f i sh ly obliviofrs to his mother's p l ight , whi le Jane is simply in sens i t i ve . Several other images point to the dehumanizing effect of their environment and egocentric way of l i fe on Brendan and Jane. After Jane has been rejected by V i t o , she c lear ly sees an image for herself in the garbage being churned up in the huge maw of a sanitat ion t ruck. ("Things no longer wanted were tossed out. " p.245,) The inhumanity of her comparison 124 of herself to garbage does not occur to her. Nor does Brendan.hesitate to compare himself and Jane to two cockroaches stranded in a basin: " . . . lost, b l inded , two s m a l l , stupid creatures, terrified by this brightness into which they had blundered, this white stark world from which they might never e scape . " (p. 266) In both images, Brendan and Jane reveal a loss of human feel ing for themselves which is a l l the more pathetic for being unconsc ious . Brendan, however, has gone a step further in this reversal of human attributes, for he pictures his books as his "true ch i ldren , " in apparent contrast to his actual offspring, L i s a and L i a m . (p.194) When Brendan's editor suggests that his novel needs some r ev i s i on , Brendan feels as if a spinster has just to ld him his c h i l d is deformed and needs surgery to the eye and nose . (p.282) These images, in which people are compared to garbage or insects whi le books are l ikened to people, i l l u s -trate the truth of M r s , Tierney's judgment of both Brendan and Jane. Because they l i v e for their own se l f i sh des i res , they have los t the capaci ty for a l t ru is t ic love which she regards as a defining human t ra i t . In h e ' r v i e w , the limbo which is New York has already cla imed their s o u l s . M r s . Tierney passes the same judgment on Frank Finnerty, and the image wi th which she compares htfn applies equally w e l l to Brendan and Jane: On a huge b i l lboa rd , a painted face advertised Camel c i g a -ret tes . Every five seconds, through the hole of its mouth, a large, wavering smoke r ing floated across the square. L ike Frank, the b i l lboard face stared out through eyes that did not see, it blew out smoke, simulating l i f e . It felt nothing. It would go on blowing smoke unt i l the day when, di r ty , showing signs of age, it was pasfed oyer and replaced by a new bi l lboard face, w h i c h , in turn would simulate l i fe but feel nothing. Frank l i v e d for his own se l f . Was that l i fe? (pp. 185-86) 125 Such images of New York and New Yorkers comprise most of the imagery of An Answer from Limbo w h i c h , particularly insofar as it is seen through the innocent eyes of the outsider, M r s . Tierney, provides a v i v i d commen-tary on the dehumanized l ife of the characters of the n o v e l . Mrs. Tierney is at once an innocent abroad and a representative of an orthodox Cathol ic tradition w h i c h , to Gav in Burke in The Emperor of Ice- Cream , implies a corrupt authori tarianism. Gav in is in revolt against this establishment, typif ied for him by the tradi t ional nuns' parlour in the Ca tho l ic hospi ta l where Gav in waits: for S a l l y Shannon, a student nurse. A; date on a photograph of the medical staff which hangs in this room makes Gavin aware that the room has not changed since 1930, nor ever w i l l change despite what happens in the outside world: Nothing would change. The care of this room would continue, as would the durnal dirge of Masses a l l over the l and , the endless l i tanies of evening devot ions, the annual pilgrimages to holy shr ines , the frozen r i tual of Ir ish Ca tho l i c i sm per-petuating i tse l f in secu la , seculorurg. . .Even Hi t l e r ' s victory would not alter this room. Armageddon would bypass Ireland; a l l would remain s t i l l in this land of his forefathers, (p.136) As Gav in makes these depressing ref lec t ions , he is momentarily convinced of the powerful immutability of the orthodox Ca tho l i c author i t ies . Gavin is to d iscover , however, that even the influence of the authorities can be altered as the paral le l image of Gav in ' s family 's s i t t ing room indica tes . Gavin feels that this room, which has remained unchanged since his chi ldhood, is part of him'because he has grown up in i t . (p.9) But when Gavin returns to this s i t t ing room after Belfast has been bombed and his house, condemned, he finds a difference in the " looking-glass Room." Like G a v i n , himself , the room has been changed at last by the war . (p.248) In fact , Gav in actual ly fears his condemned house from which a l l l i fe has f l e d . Exhausted after a day of coffining the dead, Gavin hal lucinates the image of corpses in the empty s i t t ing room: "The dead, their faces dirty and pale , dried blood on their l i p s , their bowels loose in the f inal spasm, sat<; on his mother's sofas and cha i r s , moved in the shadows, lay out on the landing in a stiff jumble of arms and l e g s . " (p. 249) In the middle of Gavin ' s lur id imaginings, his father arrives in the house look ing for G a v i n . The implicat ion of this scene is clear: the s i t t ing room has changed, Gav in has changed and grown up, whi le "his father was the c h i l d now; his father's world was dead ." (p.250) Gav in has been looking forward to the destruction of his father's world since the beginning of the n o v e l . His ant ic ipat ion of this event ex-plains his inappropriate glee as the bombing of Belfast begins , in what",-, is one of the most memorable scenes of the nove l . From the roof of the Nurses ' Home where they have been posted to look for incendiar ies , Gavin and Freddy have a clear f i r e - l i t v iew of the c i ty which is bursting into flames a l l around them. G a v i n , who is f i l l e d wi th a tumult of joy , dances a Cherokee war dance, and they both shout out the names of people and insti tutions they would l ike to see destroyed: "Blow up a few c a p i t a l i s t s , " Freddy shouted, suddenly. "And the Bishop of Down and Connor, " Gav in y e l l e d . v "And Stormont C a s l e and Lord Carson 's statue and the houses of bloody Parl iament." "Not with a whimper, but a bang . " (p.201) - 127 -At l a s t , the prediction of a future holocaust by poets such as T . S . El io t has come true. Although Gavin and Freddy apparently welcome the war in this scene , they are later to rea l ize its terrible human to l l which they experience, as no one else does, when they coffin the dead on the fol lowing day. During the night, Gav in and Freddy help wi th the injured and the dy ing , but they are s t i l l not prepared for the horrific real i ty of numberless corpses: The dead he had seen last night had not stiffened into rigor  mortis and seemed l i ke actors , shamming death. But now, in the stink of human excrement, in the acr id smel l of d i s i n -fectant, these dead were heaped, body on body, flung arm, twis ted feet, open mouth, staring eyes , o ld men on top of young women, a c h i l d dying on a policeman's back, . . . . Forbidding and c lumsy, the dead cluttered the morgue room from floor to c e i l i n g , seeming to stage some mass l i e -down against the l i v i n g men who now faced them in the doorway, (p.231) As Gavin and Freddy begin their gr i s ly work wi th the body of a m i l l g i r l in her twenties , Freddy al ludes to the ludicrous idea that this war, is a good idea because it means that capi ta l i s ts k i l l capi ta l i s t s . They both rea l ize that the bombs do not d iscr iminate , that both the mighty whose power they hoped to see destroyed and the weak have become v i c t i m s . Moore 's v i v i d portrayal of the horrors of the war which brings Gav in to a sudden adulthood, makes Gavin ' s change in character total ly be l i evab le . The holocaust which envelops Belfast is seen entirely in terms of Gav in ' s experience of i t . Other people's experiences are mentioned only if Gavin hears about them. . In I Am Mary Dunne, the whole novel is not only seen from M a r y ' s point of v i e w , but pictured by her as w e l l . The novel i s , as she says , her own "fa lse , edited l i t t l e m o v i e , " (p.4) and l i ke a f i l m , it - 128 -uses many flashbacks and a stop frame technique which is a part icularly v i v i d method of summing up whole episodes in Mary ' s l i f e . Mary Dunne's 17 language, which reflects the worlds of theatre and cinema, points to her highly v i s u a l cast of mind. She herself describes the stop frame technique during her dinner wi th Ernie Truelove: There, in the dining room, amid the wreck of dinner, g l a s se s , d i shes , wine bot t les , there set t led on a l l three of us an instant o f total immobil i ty , as though the f i lm of our l ives had jammed. We sat, frozen in stop frame unt i l suddenly Ernie 's head jerked forward . . .{p.197) Mary uses the s ingle image of the stop frame to describe her chi ldhood r e l a -t ionship wi th her mother ("I can remember scolding my do l l in your v o i c e , standing beside you in the k i t chen , learning to bake johnny cakes the way Mama d i d . " p.11), and wi th her brother ("I know him as my big brother, Bat, who carried me on his shoulders up a c l i f f face in the Bay of Fundy, twenty-five years ago . " p . 13) The s ingle image is a lso an effective way of character izing people such as Mary ' s f irst husband, Jimmy ("When I am an o ld woman, Jimmy w i l l remain unchanged for me, a twenty-one-year-old boy wi th a b ig Adam's apple , laughing wi th a nervous bark, inhal ing his cigarettes the wrong way and coughing as though he w i l l choke . " .up.16). Mos t of Mary Dunne's recol lec t ions involve more than a s ingle image and are, as she points out, more l i ke a play or a f i l m . (p.24) In either case , her memories are intensely v i s u a l , and very often the stimulus for a memory is v i s u a l as w e l l . . The sight of M r . Peters fingering the t a s se l on a sherry bottle brings back the memory of Nancy Almond's party where 129 -he was a bartender; (p.24) a glimpse of a waiter 's suspenders s training against the bulge of his thickening middle-aged back reminds Mary of a Shriners ' Parade in Montreal when Hat could not comprehend her tears for"those failures in fool ish hats;" (pp. ,,78-79) the face of a l i t t l e Puerto Rican g i r l r eca l l s the three M e x i c a n girls who stared her into the "Juarez ' dooms" (pp. 105-8). At other t imes, the stimulus wh ich revives memories is ve rba l . Janice 's crueUreproach, "Look what you did to h i m , " reminds Mary of the night she left Hat B e l l , a memory she is compelled to re l ive once it enters her mind. (p.98) The scene ends wi th M a r y ' s last sight of Hat which she describes exact ly as if a camera were f i lming this dramatic finale of her second marriage: The last time I ever saw Hat B e l l he was standing in the bare ki tchen of that house he had hoped to buy. He 'd taken a glass from the cupboard above him and was pouring Scotch into the g l a s s . He must have heard me open the front door, but he did not look up . He ra ised the g l a s s . He drank. I lef t . (p. 104) S imi l a r l y , when Mary wonders whether Terence wants her to go to the movies , the word, "movies, " reminds her of her first husband, Jimmy Phelan ("Movies . Jimmy was the one who started me g o i n g : . . . . " p . 116), their elopement from Nova Scot ia wi th the idiot they were to drive to Toronto, their l ife in Toronto at the Blodgett 's rooming house and later in M a c k i e ' s mansion. Both of M a r y ' s accounts of her past marriages have a cinematic qua l i ty , not only because each is a complete-and dramatic narrative on its own, but a lso because of the flow of images which one usual ly associates wi th f i l m s . M a r y ' s v i s u a l associa t ions wi th both images and language resul t 130 in a continuum of imagery which complements the s tream-of-consciousness technique of the novel i t s e l f . . In a t yp ica l passage, she makes an easy transit ion from brooding on an idea to resuming her narrative of the day by means of associa t ions : Hat in Kingston under a stone. M y father's grave in the snow in the mil i tary cemetery in Ha l i f ax , the . l i t t le stone cross so packed around wi th soft wet snow that it no longer was a cross but a pha l lus . O l d Dan Dunne. "We w i l l a l l die soon enough without us dwel l ing on i t , " my Aunt Maggie used to say . She was my father's older s is ter and l ike o ld Dan Dunne she too is dead. I remember that she had a mustache. And that she was very t a l l , nearly as t a l l as o ld M r s . Dowson, Janice's mother. It 's funny, I haven't thought about Janice since we sa id good-by today. She phoned this morning at the very moment I went out into t h e - h a l l , . .J[p,. 35) Thus the narrative moves wi th the flow of associa ted images exact ly l ike 18 a fi lm w i t h , as one c r i t i c s ays , "no seams showing . " Mary Dunne's recol lec t ions of the past are interwoven wi th scenes from a single day in the present for which the setting is New York . Her New York is considerably different from Mrs . Tierney's New York in An  Answer from L imbo . More l i ke Brendan Tierney in her appreciation of the modern, Mary Dunne feels at home in New York, and she rea l izes that she would not l ike to exchange places wi th friends from the provinces , " s t i l l coming down to New York, l ike Janice, a k i d to a par ty ." (p.38) Mary is obviously able to enjoy the excitement of New York wi th its elegant beauty sa lons , (p.5) fashionable plays (p.39) and important art exhibit ions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim, (p.5) expensive French restaurants, (p.40) Centra l Park, (pp.84-94) and Mary ' s own tastefully furnished apartment which she describes in some deta i l to 131 -a potential l e s see , (pp.19-23) New York also means it inhabitants to M a r y , pr inc ipa l ly her successful husband, (" 'You mean the Terence Lavery , the Br i t i sh playwright, that o n e ? 1 "p.113) but also composers and choreo-graphers who work wi th her husband, polite doormen, and even talkat ive t a x i d r ivers . M a r y , however, a lso has occas ion to feel threatened by the people she encounters. During the single day she descr ibes , four men whose approaches vary from the blatantly obscene to the apparently inadvertent, make suggestive gestures or remarks to her. (pp.7,49,83,100) She is a l s o , l ike most New Yorkers , terrified of burglars . . The atmosphere of Mary 19 Dunne's New York, the tension of which she both reflects and encompasses t is at once more exhilarat ing and more threatening than the limbo described by Mrs . T i e r n e y . New York as the pr incipal setting provides unifying background images to I Am Mary Dunne which is v i s u a l l y very complex. Another unifying motif of images results from Mary ' s exact descript ion of food and dr inks , and e s p e c i a l l y , as Richard B . Sale points out, "the distasteful drinking of Bloody M a r y s " ( pp .24 ,33 ,38 ,41 ,42 ,43 ,46 ,48 ,49 ,50 ,63 ) which stresses the 20 psychologica l and re l ig ious complexity of Mary Dunne's character. In addi t ion , Mary Dunne catalogues with.considerable prec is ion meals wi th M a c k i e M c l v e r , (pp.137-142) cockta i l s wi th Hat B e l l , (p. 70) luncheon wi th Janice, (p.44) and the dinner she serves Ernie Truelove, who, in spite of his d i sc la imer , does behave l ike "a professional h i c k , " (p.169) braying over the caviar (" 'Let me say i t ' s not something which I 've had enough of to a l low me to become t ired of i t . 1 "p.171) and the red-currant j e l ly served - 132 wi th lamb (" ' . . .1 prefer mint j e l l y . That's the Canadian thing to have wi th l amb . ' "p .181) . The consumption of sophist icated foods provides a most t e l l ing image of Mary Dunne's present l i fe in New York, just as her reco l lec t ion of dinners of Campbel l ' s soup and Heinz spaghetti sums up an episode of her past . (p.137) Although Mary Dunne refers to her story as her own "false , edited l i t t l e movie, " the precise imagery of the people, objects , events, and settings which compose her f i l m - l i k e account is more reminiscent of the Cinema verite of the foreign films her husband admires. Brian Moore ' s seventh novel., Fergus, a l so invites comparison 21 wi th f i lms , e spec ia l ly surreal films l i ke F e l l i n i ' s "Juliet of the S p i r i t s . " The surrealism of Fergus results pr inc ipa l ly from the intrusion of the ghosts whom Fergus entertains not only when he is alone but a lso in the company of other people who are obl iv ious to their appearance. The patent real i ty 22 of Fergus' hal lucinat ions only increases the surreal is t ic quali ty of the n o v e l . Yet the ghosts are at their most bizarre in the f inal portion of the novel^during a moonlight p icn ic on the beach when they behave l i ke actors in an avant-garde play (p.185) or mass together in an anonymous and threatening mob. Later the mob moves over the enchanted sandbanks, "seeming less l ike a desert caravan than a co l l ec t ion of small beach creatures, scurrying sandpipers, perhaps, or now, becoming smaller as he watched, a dark swarm of insec t s , smal ler , smaller , then, at l a s t , d i sap-ppearing around the headland of Point Dume." (p.221) - 133 -One would expect the surrealism of the ghost episodes to stand in contrast to scenes from the "real" Cal i fornia which Fergus inhabits and which Moore pictures as b r i l l i an t ly as the actual settings of his other n o v e l s . But the real i ty Fergus encounters in Cal i forn ia i s , i t se l f , b iza r re . F i r s t he is struck by the unreality of Los Angeles and espec ia l ly of his eff ic iency apartment w h i c h , he concludes , is designed "to deny one's, ex i s t ence . " (pp.132-34) S imi l a r l y , Fergus is convinced that he could l i t e ra l ly disappear in a town l ike Oxnard, Ca l i fo rn i a , which he sees as "a l i v i n g tomb, . . .a wasteland of shopping centers, tract houses, t rai ler camps, marinas, . . .a town where you could never in twenty years meet anyone you had known . " (p. 75) Everything about his l ife in Cal i forn ia is unreal and unbelievable to Fergus . Even after l i v i n g wi th D a n i , "young M i s s Cal i forn ia in a m i n i s k i r t , " (p.11) for four months, Fergus s t i l l cannot bel ieve in their l i a i son^ (p. 136) Fergus is a lso impressed by-the incredible aspects of his employers Boweri and Redshields . When he v i s i t s Boweri 's Be l -Ai r mansion, which looks to him susp ic ious ly l ike the Royal Palace in M a d r i d , Fergus suspects everything and everyone of being "stagemanaged. " (p.66) And, indeed, Boweri has only to press his finger against the spine of a book in his l ibrary and "a w a l l of books moved, to r evea l , behind them, a three-hundred-bottle ba r . " (p.65) Redshields is a lso a dealer in decept ions. Fergus things he is a director by avocat ion, but, in rea l i ty , " l ike many of his k i n d , a sa lesman, a carnival barker, " (p.28) whose preferred mode of communication wi th other people adds yet another unreal quali ty to his l i fe : - 134 : -Direct conversation was , to Redshie lds , a secondary form of communication. When he moved from the orbit of his house . . . , his telephone-answering service tracked his progress, keeping him always in t o u c h . . . C a l l s , l o c a l , l o n g d i s t a n c e , in terc i ty , intercontinental , endless talkings to New York and London, telephone receiver jammed between ear and hunched shoulder, greeting, ca jo l ing , adv is ing , 1 shouting, laughing, k i b i t z i n g , . . .a nonstop performance, . ' . .for almost a l l of his ca l l s pro-duced no tangible resu l t s , they were lottery t i cke t s , part of a gamble which one in a hundred ploys might show some return. The telephone was , quite s imply , more real to Redshields than anything that happened outside its c i r c u i t s , (p.30) Given the unreality of the l i fe in Ca l i fo rn ia Fergus descr ibes , it is not surprising that the ghosts from his familiar and bel ievable past strike him as real in comparison. The actual setting for Fergus' day of encounters wi th the past is a house on the Paci f ic coast , supposedly isola ted from the unreality of Ho l lywood , Oxnard, and Los Ange les . But even this house and the mount-ainous background behind it have an ambivalent real i ty for Fergus: Behind the house were mountain s lopes , . . .a landscape e x i s -t ing continguously in his mind as a real range of mountains and a lso as a fantasy backdrop from w h i c h , rearing out of the f i lm screens of his ch i ldhood, Hol lywood cowboys might clatter through a mountain gu l ch . The house, l ike this l and-scape, exis ted both in the present and in his past, as this real house by the sea in Cal i forn ia and as the house he now imagined it w a s , that house overlooking Belfast L o u g h , . . . . the house he was born i n . (p. 37) In front of Fergus' house l i es the P a c i f i c . To Fergus, i t , at l eas t , is what it seems: the eternal s ea . His descriptions of the sea , l ike the fo l lowing , always stress its t imeless quali ty: . . .he turned toward the glass doors, and there, as a lways , was the sea , the long Pacif ic breakers beginning their run two hundred yards from shore. Tha lassa , Tha las sa , the loud  resounding sea , our great mother, Tha la s sa . (p.4) 135 At the end of the nove l , after Fergus has apparently suffered a heart at tack, Moore contrasts his mortal protagonist to the eternal sea: In the east , dawn came up. Breakers slammed on the morning shore, monotonous as a heartbeat. He walked toward the house. (p.228) Moore ' s symbolic p lacing of Fergus between these two aspects of the sett ing — the unreality of the shore, the t imeless real i ty of the sea — exact ly images Fergus 1 ph i losophica l posi t ion in the n o v e l . Fergus is caught between the demands of the "real" wor ld , which he recognizes as often unreal and ambivalent, and his desire to give his l ife a more s i g n i -ficant meaning. His ghos t -s i s te r , M a e v e , who is actual ly vo ic ing his own op in ion , says that Fergus thinks his wr i t ing provides his chance to cheat the grave. But the other ghosts , v is i tors from a t imeless wor ld , w i l l not even assure Fergus that his wri t ing w i l l be read in fifty years . And so , l i ke the bird which beats he lp less ly against the glass window of his house trying to f ly through it towards the sea , (p. 36) Fergus struggles against an inv i s ib l e barrier, an i l l u s i o n that no barriers exis t for h im, to reach a higher ex is tence . Again it is Maeve who outlines Fergus' pro-blem to him: "Your trouble i s , you can't be sure of anything. You have no l a w s , no ru l e s , no spi r i tua l l i fe at a l l . You have to make up your own rules of conduct. You have to become your own ruler , and found your own wee r e l i g i o n . You are your own g o d . " (p.55) The imagery of the novel provides an exp l i c i t para l le l for Fergus' di lemma. On the one hand is the unreality of Cal i forn ia which Fergus obvious ly recog-nizes as a denial of human nature, and on the other hand is the sea which is the perfect image for that greater real i ty to which Fergus asp i res . Fergus 136 is set between the two, d i s sa t i s f i ed wi th the first alternative but unable to reach the second because of his i l l u s i o n that he can be his own god. At the end of the novel Fergus 1 father chast ises him for not achieving a higher purpose (and indeed, Fergus does not enter the sea during the novel) , for l i v i n g a meaningless l i f e . (p.227) From gloomy Belfast to the great Pacif ic Ocean , Brian Moore has t ravel led a considerable distance wi th his characters, v i s i t i n g an exci t ing but threatening New York and a. coldjMontreal en route. Yet no matter what the set t ing, Moore ' s p ic tor ia l powers are always equal to creating v i v i d backgrounds against which his equally v i v i d protagonists enact spec ia l ro les , the result being an intensely v i s u a l i z e d real i ty in each n o v e l . The centre for a l l this v i s u a l r ichness is the protagonist whose unique character is the source of the spec ia l aura of each n o v e l . - 137 -Footnotes for Chapter IV ^Richard B . S a l e , "An Interview in London wi th Brian Moore , " Studies in the N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969(, p . 7 9 . 2 See Chapter II , p .^s . 3 See this chapter, p . 90. 4 H a l l v a r d D a h l i e , Brian Moore (Toronto: Copp C l a r k , 1969), p . 5 3 . ^ D a h l i e , p . 54 . 6 D a h l i e , p . 5 4 . 7 See Chapter III, p . 63. 8 See also pp. 15 , 64 . 9 The sight of her own naked,body also f i l l s Mary Dunne wi th panic s ince it too seems to be a mask which hides her true ident i ty . See the quotation, supra, p . 93. ^ G e o r g e Woodcock, "A C l o s e Shave , " Canadian Literature, 16 (Spring, 1963), p . 7 2 . 11 See , for example, W i l l i a m C l a n c y , "Pathetic Grandeur of a Belfast Spinster , " The Commonweal (August 3, 1956), p .448 , and Mar t in L e v i n , "Fut i l i ty and a Furnished Room, " Saturday Review (July 7,1956), p .9 12 Hal lva rd D a h l i e , Brian Moore , p . 2 0 . 13 Judith Hearne's photographs are not the only images of people which are invested wi th l i fe in Moore ' s f i c t i o n . Devine ' s photograph of his parents, (p.12) Paulie Coffey 's photographs of popular f igures, (p.29) Frank Finnerty 's photo of his father, (p.267) and Terence Lavery ' s gallery of great men (p. 154) a l l take on l i v i n g qual i t ies when viewed by Moore ' s protagonists . S imi l a r ly , Gav in Burke finds that his statue of the Div ine Infant of Prague is "a desperate l i t t l e preacher," (p.3) and, of course, Fergus Fadden's mental photographs of the absent l i v i n g and dead have l i t e ra l ly come to l i fe for h im . 14 Tohn Stedmond, "Introduction," Judith Hearne (Toronto: New Canadian Library , 1964), p . v i . ^Stedmond, p . v i i i . See pp. 34, 63, 53, 88, 89, 125, 129, 172, 190. - 138 17 See Chapter III, pp. 85-gfo. 1 8 Richard B . Sale, "Total Reca l l , " The Nation, 206 (June 24, 1968), p .382 . 19 Philip French, "Mary's Day," New Statesman, 76 (Oct.25 ,1968), p .552 . 20 Richard B . Sale, "Total Reca l l , " p .832 . 21 Julian Moynahan makes such a comparison. See "On trial at a ghostly family picnic: Fergus , " New York Times Book Review (Sept. 27 ,1970), p . 4 . 22 See supra, p./05. 139 ' CHAPTER V THEMATIC DEVELOPMENT A l l of Brian Moore ' s central characters, each one magnificently r ea l i zed by means of plot development, focus of narration, and patterns of language and imagery, are involved in j a search for personal ident i ty . At the end of each nove l , the protagonist has achieved a new and more rea l i s t i c self- image as the result of los ing his i l lus ions either through painful experience or by reca l l ing and reordering his past . Moore remarks on this constant theme whi le d i scuss ing I Am Mary Dunne in an interview wi th Hal lvard Dahl ie : She has reached a point in her l ife at which she begins to wonder who she rea l ly w a s , who she rea l ly i s , and who she is going to be . . . .And if you know my work, y o u ' l l know that's been the theme in my books — Brendan wonders if the o ld writer he w i l l be w i l l ever know the young boy he was . I feel that gap between the different se lves 4 we are at different times of our l i fe very strongly because I have been such a wanderer myself . 1 By focusing on his characters at a c r i t i c a l moment in their l i v e s , Moore is able to dramatize the insights wh ich a l low them to see themselves as changed, as having acquired a new ident i ty . Moore says of his first two novels that he wished to depict the two or three c r i s i s weeks in the l i ves of Judith Hearne and Diarmuid Dev ine , "when a l l the things they were 2 and have become r ise up to confront them—.. . . " Both M i s s Hearne and M r . Devine forfeit the i l lus ions on which they had based their hopes for the future: Judith Hearne sees that she i s , in fact , an unloved o ld woman who does not even have faith as a comfort; Diarmuid Devine discovers that he has become an "old woman" of a different sort, one whose inabi l i ty 140 to love is a subject for lavatory goss ip . The.crucia l weeks in Ginger:Coffey 's l i fe bring him a revelat ion about himself which is not so completely dejecting as the revelations in the first two n o v e l s . Ginger sadly rea l izes that he w i l l die " in humble c i r c s , " that he is not a Dubl in Squire or even "Coffey of the Tribune. " But on the posi t ive s ide , he f ina l ly achieves a more mature notion of himself: he is able to accept r e spons ib i l i ty , to say mea c u l p a . S imi l a r ly , Gav in Burke's new sense of himself as "a compleat grown-up," achieved through his independent and mature behaviour during the bombing of Belfast , provides a hopeful conclus ion to Moore ' s fifty nove l , The Emperor of Ice-Cream, w h i c h , as Christopher Ricks points out, "is the first of [Moore's] novels to be about the creation of a self ." '* The c r i s i s in the l ives of Jane and Brendan Tierney-is precipitated by the introduction into their home of Brendan's mother, Mrs . Ei leen Tierney. During the weeks she is wi th them, the beliefs of a l l three characters are put to the test , the tragic results of which reveal the utter vanity of Brendan's conception of himself as a true writer (he sees in the end that he has actual ly resigned from the human race to become an insentient recorder of events) , and of Jane's view of herself as the modern woman whose style is a ra ison d'etre (Jane loses a l l her self-assurance when she rea l izes that neither her family nor her career has given her l i fe meaning). M r s . Tierney's faith protects her from such se l f -annih i la t ing experiences; she is the one character whose sense of self does not change. 141 But the price she pays for her beliefs;;is high: she dies because her baptism of Brendan and Jane's children prompts them to abandon her. In.I Am Mary Dunne and Fergus, Moore focuses on a single day in which his protagonists are troubled by questions about their identi t ies: Mary Dunne wants to discover who she real ly i s , whi le Fergus wishes to ascertain why he exists . Both characters achieve at least part ial answers to their problems. In the act of remembering her past , Mary Dunne, as Hal lvard Dahl ie points out, attains "the identity spel led out by the book's t i t le : the identi t ies she had temporarily assumed . . . cannot obscure the only unchangeable fact about her, that she i s , and always w i l l be , Mary 4 Dunne . " S i m i l a r l y , by encountering and evaluating his past ("A man is what he does , not what he says he does . " p . 89), Fergus makes the necessary admission of the meaninglessness of his present l i f e , an admission upon which he can subsequently bu i ld a set of beliefs to justify his sense of h imsel f . C l e a r l y , the re cognition, of one's true identity and of the bel iefs which sustain i t , is a major theme of these seven novels in which the pro-tagonist is depicted at a moment of c r i s i s which is a lso a moment of truth. Having sa id as much, several of Moore ' s c r i t i cs go on to imply a broader theme in the total i ty of Moore ' s work. There i s , for example, the view held by c r i t i cs such as Hal lvard D a h l i e 5 that the increasingly emanci-pated l ives of Moore ' s protagonists and the movement of his settings from the O l d Wor ld to the New Wor ld implies a more hopeful outlook on Moore ' s part. Whi le reviewing Moore 's first s ix nove ls , Hal lvard Dahl ie maintains, 142 There is in Moore , as in Joyce, a movement from despair to affirmation, spel led out most strongly perhaps in the passa -ges wh ich conclude Mary Dunne but implied in the total i ty of his work . The direct ion in Moore ' s f ic t ion has c lear ly been towards a progressive emancipation of his characters: from Judith- Hearne and Lupercal wi th their characters locked in the s t i f l ing environment of Belfast , to Ginger Coffey and Limbo wi th their immigrant characters ^caught up in the flux and uncertaint ies , but a l so the p o s s i b i l i t i e s , of the New W o r l d , and f ina l ly to Emperor and Mary Dunne whose protagonists are triumphant and emancipated. 6 In contrast, other c r i t ics point to the pessimism inherent in Moore ' s work. After d i scuss ing the "horror v o i d " which underlies the ac t iv i t i es of succe s s -ful Americans such as Mary Dunne, Richard B . Sale s tates, "The irony of 7 the search for identity is that it may end s u c c e s s f u l l y . " A convergent v iew is expressed by the c r i t i c of The Times Literary Supplement when he 8 compares Moore ' s recent book, The Revolution Script to his earlier nove l s . In this c r i t i c ' s op in ion , Brian Moore has been "writ ing himself into a corner ." M r . Moore ' s later novels show the v i s t i g i a l re l ig ious conscience straining to give; depth to North American! l i f e . Fai th i t se l f is unacceptable, making unreasonable demands on the behaviour of anyone who is sporadical ly forced to be honest wi th himself . Ye t , bourbon, bedrooms and success do not content the soul : in t h i s , at leas t , the priests were always r ight . This potential ly su i c ida l si tuation has c lear ly caused M r . Moore much anguish, and his restatements of its miseries have been becoming increasingly b leak . At the end of Fergus, in fact , he finds himself on the brink of non-state-ment. "If you have not found a meaning," says Fergus 's {sic] ghostfather, "then your l i fe is meaningless . " But to expect Brian Moore to produce a revelat ion about the meaning of existence in the course of his novels is to require him to be more than a nove l i s t . Moore , himself , argues that if he were working towards some 10 kind of so lu t ion , he would be wri t ing t reat ises , not nove l s . His concern, 143 as he maintains on several occas ions , is to depict the l ives of ordinary people: their strengths and weaknesses , their cr ises and resul t ing ins igh t s . At times the v i s i o n inspired by the l i fe of a particular character is tragic (as in Judith Hearne), arvijat other t imes , this v i s i o n is comic (as in The Emperor of Ice-Cream). But in either situation", the thematic impulse of Moore ' s novels derives direct ly from his protagonists and their exper iences . An examination of just one of the recurring themes in Moore ' s f ic t ion — the theme of the father, wh ich is part icularly appropriate forlthis d i scuss ion because it is related to the search for sel f and because it subsumes many of Moore ' s minor themes, — illustrates. Moore ' s awareness of the paradoxes of ordinary human l i fe which is his subject and not his message. Judith Hearne's tragedy has its origins in her father: A p i ty , her aunt s a i d , that C lodagh , Judy's mother, married a bit unwisely in that respect . Fami ly , she meant, but of course i t ' s not your poor dead father's fault that he was born a Hearne . And then, speaking of great beauties , y o u ' l l never have a quarter the looks of your poor mother. N o , you take after the fjearnes , more's the p i ty . And they were nothing to write home about. P l a i n , (p. 108) And , of course, i t ' s not poor Judith's fault that she is born a pla in Hearne, that she has no dot, and that when she is orphaned, she is taken in by her harsh Aunt D 'Arcy who is as exact ing as any stern father. The second and deciding act in Judith Hearne's tragedy takes place during the years she sacr i f ices for the care of her se l f i sh aunt who, l i ke a jealous father, drives away M i s s Hearne's only sui tor , (p.96) As Christopher Ricks asser ts , Judith Hearne chooses "not only her lonely pass ion , but a lso her lonely Pass ion , . . in that foo l i sh , honourable moment when she lets herself be persuaded not to commit her desperate aunt to an a s y l u m . " The third act of her tragedy, which the novel dramatizes, finds her too o l d , too poor (her Aunt D 'Arcy has l i v e d off her cap i ta l ) , and too pla in to lure even James Madden , a rejected father returned from Amer ica , into marriage. This act involves two more fathers, who f a i l her just as her own father and her surrogate father, Aunt D ' A r c y , did in the past . Judith Hearne has faith in G o d , her heavenly Father, who, she bel ieves w i l l answer her prayers for a husband, and in God's intermediary, Father Q u i g l e y . Her fa i th , however, is shaken by God's apparent lack of concern for her and by Bernard Rice ' s ra t ional 13 arguments against her re l ig ion: "I think, M i s s H e a r n e . . . . I ask myself a few simple quest ions . Perhaps you can answer them for me. Your god is omniscient and omnipotent. That's what the Church says . . .Then how can we hurt Him? Why does He a l low a l l this suffering in His world? Why doesn't he answer your p r a y e r s . . . ? Has He ever repaid your faith in Him? Has He some secret reason for behaving the way He does, some reason He can' t t e l l us? A l l r ight! Then why should I be expected to know his secret reasons? Why should I be expected to understand Him when an omniscient , omnipotent God can' t give me the answers? . . . Why are you alone tonight, if it i sn ' t for your s i l l y re l igious scruples? Answer me that, M i s s Hearne ." (p.159) M i s s Hearne can only make stock Cathol ic repl ies to Bernard, just a s , la ter , Father Quig ley can only offer c l i ches in answer to her earnest questions about r e l i g ion , but the c l iches no longer satisfy her. Judith Hearne, then, is a 14 novel about "an ordinary person who loses the fai th" through the failure . 15 of a l l her fathers . The fathers in The Feast of Lupercal are representatives of the same re l ig ion which fa i l s Judith Hearne, but in this novel it is their role as school authorities wh ich is deplored. Diarmuid Devine ' s own father, who is dead 145 when the novel begins , was also an educational authority, pr incipal of a large public elementary s choo l , (p.14) But neither he nor the teachers and directors of S t . M i c h a n ' s where Devine was a student taught Devine the necessary s o c i a l graces by which to relate to women: It was the education in Ireland, dammit, he had sa id it many a t ime. He had been a boarder at this very schoo l , shut off from girls unt i l he was almost a grown man. . . . It was a matter of ignorance, pure and s imple , (p.9) The novel c lear ly demonstrates that the same school authorities who now control Devine in his role as a master are largely responsible for Devine ' s inhibit ions wh ich render him a "ninny, incapable of getting a g i r l . " (p.8) In part icular , Father McSwiney and Father Keogh represent two powerful methods of paternal control: the former is a v i c i o u s , punitive man who uses the cane to terrorize; the latter, a milder but M a c h i a v e l l i a n man, i s , as Moore says , "the very spir i t of authoritarianism and Ca tho l i c i sm at its 16 wors t . He is Realpol i t ik a l l the w a y . " A third father in the nove l , Tim Heron, who canes Dev ine , is yet another example of the brutal authoritarianism of Ca tho l i c educators. As Una 's guardian, he bel ieves that he is protecting her from s in by forbidding her to l ive her own l i f e , but she constantly defies his strictures and eventually escapes his authority complete ly . U n a , whose own father is dead and who is a Protestant, stands in obvious and t e l l i ng contrast to D e v i n e . . Hers is a l iberation wh ich Dev ine , a puppet of the fathers of Ca tho l i c educat ion, w i l l never know. In the first two nove l s , the chi ldren are more sinned against by their various fathers than s inn ing . Yet it is a measure of Moore ' s breadth of v i s i o n 146 that he is capable of wri t ing a novel from a father's point of view as w e l l . In The Luck of Ginger Coffey, Moore dramatizes the struggle of Ginger Coffey to keep the loyal ty and respect of his wife and daughter who are gradually being alienated by his immaturity. Since his chi ldhood, Ginger has ignored the warning of his confessor, Father C o g l e y , that he must r ecog-nize his l imitat ions and curb his boyi ike schemes of romantic adventure. Therefore, in his middle age, Ginger is forced to go "hat in hand to younger men" (p.39) to find employment, for he knows that he cannot keep his family 17 together unless he can support them. F i n a l l y , he is employed by two men who epitomize an authoritarian paternalism (Mr . MacGregor is d ic ta tor ia l and Stanley Mountain is mi l i t a r i s t i c ) , and his lowly jobs reflect both his humiliat ion as an inadequate father and the sacr i f ices he is prepared to make to regain his fami ly . Later , Ginger makes two more imporant steps to preserve his family: he refuses to go through wi th the charade adultery scene which would enable his wife to divorce him and he l i es about his true identity in court to spare his family from his d i sgrace . The judge's dec i s ion to give Ginger a suspended sentence again points to Ginger 's role as a father: I am deal ing wi th you len ien t ly , Coffey, because I am sorry for your fami ly . To be alone in a new country, wi th their breadwinner in j a i l , seems to me a fate which your wife and ch i l d do not. deserve, (p.233) 18 Ginger 's se l f less act in court restores his family to him and is expressive of his regeneration as a father. An Answer from Limbo depicts a.father who, in contrast to Ginger Coffey, w i l l i n g l y gives up his domestic persona to become a wr i ter . Brendan 147 recognizes his own transformation when he remarks, We change. Scout Tierney is dead in me, as Brendan Tierney, the wage-earning paterfamilias is dead. The man I am become in these past weeks is kin only to that old writer who, someday, sitting on a balcony in Nice or San Francisco, wi l l try to think back to this year and this place, to the moment when he was truly born. (p. 130) Moore treats every aspect of Brendan's birth as a writer and especially his motivation. His ambition, Moore shows, is clearly linked to his need to prove to his own father, D r . Charles Grattan Tierney, a successful Belfast surgeon, that he should not have written off Brendan as a failure: I know only that if I were granted the wish to bring back to this world for one hour any human being I have known or read . of, I would put in the cal l tonight for my father. We would not be friends. I might be shocked at his bigotry, his vanity, his platitudes. But there, standing in the kitchen, holding his signet ring, I suddenly, desperately, wished that he were with me. I wanted to prove to him that he was wrong, that I, of al l his children, wi l l do him honour. O Father, forgive me as I forgive you, Father, I am your son. (p.67) 19 M r s . Tierney confirms that Brendan is his father's son. Like his father's, Brendan's determination nourishes his ambition and makes him "ruthless and dedicated," entirely capable of sacrificing his loved ones "ad majorem Brendan  gloriam." (p.50) After Brendan learns that his novel wi l l be published, he reflects that his own son, who is too young to understand this news, is "innocent of his future, of the father he must surpass." Brendan is obviously alluding to the inevitable rivalry which occurs between a son and his success-ful father, the same rivalry which has sparked his own ambition. Moore shows that this rivalry, however productive outside the family, is destructive to a 148 f i l ial relationship, not only because it sets son against father, but also because it leads a father to sacrifice his children by elevating his work above their needs . A second related theme of An Answer from Limbo is the contrast which Moore has said he wished to illustrate between Irish Catholicism 20 and "the rootless wasteland of North America." Hallvard Dahlie discusses the wasteland imagery of An Answer from Limbo which obviously complements 21 the images of limbo since both conditions imply an absence of G o d . M r s . Tierney alone in this novel has faith in God , her heavenly Father, who marvelously resembles her own father in her dream of Judgment D a y . Her faith in God, Moore suggests, enables her to act disinterestedly and for the g ood of others, while Brendan and Jane, who lack a spiritual father, sacr i -fice even those they presumably love best in the selfish pursuit of their own desires. Faith in one's heavenly Father is evidently preferable to faith in oneself. Moore's treatment of this theme is further evidence of his compre-hensive point of view, for he is able to point out the positive values of the same Catholicism which he criticizes in his first two novels . While An Answer from Limbo treats the destructive rivalry between father and son, The Emperor of Ice-Cream examines Gavin Burke's alienation from his authoritarian father. M r . James Burke, like most of the influential 22 fathers in Moore's novels, is a successful professional man, whose very success tends to daunt his impressionable son at the same time as it creates a desperate need in Gavin to succeed. Moore reveals the pompous bigotry of 149 Gavin's father for whom Hitler is preferable to the British, his establishment orientation which makes him insist that Gavin attain a profession, and his self-righteousness which prompts him to tell Gavin that in view of Gavin's failure in exams (Mr. Burke was a scholarship winner), he wi l l not waste more money on him. A l l of these qualities as well as M r . Burke's religiosity (Gavin has renounced his faith) illustrate why Gavin is in revolt against "the grown-ups," his father in particular. The novel also illustrates, however, that Gavin's alienation which leads him to take his A . R . P . job to enjoy "indepen-dence from his father's do's and don'ts," (p.8) is the necessary preparation for Gavin's eventual growth to manhood. At the end of the novel , the new adult Gavin is able to view his penitent father with compassion. Gavin's father's admission of error in his political views is related to a minor theme of the novel , that of the undying hatred for the British on the part of Irish Cathol ics . Moore shows that nationalistic Catholics such as M r . Burke and that other unfortunate father, Mick Gallagher, actually made a 23 dramatic volte face when the Germans bombed Belfast. But before this event, the political attitudes of the older generation are anathema to Gavin , a less prejudiced member of the younger generation who did not experience "The Troubles." Consequently, Gavin sees politics along with religion and education as an important area of contention with his father. While Gavin is freeing himself of the authority of the older genera-tion, he comes under the influence of several other men. While Freddy Hargreaves, who is slightly older than Gav in , and Captain Lambert are not quite father figures, they certainly initiate Gavin into aspects of the adult world, "undreamed 150 of in the St . Michan's school philosophy." (p.97) But as Gavin grows in maturity, Freddy becomes less an esteemed adult than a friend who admittedly has weaknesses. Gavin sees that Freddy and Captain Lambert both suffer from a lack of wi l l power which, Gavin recognizes, i s his own besetting problem. Gavin also shares Freddy's intellectual persuasions, and together they defy a priest's injunction to pray during an air ra id . The image of Gavin and Freddy standing among the other kneeling figures symbolizes their adult independence from the fathers of rel igion. At the end of the novel, Gavin's father (depicted with his head on Gavin's shoulder), Freddy Hargreaves, priests, and even Post Officer Craig who nominally held sway over Gavin , have a l l been deposed, leaving Gavin lord of the moment, an "emperor of ice-cream." In I Am Mary Dunne, the theme of the father is broadened to express an indictment of the influence of al l men on women. Moore illustrates this theme in his portrait of Mary Dunne whose psychological complexities relate directly to her various "fathers." While Mary Dunne has consciously rejected her faith in God , The Father, the religious training she has not wholly forgotten explains her need for a dominant male figure to give meaning to her l i fe . Consequently, she defies her third husband who, she claims, is her resurrection and her l i fe , (p.160) so that, in a sense, Terence becomes both her husband and her god. But her love for Terence is troubled by her fear that she has inherited the promiscuous character of her own father whom she execrates in the mock-prayer, "Our father who art in he l l , cursed be thy name." (p.16) Again it is Terence who takes her father's place in her life 151 especially insofar as he plays the role of her protector, the one who rescues her from an unhappy marriage to yet another father figure, Hat Be l l . The sexual and religious complications of Mary Dunne's character with their Freudian links to a father figure also relate to her fear of having no identity in a world dominated by men. Specif ical ly, she blames this fear on her three husbands: And in real l i f e . . . , I play an ingenue role , with special shadings demanded by each suitor. For Jimmy I had to be a tomboy; for Hat I must look like a model: he admired elegance. Terence wants to see me as Irish: sulky, laughing, w i ld . And me, how do I see me, who is that me I create in mirrors, the dressing-table me, the self I cannot put a name to in the Golden Door Beauty Salon? When I think of that I hate being a woman, I hate this sickening female role-playing, I mean the s i l ly degradation of playing pander and whore in the presentation of my face and figure in a man's world, (p.31) Mary Dunne's general condemnation of the way men treat women which she 24 frequently articulates in the novel , is also illustrated by the deleterious effect of role-playing on her own character. She begins to fear that the numerous roles she has played are destroying her essential being, that the "me" she creates in response to various men is not herself. But her eventual recognition that she sti l l is Mary Dunne is evidence that she cannot separate herself from her past actions any more than one can "know the dancer from the dance." Moore's epigraph to this novel from W . B . Yeats's "Among School Chi ldren," is wel l -chosen. Moore's epigraph to Fergus from Wallace Stevens' "The Auroras of Autumn" exactly describes Fergus' former harmonious life: We were as Danes in Denmark al l day long And £ w e j knew each other wel l , hale-hearted landsmen For whom the outlandish was another day 152 -Of the week, queerer than S u n d a y . . . . Presiding over this unified and happy culture was Fergus' father, a 25 we l l -known and respected surgeon. Fergus is the son who questions his father's supreme and contented trust in God; Fergus dares to think "the out landish , " — that there may be another day of the week aside from the seven which terminate on the Sabbath D a y , that there may be other reasons for l i v i n g than are conceived of in his father's f a i th . Consequent ly , Fergus leaves his home and his homeland and ceases to enjoy the s tab i l i ty of a code, of being a "Dane in Denmark." Like the mythical Irish k ing of the same name who renounced his throne to become a wanderer and a dreamer, Fergus travels to North America where he l i ves as a wr i te r . But when a posi t ion as a scr ipt -wri ter takes him to Cal i forn ia where the way of l i fe is ant i thet ical to the l i fe he knew at home, Fergus' bel ief in himself as arbiter of his own l i fe is s t ra ined. At this moment of c r i s i s , the w i s h that Brendan Tierney had formulated for the return of his dead father is mysteriously granted Fergus Fadden. D r . James Fadden appears from some undefined world to counsel Fergus. He admits that he is pleased wi th Fergus' wr i t ing , but not about his present l i f e . (p.25) Fergus naturally takes advantage of his father's spec ia l knowledge of l i fe and death to ask if there is an af ter l i fe . H i s father repl ies that any world he could describe would necessar i ly 'jfe, inconceivable to Fergus . .The ambivalence of his reply gives Fergus grounds to argue that if there is no afterl ife, then his father's faith was "a farce:" - 15 3 -" A l l the things you taught u s , the things you be l ieved i n , your prayers, going to M a s s and Confess ion and Holy Communion, your devotion to Our Lady , the whole th ing! Your obedience to the rules of the church, the ten command-ments, mortal s i n s , ,plenary indulgences, the lo t ! Just think of i t ! A sham, a fraud, a complete waste of t ime! " (p.226) But D r . Fadden counters Fergus' argument wi th the s ignif icant comparison that whereas faith gave his l i fe a meaning whi le he l i ved i t , Fergus' l i fe has none. (p.227) The notion that D r . Fadden can return from the dead i s , i t se l f , out landish , but as the representative of a happier time when men were "as Danes in Denmark," he is an appropriate spokesman. Moreover , as Fergus' most revered ghost who is both the first and las t to appear, and as Fergus' real and spir i tual father, Dr . . Fadden and his views are given great prominence. In this novel which contains many echoes from the earlier 2 6 nove l s , it is altogether f i t t ing that the father who has been both rev i l ed and pi t ied in the preceding nove ls , should here be restored to a more sympathetic and even admirable pos i t i on . The theme of the father, then, as it is developed in conjunction wi th the theme of the search for personal identity in these seven nove l s , encompasses most of the ideas which Brian Moore 's novels communicate about r e l i g i o n , educat ion, the Irish character, the spec ia l problems of Northern Ireland, l i fe in North Amer ica , the problems of the wri ter , the values of faith and the diff icul t ies involved in l i v i n g without a fa i th , the confl ic t of the generations, and the oppression of women. In Moore ' s f i c t i o n , a l l these ideas are presented through the experiences of the protagonists who are always children and occas iona l ly fathers as w e l l , and who must a l l encounter - 154 -an essen t ia l paradox of human l i fe — that it is impossible to l ive without a father, but often impossible to l i ve wi th him as w e l l . The fact that this paradox is experienced by a l l men supports Brian Moore ' s c la im that his wri t ing l ike the work of James Joyce is a "celebration of the commonplace. 155 Footnotes for Chapter V •'•Hallvard D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian Moore , " The Tamarack Review, 50 (Winter, 1968), p .21 . 2 I b i d . , p .18 . 3 Christopher R i c k s , "The Simple Excel lence of Brian Moore , " New Statesman, 71 (Feb. 18, 1966), p . 2 2 7 . 4 Hal lvard D a h l i e , Brian Moore (Toronto: Copp C l a r k , 1969), p .106. 5 See a l s o , Jack Ludwig , "Exi le from the Emerald I s l e , " The Nation, 200 ( M a r c h l 5 , 1965), pp .287-88 . g Hal lvard D a h l i e , Brian Moore , p . 119. 7 Richard B . Sa l e , "Total R e c a l l , " The Na t ion , 206 (June 24, 1968), p . 8 3 2 . g Brian Moore , The Revolution Script (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1971). For a d i scuss ion of this work, see Appendix A . 9 "A Canadian episode, " Times Literary Supplement, N o . 3, 647 (January 21, 1972), p . 5 7 . ^ H a l l v a r d D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " p .21 . ^See Hal lvard D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " p . 18, and Richard B . Sa l e , "An Interview in London wi th Brian M o o r e , " Studies in the N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969), p p . 7 5 - 7 7 . 1 2 Chr i s tophe r R i c k s , "The Simple Excel lence of Brian Moore , " p . 2 2 7 . Ricks is referring to the t i t le of the North American edi t ion of Tudith Hearne:  The Lonely Pass ion of Judith Hearne (Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1956). 13 Moore has sa id that he gave Bernard Rice his own opinions about God's omniscience and omnipotence. See Hal lvard D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " p . 15 . 14 See Chapter I , p . 1. * 5 A minor character, Professor O ' N e i l l , who is also a father figure, s imi la r ly disappoints Judith Hearne. .He avoids her company and a lso answers her questions wi th c l iches such as , "Being an artist does not absolve a man from his re l igious dut ies , Judy.^" (p.i45) But Professor O ' N e i l l at least gives Judith Hearne f inancia l support after her breakdown. 156 16 Hal lvard Dahl ie , "Interviews Brian Moore , " p . 18. -•.17? -• "The publ ic aspects of Ginger s private struggle comprise a ^related minor theme of the n o v e l . Moore stresses the diff icul t ies faced by immigrants in a new country, e spec ia l ly a country l i k e Canada where a; man's success is gauged by his ab i l i ty to make money. 18 Moore often i l lustrates the posi t ive value of behaviour which is not s e l f i s h . M r s . Tierney's unself ish motivation is applauded and Mary Dunne declares , "If there is a h e l l , it should be for s e l f i shnes s . " (p. 140) 19 See a lso p . 2 4 7 . 20 Hal lvard D a h l i e , Brian Moore , p . 6 5 . 2 1 I b i d . , pp. 73-76 . 22 Judith Hearne and Mary Dunne are the only protagonists whose fathers are not only unsuccessful but a lso deceased during their respect ive childhoods; their lack of a strong father in youth no doubt underlies their subsequent need for a powerful male companion. 23 Hal lvard D a h l i e , "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " p . 2 9 . 2 4 S e e pp. 7, 113, 154, 156, 163, 164, 183. o r °In his dress , his scholas t ic and professional succes s , his rel igious be l i e f s , and his dominating.role as a paterfamilias, Fergus' father is an amlagam of Professor O ' N e i l l , Dr.. Tierney, and M r . . Burke, fathers in Moore ' s earlier n o v e l s . 26 The c r i t i c of The Times Literary Supplement notes of Fergus: "There is some evidence that the book (The Seventh Novel) is meant to contain a l l the other books — . . . . " "How to get on wi th your ghosts , " TLS , N o . 3 , 606 (April 9, 1971), p .413. . 27 Richard B . Sa le , "An Interview in London wi th Brian Moore , " p . 7 5 . 157 C O N C L U S I O N In an interview wi th Richard B . S a l e , Brian Moore describes his method of work as "frighteningly unprofessional:" I start wi th a character; then I try over a period of a year or more to do something wi th that character. The story changes a l l the time as the character changes for me.^ However^ "unprofessional" Moore ' s methods of composition may be, the resul t ing novels are certainly successful and decidedly reveal ing of his primary concern wi th character. In every respect , his novels bear the imprint of the central character. The plot describes his growth in perception, whi le the narrative concentrates on his point of v i e w . The patterns of language are related to his spec ia l character and d i c t ion , just as the imagery is concerned wi th his v i s i o n of the setting and events . The themes which inform these events are always relevant to the protagonist 's personal s i tuat ion and seen from his unique perspect ive . Both in structure and in content, then, the f ic t iona l worlds of Brian Moore ' s novels belong to the protagonist. "I be l i eve , " sa id Virg in ia Wool f , "that a l l novels . . . , deal wi th character, and that i t is to express character — not to preach doctr ines , s ing songs, or celebrate the glories of the Br i t i sh Empire, that the form of 2 the nove l , . . . has been evo lved . " But Virg in ia Woolf a lso recognized, as 3 Iris Murdoch does wi th spec ia l reference to the modern nove l , that some novel is ts are better at creating characters than others: Vi rg in ia Woolf c r i t i c i z e d W e l l s , Bennett, and Galsworthy for fa i l ing to deal d i rect ly wi th their characters and Iris Murdoch finds that most modern novels lack such 158 characters as one finds in Victor ian n o v e l s . These c r i t i c i sms cannot be leve led at Brian Moore whose spec ia l talent for fashioning his novels around a central character is unmistakeable. Richard B . S a l e , "An Interview in London wi th Brian M o o r e , " Studies in the N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969), p . 7 3 . 2 Virg in ia Wool f , " M r . Bennett and Mrs .. Brown, " Co l l ec t ed Essays (London: Hogarth Press , 1966), I, p . 324 . See supra, "Introduction," p . i i . 159 BIBLIOGRAPHY A l l e n , Bruce D . "Reviews Fergus . " ;Library Journal, August , 1970, p.2718. Anon . Review of Fergus: "How to get on wi th your ghos ts . " Times Literary  Supplement, N o . 3,606 (9 A p r i l , 1971), p .413. Anon . "Inside M a c l e a n ' s : How Brian Moore Rewrote The Revolution Scr ip t . " Mac lean ' s . 84 (September, 1971), p . 6 8 . Anon . Review of The Revolution Script: "A Canadian ep i sode . " Times Literary  Supplement, N o . 3,647 (21 January, 1972), p . 6 8 . Booth, Wayne C . The Rhetoric of F i c t i o n . Univers i ty of Chicago Press , 1961. C l a n c y , W i l l i a m . "Pathetic Grandeur of a Belfast Sp ins te r . " The Commonweal , 3 August , 1956, p . 4 4 8 . D a h l i e , H a l l v a r d . Brian M o o r e . Toronto: Copp C l a r k , 1969. . "Interviews Brian M o o r e . " The Tamarack Review, 50 (Winter, 1968), pp. 7-29. French, P h i l i p . "Mary ' s D a y . " New Statesman, 76 (25 October, 1968), pp .550-Frye, Northrop. Fables of Identi ty. New York: Harcourt, Brace & W o r l d , 1963. Fulford , Robert. "Interviews Brian M o o r e , " The Tamarack Review, 23 (Spring, 1962), pp .5-18 . Humphrey, Robert. Stream of Consc iousness in the Modern N o v e l . Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univers i ty of Cal i forn ia Press , 1968. L e v i n , M a r t i n . "Fut i l i ty and a Furnished Room." Saturday Review, 39 (7 July 1956), p . 9 . Ludwig , Jack. "Exi le from the Emerald I s l e . " The Na t ion , 200 (15 M a r c h , 1965), pp .287-88 . Lodge, D a v i d . Language of F i c t i o n . London: Routledge and Kegan Pau l , 1966. Moore , Br i an . "Brian Moore Tel l s About I Am Mary Dunne . " Literary G u i l d  M a g a z i n e , July, 1968, p .51 . 160 Moore , Br ian . Judith Hearne. London: Andre Deutsch , 1955. Other edi t ion: The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne. Boston and Toronto: Li t t le Brown and Company, 1956 . . The Feast of Luperca l . Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1957. . The Luck of Ginger Coffey . Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1960 . An Answer from Limbo. Boston and Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1962 . . The Emperor of I ce -Cream. New York: Vik ing Press , 1965. . I Am Mary Dunne. New York: Vik ing Press , 1968. . Fergus . Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1970. . The Revolution Scr ip t . Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1971. Moynahan, Ju l i an . "OnTr i a l at a ghostly family p icn ic : Fergus . " New York  Times Book Review, 9 A p r i l ; 1970, p . 4 . Murdoch , I r i s . "Against Dryness . " Encounter ,Sv"^hua?y;,. 1961, pp .16-20. R i c k s , Chris topher . "The Simple Excel lence of Brian M o o r e . " New Statesman, 71 (18'February, 1966), p p . 6 7 - 8 0 . Sa le , Richard B . "An Interview in London wi th Brian M o o r e . " Studies in the i? N o v e l , I (Spring, 1969), pp .67 -80 . . "Total R e c a l l . " The Na t ion , 206 (24 June, 1968), p . 8 3 2 . Stedmond, John. "Introduction. " . Judith Hearne . Toronto: New Canadian Libary , 1964, p p . v - v i i i . Van Ghent, Dorothy. The Engl i sh Nove l : Form and Funct ion . New York: Harper & Row, 1953. Woodcock , George. "A C lose Shave . " Canadian Literature, 16 (Spring, 1963), pp. 70-72 Wool f , V i r g i n i a . " M r . Bennett and M r s . Brown." Co l l ec t ed E s s a y s . 2 v o l s . London: Hogarth Press , 1966. 161 -APPENDIX A: THE REVOLUTION SCRIPT W h i l e this thesis was in progress, Brian Moore published The Revolution Script* which concerns the ac t iv i t i es of the two Front de Liberat ion c e l l s , the Liberat ion C e l l which kidnapped James Cross and the Chenier C e l l which kidnapped and murdered Pierre Laporte . The book focuses on the Liberat ion C e l l , the members of w h i c h , as Moore points out, "by ^appear ing into Cuba , had, in a sense, become f ic t iona l 2 characters, moving into history and l egend ." Moore has described his motivation for wri t ing a book around these people: I had a tale which contained murder, terror, suspense, heroes, v i l l i a n s , and the M a c h i a v e l l i a n use of po l i t i c a l power. By using nove l i s t i c techniques to portray these events , I could try to show these young people, not as faceless "terrorists" but as what they are: young brave, dangerous, confused revolut ionar ies . I decided to r i sk :wr i t ing it in this form. I knew that I w a s , and am, taking l i be r t i e s . But then, that is what any writer takes when he t r i es , through f ic t iona l techniques, to t e l l a truth.^ The events, therefore, are seen chief ly through the eyes of James Cros s ' s kidnappers: Marc Carbonneau, Jacques Coset te-Trudel and his w i f e , L o u i s e , Yves L a n g l o i s , Jacques Lanctot and his w i fe , Suzanne/ But many other points of v iew are added including those of the Chenier C e l l , of the p o l i c e , and of various po l i t i c a l figures . The Revolution Script differs from the seven novels d i scussed in this thesis pr inc ipa l ly because it is not a whol ly imagined work of f i c t i o n . 4 It has been var iously described as a 1"non-fiction n o v e l , " (surely a contra-d ic t ion in terms) and as a "documentary n o v e l . " 0 And despite Moore ' s c la im that the members of the Liberat ion C e l l are " in a sense, " f ic t iona l 162 characters, for most people they remain rea l - l i f e participants in an actual c r ime. Moreover , because Moore elects to treat them wi th equal at tention, no one character is suff iciently developed to capture the reader's imaginat ion. The sheer number of the characters, aside from the Liberat ion C e l l i t se l f , gives the book a diffuse quali ty which is never the case in Moore ' s nove ls , centered as they are on a single character who is intensely r e a l i z e d . In addi t ion, the documentary style of various sections which are interspersed wi th the many passages narrated by the people involved , marks a s ignif icant departure from Moore ' s usual highly personal style of narration. Because of these differences, The Revolution Script cannot be included in this thesis which treats Moore ' s methods of character izing his f ic t iona l central characters . As the c r i t ic of The Times Literary Supplement points out: It hardly seems l ike a Brian Moore book at a l l ; and though one has no right to disappointment on that score , for it is not a wri ter 's duty to be predictable, it must be sa id that books of this kind have been produced by writers without a fraction of M r . Moore ' s talent . There is almost no opportunity here for M r . Moore to get inside the minds of his characters, to watch them interpret the present in the l ight of their own personal h i s to r ies , or to put over his narrative in the particular idiom of the individual wi tness ing events . . Thus he casts his greatest gift a s i d e . 6 Moore ' s choice of a less imaginative and more documentary style in The Revolution Script is certainly puzz l i ng , for in his preceding f i c t i on , Moore has effectively treated s imilar themes and characters . The plight of Belfast 's Roman Ca tho l i c minority is described in Judith Hearne and The Feast of Luperca l , whi le the character of po l i t i c a l extremists is examined - 163 -in The Emperor of Ice -Cream. It is s ignif icant that whereas Moore set out to develop the characters of people who actual ly exis t in a documentary work, he has , in fact , been more successful in portraying s imilar characters who are purely invented. The contrast between The Revolution Script and Moore ' s earlier novels i l lustrates that Moore ' s "greatest gift" is undoubtedly his ab i l i ty to create f ic t ional characters . 1 Brian Moore , The Revolution Script (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1971) 2 See "Inside M a c l e a n ' s : How Brian Moore Rewrote The Revolution Scr ip t , " M a c l e a n s , 84 (September, 1971), p . 68. 3 I b i d . , p.68 4 lb i d . , p . 68 5 "A Canadian ep i sode , " The Times Literary Supplement, N o . 3, 647 (January 21, 1972), p . 5 7 . 6 I b i d . , p . 5 7 . 


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