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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Attitudes to love and sex in the English Canadian novel Ulrych, Miriam Iris 1972

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ATTITUDES TO LOVE AND SEX IN THE ENGLISH CANADIAN NOVEL by MIRIAM IRIS ULRYCH B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Co lumbia , 1961 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1972 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Br i t ish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of Br i t ish Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i i ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s examines the a t t i t u d e s to l o v e and sex r e f l e c t e d i n e i g h t Canadian n o v e l s d a t i n g from 1925 to 1969. The f i r s t t h r e e , F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove ' s S e t t l e r s of the Marsh , M o r l e y C a l l a g h a n ' s They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h , and Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends  the N i g h t , were chosen not o n l y as works c e n t r a l l y concerned w i t h l o v e , but a l s o as good examples o f t h e i r w r i t e r s ' t reatment o f s e x u a l -i t y i n o t h e r n o v e l s . And s i n c e Grove , C a l l a g h a n , and MacLennan are g e n e r a l l y h e l d to be the major Canadian w r i t e r s of a t l e a s t the f i r s t h a l f of t h i s c e n t u r y , c o l l e c t i v e l y t h e i r n o v e l s form an accura te p i c t u r e of the t r a d i t i o n a l , mainstream a t t i t u d e to sex , i n s o f a r as i t can be seen o p e r a t i n g i n and through f i c t i o n . Chapter One i n t r o d u c e s the reader to the ways i n which t w e n t i e t h -century Canadian f i c t i o n a l a t t i t u d e s to l o v e and sex are d i r e c t l y con-t iguous w i t h those of V i c t o r i a n Eng land : the fundamental d u a l i t y of body and s o u l ; the " w o r s h i p " of the good woman as the embodiment o f the C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e of s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g , pure l o v e ; the r e s u l t i n g s p l i t t i n g o f f of aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y from f e e l i n g s of t endernes s ; and the subsequent d r i v i n g underground o f the repres sed sexua l urges and t h e i r emergence i n t o perverse forms. Chapter Two t r a c e s Grove ' s i n s i s t e n c e upon a t ender , a sexua l V i c t o r i a n i d e a l and h i s d e l i b e r a t e e f f o r t s to e l i m i n a t e what he regards as degrading and d e s t r u c t i v e , that i s , any s e x u a l urges not s t r i c t l y p a s s i v e and subord ina te to s p i r i t u a l l o v e and monogamous p r o c r e a t i o n . Chapter i i i Three d i s c u s s e s C a l l a g h a n ' s attempt to break away from t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l d u a l i t y of l o v e and sex , and then demonstrates how h i s f u s i o n of body and s o u l a c t u a l l y breaks down i n t o j u s t another v e r s i o n of the o l d s p l i t so that sex i s good o n l y so long as i t remains i n the s e r v i c e o f s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g l o v e . I t a l s o e s t a b l i s h e s how C a l l a g h a n ' s n o t i o n of l o v e comes to depend u l t i m a t e l y upon cover t sado-masochism i n which both the male and female u n c o n s c i o u s l y and d e s t r u c t i v e l y attempt to break out o f s exua l r o l e s too r i g i d and narrow to serve t h e i r complex human needs. Chapter Four l o o k s a t MacLennan's apparent a f f i r m a t i o n o f l i f e and sex , and m a i n t a i n s tha t h i s m y s t i c a l message i s r e a l l y a sado-m a s o c h i s t i c impulse i n which l i f e becomes the unconsc ious and obse s s ive p u r s u i t a f t e r p a i n and d e a t h . The r e l a t i o n s h i p which emerges between the sexes i n a l l t h r e e o f these nove l s i s t h a t of dominant female and dependent, r e s e n t f u l , f r i g h t e n e d male . Grove , C a l l a g h a n , and M a c L e l l a n a l l p o r t r a y women as e s s e n t i a l l y s t ronger than t h e i r men: the "good" ones dominate by means of p r o t e c t i v e , materna l power and the " b a d " ones through a g g r e s s i v e , s e l f - g r a t i f y i n g s e x u a l i t y . The male responses to these power fu l women are deeply a m b i v a l e n t : they seek i n f a n t i l e s e c u r i t y and g r a t i f i -c a t i o n at the b r e a s t s of the "good" women, w h i l e they s i m u l t a n e o u s l y attempt to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r potency , autonomy and s a f e t y by o v e r t l y d e s t r o y i n g the "bad" mothers and c o v e r t l y p u n i s h i n g the "good" ones. Thus Grove , C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan a l l c r e a t e f i c t i o n a l wor ld s i n which sado-masochism i n a d v e r t e n t l y works aga ins t t h e i r n o t i o n s o f i d e a l i z e d l o v e . i v Chapters F i v e and S i x examine S h e i l a Watson's The Double Hook and Mordeca i R i c h l e r ' s The A p p r e n t i c e s h i p o f Duddy K r a v i t z , concen-t r a t i n g on t h e i r more contemporary treatment of s e x a u l i t y and p a r t i c u l a r l y on t h e i r response to the archetype of the c a s t r a t i n g mother . Watson p ioneer s the way out of the V i c t o r i a n past by e x p l o r i n g a g g r e s s i o n as a p o t e n t i a l l y p o s i t i v e mode of b e h a v i o u r , and by see ing i n the t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e of the s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g woman the k i n d of t y r a n n y - b y -g u i l t which c o v e r t l y ho ld s sway i n the e a r l i e r works . R i c h l e r a l s o r e j e c t s the n o t i o n of the e f f i c a c y o f s u f f e r i n g and thus has h i s young hero a t t a i n manhood p a r t i a l l y through h i s r e p u d i a t i o n of the " s e c u r i t y " o f f e r e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g woman. Moreover , h i s s a t i r e r e p e a t e d l y focuses on the cover t s exua l r e a l i t y which u n d e r l i e s i d e a l i s t i c p r e t e n s i o n s , and thus makes the same comment as t h i s t h e s i s i s making about the n o v e l s o f the t r a d i t i o n a l mainstream. Chapter Seven ana lyzes the ways i n which Leonard Cohen's B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s , Margaret L a u r e n c e ' s The F i r e - D w e l l e r s and Robert K r o e t s c h ' s The Studhorse Man a l l work through v a r i o u s responses to the r e p r e s s i v e l i m i t a t i o n s of V i c t o r i a n i d e a l s : Cohen dramat izes an i d e a l of polymorphous p e r v e r s i t y , Laurence " m a s c u l i n i z e s " her h e r o i n e and " f e m i n i z e s " her male p r o t a g o n i s t s , and K r o e t s c h i n s i s t s upon an u n i d e a l i z e d , a g g r e s s i v e l y sexua l response to l i f e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , as Chapter Seven demonstrates , even contemporary i m a g i n a t i o n s c o n t i n u e to focus on the woman as c a s t r a t i n g mother and the man as threa tened son . Thus i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , the d i f f e r e n c e s between the a t t i t u d e s of contemporary w r i t e r s and those of t h e i r predecessors l i e not i n an abandonment of the t r a d i t i o n a l a r c h t y p e , but o n l y i n the degree to which they are consc ious o f , and d e l i b e r a t choos ing to work w i t h , s ado-masoch i s t i c s e x u a l i t y . v i TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page I . INTRODUCTION 1 I I . FREDERICK PHILIP GROVE 9 I I I . MORLEY CALLAGHAN 37 I V . HUGH MACLENNAN 70 V . SHEILA WATSON 98 V I . MORDECAI RICHLER 121 V I I . CONCLUSION: LEONARD COHEN, MARGARET LAURENCE, ROBERT KROETSCH 144 FOOTNOTES 167 BIBLIOGRAPHY ' 173 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In h i s u s e f u l study of c e n t r a l themes i n Canadian l i t e r a t u r e , D . G . Jones contends tha t Canadian w r i t e r s r e p e a t e d l y emphasize " t h e courage to a f f i r m , to l o v e , and c e l e b r a t e a w o r l d tha t sooner o r l a t e r demands o f them the s a c r i f i c e of t h e i r l i v e s . " " ' " No doubt the t h r e e n o v e l i s t s who represent the t r a d i t i o n a l mainstream of Canadian f i c t i o n , F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove, M o r l e y C a l l a g h a n and Hugh MacLennan, would agree t h a t they a f f i r m l i f e from i n s i d e a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o i n t o f v iew " t h a t not o n l y comprehends s u f f e r i n g and death but sees i n them the 2 c o n d i t i o n s t h a t make p o s s i b l e the h i g h e s t human v a l u e s . " U n h a p p i l y , Jones has too f r e q u e n t l y responded to the n o v e l i s t s ' themat ic i n t e n t i o n s r a t h e r than to t h e i r d r a m a t i c a l l y r e a l i z e d a c h i e v e -ments. There can be l i t t l e q u a r r e l w i t h h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the c o n f l i c t between man's a u t h e n t i c s e l f and the r e p r e s s i v e demands o f Western i d e a l i s m , demands w h i c h , bo th i n t h e i r s e c u l a r forms of r a t i o n a l i s m and m a t e r i a l i s m and i n t h e i r r e l i g i o u s forms of s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n and d e c a r n a l i z a t i o n , work towards d r i v i n g underground the v i t a l i n s t i n c t u a l l i f e . The c r i t i c a l q u e s t i o n , however, i s whether or not Canadian n o v e l i s t s have, as Jones c l a i m s , g e n e r a l l y r e j e c t e d Western i d e a l i s m i n favour of the w o r l d of spontaneous f e e l i n g w i t h a l l i t s d i s p a r a t e , i n c h o a t e , and c o n t r a d i c t o r y impul se s . I r v i n g Layton has d e s c r i b e d l o v e as " t r u l y human—bawdy, wanton, 3 s a c r i f i c i a l , s e l f i s h , humbl ing , e x a l t i n g , coar se , a n g e l i c . " But i n the nove l s of Grove , C a l l a g h a n , and MacLennan, i t becomes c l e a r t h a t the o p e r a t i v e n o t i o n of l o v e i n c l u d e s o n l y the C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e s i n every p a i r of L a y t o n ' s o p p o s i t e s . One of the i n t e n t i o n s of t h i s t h e s i s i s to t r a c e the way i n which these n o v e l i s t s r e p e a t e d l y urge the s a c r i f i c i a l , the humbl ing , the e x a l t i n g and the a n g e l i c , w h i l e a s s i d u o u s l y denying the bawdy, the wanton, the s e l f i s h and the coar se . I n t h e i r work, s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n e x i s t s o n l y i n the unredeemed o r e v i l c h a r a c t e r s o r i n cover t p e r v e r s i o n s b u r i e d under l a y e r s of C h r i s t i a n i d e a l i s m . Nor throp Frye has s a i d t h a t " r e l i g i o n has been a major—perhaps 4 the m a j o r — c u l t u r a l f o r c e i n Canada . " C e r t a i n l y , the n o v e l s of the mainstream r e v e a l the i n e r a d i c a b l e i n f l u e n c e of t h e i r w r i t e r s ' r e l i g i o u s backgrounds. Whi le arguments can , and have been made f o r G r o v e ' s e x i s t e n t i a l f a t a l i s m , C a l l a g h a n ' s humanism, and MacLennan's E a s t e r n m y s t i c i s m , t h e i r a t t i t u d e s to l o v e and sex remain d i r e c t l y i n the t r a d i t i o n of what L e s l i e F i e d l e r c a l l s the Sent imenta l Love R e l i g i o n . " ' Whether one t r a c e s i t s r o o t s back to the pagan archetype of the E a r t h Goddess, the C o u r t l y Love T r a d i t i o n , the r i s e of M a r i o l a t r y , the C h r i s t i a n Humanist s y n t h e s i s of d i v i n e and human l o v e , or the P r o t e s t a n t s p i r i t u a l i - ' z a t i o n o f l o v e , the c r u c i a l elements remain the same: the woman i s worshipped w h i l e the man humbles h i m s e l f be fore h e r . Perhaps i t i s s u f f i c i e n t to go back o n l y as f a r as the immediate predecessors of the t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y Canadian n o v e l i s t s , the V i c t o r i a n s . Steven Marcus , among o t h e r s , has p o i n t e d out how the V i c t o r i a n p e r i o d i s e s s e n t i a l l y cont inuous to our own^ and indeed the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the V i c t o r i a n a t t i t u d e s to l o v e and sex and those i n the c o n s e r v a t i v e t r a d i t i o n of Canadian f i c t i o n are too great to be i g n o r e d . W hi l e i t i s not w i t h i n the scope of t h i s t h e s i s to specu la te about the h i s t o r i c a l reasons which might have g i v e n r i s e to the Canadian a t t i t u d e s to sex , i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note the p a r a l l e l s between the economic, i n t e l l e c t u a l , and s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e i n V i c t o r i a n England and i n Canada i n the f i r s t h a l f of t h i s c e n t u r y . Houghton d e s c r i b e s the complex c i rcumstances which produced the V i c t o r i a n i d e a l of wedded domestic b l i s s as a combinat ion of the e v a n g e l i c a l r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t excess and i n s i s t e n c e upon moral r e f o r m ; the h i g h e r s tandard o f l i v i n g and t h e r e f o r e the n e c e s s i t y of p r o v i d i n g f o r l a r g e r numbers of c h i l d r e n and the o p p o r t u n i t y o f do ing so i n such a way as to ensure t h e i r upward s o c i a l m o b i l i t y ; the p s y c h o l o g i c a l a l i e n a t i o n and dehumanizat ion of men l i v i n g i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m p e t i t i v e and i n d u s t r i a l w o r l d ; and the v e r y r e a l t h r e a t be ing made to t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and moral va lue s by i n t e l l e c t u a l s k e p t i c i s m , rampant m a t e r i a l i s m , and i n c r e a s i n g s exua l 7 l i c e n s e . In t h i s s o c i a l c o n t e x t , the w i f e came to f u n c t i o n as a s e c u l a r ange l o f f e r i n g s h e l t e r from o u t s i d e pres sures and a p r e s e r v a t i o n of r a p i d l y v a n i s h i n g t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s . R u s k i n ' s d e f i n i t i o n of a home i n Sesame and L i l i e s cou ld w e l l be a p p l i e d to the domestic scenes c e n t r a l to S e t t l e r s of the Marsh , They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h , and The Watch tha t Ends the N i g h t T h i s i s the t r u e nature of home—it i s the p l a c e of Peace ; the s h e l t e r , not o n l y from a l l i n j u r y , but from a l l t e r r o r , doubt and d i v i s i o n . In so f a r as i t i s not t h i s , i t i s not home; so f a r as the a n x i e t i e s of the ou ter l i f e penet ra te i n t o i t , and the i n c o n s i s t e n t l y - m i n d e d , unknown, u n l o v e d , or h o s t i l e s o c i e t y of the o u t e r wor ld i s a l lowed by e i t h e r husband or w i f e to c ro s s the t h r e s h o l d , i t ceases to be home; i t i s then o n l y a p a r t of t h a t ou te r w o r l d which you have roo fed o v e r , and l i g h t e d a f i r e i n . But so f a r as i t i s a sacred p l a c e , a v e s t a l t emple , a temple o f the h e a r t h watched over by the Household G o d s . . . i t v i n d i c a t e s the name, and f u l f i l l s the p r a i s e , of Home.g I t i s c l e a r , as Houghton p o i n t s o u t , that such an a t t i t u d e i n v o l v e s more than a l i t t l e of the e s c a p i s t w i s h to r e t u r n to c h i l d h o o d , "a b l e s s e d 9 t ime when t r u t h was c e r t a i n and doubt w i t h i t d i v i s i v e e f f e c t s unknown." The mainstay of a l l t h i s s e c u r i t y was of course the woman, the p r o t e c t o r and n u r t u r e r of her f a m i l y . The c o n s e r v a t i v e s saw her r o l e as t h a t of p a s s i v e w i f e , the r a d i c a l s e n v i s i o n e d her as an emancipated e q u a l , and the m i d d l e - o f - t h e - r o a d l i b e r a l s s e t t l e d f o r her as a s p i r i t u a l g u i d e , a compromise t h a t seemed to answer the needs o f both se t s of a t t i t u d e s . . F o r by t u r n i n g the woman i n t o the guard ian and embodiment of t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s , she was at once e l e v a t e d and rendered c o n v e n i e n t l y d o c i l e . A l t h o u g h the narrowness of her r o l e undoubtedly f r u s t r a t e d many of her p o t e n t i a l c a p a c i t i e s , as the paragon of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and touchstone of decency, she w i e l d e d enormous p s y c h o l o g i c a l power over her man. Expected to l o v e , s e r v e , and save, she became as s u p e r i o r and as s e x u a l l y unapproachable as an a n g e l . E n l i g h t e n e d med ica l o p i n i o n c o u l d w i t h impuni ty reas sure young men t h a t " l o w and v u l g a r women," " s y r e n s , " and the "sad e x c e p t i o n s " o f nympho-maniacs , were by no means r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the s e x u a l needs of the angels of the h e a r t h : The m a j o r i t y of women ( h a p p i l y f o r them) are not v e r y much t r o u b l e d w i t h s e x u a l f e e l i n g s of any k i n d . . . . The best mothers , w i v e s , and managers o f the household , know l i t t l e or n o t h i n g of s exua l i n d u l g e n c e s . Love of home, c h i l d r e n , and domest ic d u t i e s , are the o n l y p a s s i o n they f e e l . . . . A modest woman seldom d e s i r e s any sexua l g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r h e r s e l f . She submits to her husband, but o n l y to p l ea se h i m . . . . N o nervous or f e e b l e young man need, t h e r e f o r e , be d e t e r r e d from marr iage by an exaggerated n o t i o n of the d u t i e s r e q u i r e d from him.^g As Marcus p o i n t s o u t , the a d v i c e r e v e a l s not o n l y tha t women were denied t h e i r s e x u a l i t y but a l s o tha t sex was seen as a curse and a t o r t u r e and tha t men were g e n e r a l l y a f r a i d of impotency. Young men were taught to t h i n k of n i c e women of t h e i r c l a s s as " c r e a t u r e more l i k e angels than human beings—an image w o n d e r f u l l y c a l c u l a t e d not o n l y to d i s a s s o c i a t e l o v e from sex , but to t u r n l o v e i n t o w o r s h i p , and worship o f p u r i t y . " ^ Thus, s i n c e i n angels there i s something awfu l as w e l l as b e a u t i f u l , Houghton can conclude t h a t V i c t o r i a n c o n d i t i o n i n g was q u i t e s u f f i c i e n t to b r i n g s e n s i t i v e boys to the d e s e x u a l i z e d s t a t e of r e g a r d i n g "even 12 marr iage to be a k i n d of d e s e c r a t i o n . " O b v i o u s l y i t d i d o ther t h i n g s to them as w e l l , such as s p l i t t i n g o f f t h e i r aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y from t h e i r tender f e e l i n g s and d r i v i n g i t underground i n t o the f l o u r i s h i n g w o r l d of s e d u c t i o n , p r o s t i t u t i o n , and pornography. Thus w h i l e the o f f i c i a l v iew i n d i c a t e s o n l y the narrow sexua l r o l e s of ange l i n the house or r u i n e d whore on the s t r e e t , the o v e r a l l v iew a l s o i n c l u d e s the fa i r -game sex o b j e c t s of the lower c l a s s and a v a r i e t y of f i c t i o n a l women who s a t i s f i e d s e x u a l f a n t a s i e s by p l a y i n g out the r o l e of c h i l d - b e a t i n g mothers , v i r g i n s to be v i o l a t e d , and i n e x h a u s t i b l e o r i f i c e s of female l u s t . As Marcus p o i n t s o u t , the pornographic ladies are as much a part of the sexual picture as the historical ones. One way to understand the relationship between the Victorian prototypes and the women in Canadian novels l i e s in Leslie Fiedler's analysis of the American novel and i t s two opposed traditions which he 14 defines as Sentimental Bourgeois f i c t i o n and Anti-Bourgeois art. He characterizes the f i r s t as being anti-intellectual, female-centered, conservative, pious, sentimental, emasculating, and focussed on the themes of pure love, seduction and suicide. By contrast then, Anti-Bourgeois art becomes male-centered, radical, analytical, and frequently gothic in i t s f l i g h t from reality and i t s substitution of terror and death as the central themes. What is common to both traditions is the way in which they deny sexuality: the f i r s t out of genteel de-carnalization and the second out of a rejection of the woman as the representative of civ i l i z a t i o n ' s repressive forces. Thus the sentimental mode is peopled by abused, pure women and ultimately submissive men,while the anti-sentimental tradition creates alienated male heroes in flig h t from female monsters and heterosexual union. No one could say of the Canadian mainstream tradition that i t avoids treating the encounter of men and women, when novel after novel is centred on adult, heterosexual love. Even among contemporary f i c t i o n the fl i g h t from the female cannot be said to be nearly as common as is reconciliation with her. Nor do Canadians, unlike European writers, go in much for i l l i c i t love, except as a problem in, diversion from, or part of the more important marriage. Denis de Rougement could not conclude from a survey of Canadian nove l s that " p a s s i o n a t e l o v e i s tantamount to a d u l t e r y , " nor that there seems i n the Canadian i m a g i n a t i o n "something f a t a l to marr iage at the hear t of human long ing . " ' ' " ^ I n f a c t , i t i s the i n t e n t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s to demonstrate t h a t Canadian a t t i t u d e s to l o v e and sex stem d i r e c t l y out of the V i c t o r i a n i d e a l and not from e i t h e r the C o u r t l y Love t r a d i t i o n nor any L a w r e n t i a n , e x i s t e n t i a l , or g o t h i c a f f i r m a t i o n of the w o r l d of dark powers. When Grove , C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan yearn a f t e r a t r a n s f i g u r i n g p a s s i o n , " something beyond d e l i g h t and p a i n , an ardent b e a t i t u d e , " " ^ they do so w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n of romant ic wedded l o v e . For them, as f o r the V i c t o r i a n s , i d e a l i z e d marr i age i s "not o n l y the supreme exper ience of l i f e but i t s end and o b j e c t — t h e v e r y means by which the s o u l i s saved. T h i s t h e s i s w i l l a l s o e s t a b l i s h t h a t , d e s p i t e the i n t e n t i o n s of the a u t h o r s , t h i s i d e a l of l o v e not o n l y denies and d e n i g r a t e s the body but a l s o depends, as d i d V i c t o r i a n r e p r e s s i o n , upon an underground r e a l i t y of s ado-masoch i s t i c g r a t i f i c a t i o n . Thus F i e d l e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s between the two s t r a i n s i n American f i c t i o n becomes u s e f u l i n unders tanding the way i n which the t r a d i t i o n a l l y i d e a l i s t i c and c o v e r t l y perverse Canadian n o v e l becomes v i o l e n t l y s c h i z o p h r e n i c . Because i t shares w i t h the s e n t i m e n t a l t r a d i t i o n the female-centred e t h i c a l i d e a l s , i t c r e a t e s r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n which the females dominate w h i l e the males are e f f e c t i v e l y c a s t r a t e d . But u n l i k e the l a r g e l y woman-writ ten, s e n t i m e n t a l nove l s of the American t r a d i t i o n , the minds both at the c e n t r e and behind these t r a d i t i o n a l Canadian nove l s are male . Thus the Canadian f i c t i o n s u f f e r s from deeply ambivalent responses to the 8. t r a d i t i o n a l form. The male p r o t a g o n i s t s m a s o c h i s t i c a l l y and u n c o n s c i o u s l y t u r n themselves i n t o f r i g h t e n e d , impotent , mammary-seeking sons and t h e i r wives i n t o a l l - p o w e r f u l mothers who can n u r t u r e , p r o t e c t and p u n i s h them. Then, f i t t e d w i t h s exua l r o l e s too narrow to s a t i s f y the normal range of human needs, the males u n c o n s c i o u s l y d e v i s e ingen ious means of both p r o t e c t i n g themselves from a n n i h i l a t i o n and g i v i n g vent to t h e i r repres sed s a d i s t i c i m p u l s e s . Canadian nove l s w r i t t e n by men are l i t t e r e d w i t h the abused bodies of t h e i r women: f o r sooner o r l a t e r , good o r bad, a l l the dominant mother f i g u r e s succumb to r a p i s t s , r i f l e b u l l e t s , l a b o u r p a i n s , s t a r v a t i o n , b ludgeon ing , bus wheels and embolisms (a l i s t , by the way, c u l l e d e n t i r e l y from the t h r e e t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l s ana lyzed i n t h i s t h e s i s ) . T h i s t h e s i s moves beyond a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the nove l s of the c o n s e r v a t i v e mainstream and out i n t o the works and more contemporary i m a g i n a t i o n s of S h e i l a Watson, Mordeca i R i c h l e r , Leonard Cohen, Margaret Laurence and Robert K r o e t s c h . There i t t r a c e s not o n l y the b e l a t e d t u r n i n g away from V i c t o r i a n i d e a l i s m and the more s e l f - c o n s c i o u s e x p l o r a t i o n s of the s exua l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women, but a l s o the f a c t t h a t from Grove i n 1925 to K r o e t s c h i n 1969, the s exua l a rchetype which looms over Canadian l o v e scenes remains t h a t o f the c a s t r a t i n g mother . 9. CHAPTER I I  FREDERICK PHILIP GROVE When F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove p u b l i s h e d S e t t l e r s of the Marsh i n 1925, i t was condemned as obscene by what Thomas Saunders c a l l s " p u r i t a n i c a l Canada.""'" Twenty years l a t e r Desmond Pacey was a b l e to 2 p r a i s e Grove f o r the n o v e l ' s f r ank and courageous treatment o f sex . S ince then c r i t i c s have r e p e a t e d l y p a i d t r i b u t e to G r o v e ' s r e a l i s m , hones ty , and p s y c h o l o g i c a l depth . C o l l e c t i v e l y , t h e i r comments imply tha t Grove p ioneered the way out of the dark p u r i t a n woods and tha t contemporary Canada, or a t l e a s t contemporary c r i t i c s , l o o k back on the dim past from an e n l i g h t e n e d sexua l c l e a r i n g . A l t h o u g h Pacey does p o i n t out that Grove o f t e n w r i t e s about sex "as i f he were b r i n g i n g h i m s e l f to d e a l w i t h something d i s t a s t e f u l , " he l e t s the i s s u e r e s t t h e r e and concentra te s on e s t a b l i s h i n g the na ture 3 of Grove ' s p e s s i m i s t i c p h i l o s o p h y . Pacey never acknowledges any c o n n e c t i o n between Grove ' s g r im determini sm and the f a c t tha t he cannot 4 g i v e " sex i t s d u e . " Yet the two are d e f i n i t e l y r e l a t e d . Grove m a i n t a i n s t h a t " a l a r g e p a r t of human a c t i o n i s performed i n obedience to some f o r c e o t h e r than our consc ious w i l l . " " ' Moreover , he i n s i s t s that "human e v o l u t i o n has not yet f r eed i t s e l f from i t s an imal t rammel s . "^ H i s language be t rays h i s b i a s : f o r Grove, the unconsc ious i s as degrading as i t i s c o m p e l l i n g . Wi th such a v iew of man's s e x u a l i t y , h i s heroes are r e p e a t e d l y doomed to t r a g i c f a i l u r e because of t h e i r overwhelming and d e s t r u c t i v e unconscious u rge s . No wonder M r s . 10. Grove once said of her husband, "He never smiles." Douglas Spettigue lauds Grove for expressing the "wisdom that we g do not act by reason but by emotion." Then he c l a r i f i e s his comment saying that "since these passions... are base in the sense of running t counter to reason and the aims of c i v i l i z a t i o n , they cannot ennoble, in Grove's prose, their victims....The overmastering passion comes into tragic conflict with the /morally/ superior w i l l and defeats or destroys 9 the hero." It seems a dubious wisdom that dooms man by definition to unadulterated pain, failure, and f u t i l i t y . Nevertheless, Spettigue recommends Grove for making "the Canadian reader aware of a number of home truths about his own too-human nature."^ What Spettigue calls "home truths," however, are really the half-truths of a castrated and castrating ideology, a debased version of Puritanism which Grove furthered, not ended, and which s t i l l has a tenacious hold on Canadian attitudes to sex. The hero of Settlers of the Marsh is Neils Lindstedt, young, handsome, strong, hardworking, and "chaste to the very core of his being." Cri t i c s have tended to question the c r e d i b i l i t y of Neils-' naivete, but Doris Cameron is right in her contention that his chasteness is neither mere virg i n i t y nor child-like innocence, but the brand of self-willed 12 purity that marks the rigorous Puritan. Homesteading in his new country, Neils i s guided by a vision of "himself and a woman, sit t i n g of a mid-winter night by the light of a lamp and in front of a f i r e , with the pitter patter of children's feet from above" (36). Grove ca l l s this "the eternal vision that has moved the world" (36). Certainly i t moved the Victorians, the debased Puritan 11. t r a d i t i o n to which Grove most c l e a r l y be longs . But f o r the o r i g i n a l P u r i t a n s marr iage was a l e s s s e n t i m e n t a l and more r a t i o n a l l y robust a f f a i r a l t o g e t h e r . A c c o r d i n g to P e r r y M i l l e r , they ab jured c e l i b a c y as a s u p e r i o r human c o n d i t i o n and t r i e d to ach ieve through marr iage "a symmetr ica l un ion of hear t and head 13 w i t h o u t impairment of e i t h e r . " And a l though the P u r i t a n concept of l o v e d i s a l l o w e d romant ic p a s s i o n on the grounds tha t i t s i n t e n s i t y upset the proper o r d e r of c r e a t i o n (God f i r s t , spouse second) ; n e v e r t h e l e s s , "The p l a i n Command of the Great God r e q u i r e d Husbands and Wives to have and m a n i f e s t a very great a f f e c t i o n , l o v e and k indness towards one . . „14 a n o t h e r . M a r r i a g e f o r the P u r i t a n s was by no means j o y l e s s , l o v e l e s s or s e x l e s s . The famous Winthrop l e t t e r s , a l t h o u g h r i g o r o u s i n t h e i r acknowledgement of God f i r s t , r e v e a l a deep bond between husband and w i f e i n which sexua l a f f e c t i o n c l e a r l y u n d e r l i e s much o f the language."''"' Edmund Morgan argues , moreover, t h a t the c h o i c e of marr iage as the c e n t r a l metaphor d e p i c t i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and God and the s e x u a l content of the metaphors r e v e a l not o n l y the importance of marr iage but a l s o the i n t i m a t e and u n i f i e d r e l a t i o n s h i p between m a r r i e d l o v e and sex i n the P u r i t a n m i n d . ^ M i l l e r i n s i s t s t h a t a c t i o n s f o r the P u r i t a n s were "never s i n f u l s imply because they were e n j o y a b l e . " ^ And Morgan summarizes t h e i r a t t i t u d e s to e a r t h l y d e l i g h t s : The P u r i t a n s were n e i t h e r prudes nor a s c e t i c s . They knew how to l a u g h , and they knew how to l o v e . But i t i s e q u a l l y c l e a r that they d i d not spend t h e i r bes t hours i n e i t h e r l o v e or l a u g h t e r . They 12. had t h e i r eyes f i x e d on a heavenly g o a l , which d i r e c t e d and informed t h e i r l i v e s . When e a r t h l y d e l i g h t s dimmed t h e i r v i s i o n i t was time to break o f f . Yet even t h i s s i d e of the goa l t h e r e was room f o r Joy- -^ However, i n terms of a t t a i n i n g happines s , the o r i g i n a l P u r i t a n s had two enormous advantages over G r o v e ' s debased P u r i t a n s . They b e l i e v e d i n God and, t h e r e f o r e , no e a r t h l y a d v e r s i t y c o u l d ever be s u f f i c i e n t to cause d e s p a i r , and they b e l i e v e d that man was "however much deformed by s i n and p a s s i o n , e s s e n t i a l l y a r a t i o n a l and r e s p o n s i b l e 19 b e i n g . " Thus they cou ld v i g o r o u s l y set about d e s i g n i n g a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n which had a good chance of s a t i s f y i n g t h e i r s exua l and s p i r i t u a l needs. The P u r i t a n s based marr iage on a v o l u n t a r y and informed c o n t r a c t between two people of s u i t a b l y s i m i l a r r e l i g i o u s , e d u c a t i o n a l and economic backgrounds . The e x p e c t a t i o n s , bo th as to the j o y s and the d u t i e s of m a r r i a g e , were c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e d by the community, and entered i n t o i n f u l l knowledge by the c o u p l e . They undertook t o f u l f i l l the o b l i g a t i o n s of s e x u a l u n i o n , s exua l f a i t h f u l n e s s , peaceable c o h a b i t a t i o n , male mastery and economic suppor t , and female submis s ion and h e l p f u l n e s s . Moreover , the husband was expected to r u l e so as to produce i n the w i f e a " j o y f u l 20 s u b m i s s i o n . " M a r r i a g e was a r a t i o n a l arrangement i n which " l o v e was 21 not so much the cause as the p r o d u c t . " But s i n c e l o v e of spouse was a r e l i g i o u s d u t y , the match d i d not take p l a c e i f e i t h e r p a r t y was convinced beforehand of h i s i n a b i l i t y to l o v e the o t h e r . A f t e r the c o n t r a c t was drawn up , the banns were read as p a r t of the process of e n s u r i n g no j u s t impediment and some weeks l a t e r the c o n t r a c t was solemnized i n a church s e r v i c e and c e l e b r a t e d by a community p a r t y i n the groom's home. 13. Grove ' s p u r i t a n , however, must face h i s share o f a d v e r s i t y and p a i n w i t h no God to empower or s u s t a i n him and he must do so i n s i d e a marr iage i d e a l which i s such a s e n t i m e n t a l i z e d V i c t o r i a n v e r s i o n o f the o r i g i n a l that i t has no hope o f s a t i s f y i n g r e a l human needs. I t becomes c l e a r as the nove l progresses that the i d e a l i s as dangerous ly perverse as i t i s inadequate , N e i l s ' t r i a l s and t r i b u l a t i o n s take the form of a deadly parody o f P u r i t a n c o u r t s h i p and marr i age , w h i l e h i s reward f i n a l l y comes i n the form of a debased and sex le s s V i c t o r i a n u n i o n . E i t h e r way he l o s e s . The two women around whom the marriage v i s i o n r e v o l v e s are E l l e n Amundsen and C l a r a V o g e l . E l l e n i s a " v i r g i n , c o o l and d i s t a n t " (38) ; she i s h a r d - w o r k i n g , competent, s t r o n g , a l o o f , u n y i e l d i n g , and l i k e her room " s i n c e r e . . . severe . . . s p o t l e s s " (31) M r s . Vogel i s a gay and p r e t t y widow, f l i r t a t i o u s , l a u g h i n g , feminine and knowing. Grove, l i k e N e i l s , p r e f e r s E l l e n . Her eyes " l o o k as i f she saw through the pretenses and shows and knows more o f l i f e than her age would w a r r a n t " (21) . What she knows, i t i s l a t e r r e v e a l e d , i s s u f f e r i n g . She has watched the murderous, sexual tyranny o f her f a t h e r s e p a r a t i n g h i s h e l p l e s s w i f e from h e r two youngest c h i l d r e n , f o r c i n g her to abort three pregnancies by means o f brute l a b o u r , and then demanding h e r sexual acquiescence by appea l ing to God's approva l o f t h e i r sex. I t i s a c y c l e which e v e n t u a l l y k i l l s E l l e n ' s mother and r e s u l t s i n E l l e n ' s vowing never to marry. Despi te ample evidence o f her n e u r o t i c f ea r of sex, E l l e n i s the p r e f e r r e d candida te f o r marr i age . Her complexion i s "a pure Scandinav ian 14. w h i t e " w h i l e C l a r a ' s i s " p a l l i d . " Her c l e a r b lue eyes compare f a v o u r a b l y w i t h C l a r a ' s " c o a l - b l a c k " and "beady" ones. E l l e n has seen the h o r r o r of b r u t e sex and l o o k s to h i g h e r b e t t e r g o a l s , w h i l e C l a r a ' s g lance of " s m i l i n g s c r u t i n y " and " c o q u e t t i s h . . . s u m m o n s " o b v i o u s l y i n d i c a t e s that she has s e t t l e d f o r s i n f u l p l ea sure (51) . Thus, a l though E l l e n ranges from be ing "a v i r g i n , c o o l and d i s t a n t to "a be ing s e x l e s s " and even " l i k e a man , " i t i s the gay widow who threa tens N e i l s more (38 ) . Grove d e s c r i b e s her \a s " p e c u l i a r l y f e m i n i n e , as g lowing w i t h a s t range warmth , " and even e x p l i c i t l y as " l o v e l y , v e r y l o v e l y . . . l i k e s i n " (29, 39, 5 4 ) . I n comparing the two women who a t t r a c t h im, N e i l s d i s c o v e r s tha t "one of these women seemed to demand; the o t h e r to g i v e . Yet one was competent; the o t h e r h e l p l e s s . One was mate; the o ther t o y " (57 ) . The i m p l i c a t i o n s are c l e a r l y P u r i t a n : C l a r a ' s g i f t i s d e c e p t i v e and dangerous w h i l e E l l e n ' s demand i s the d i f f i c u l t but w o r t h w h i l e c a p a c i t y f o r s p i r i t u a l l o v e . N e i l s f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h E l l e n and begins to focus h i s marr iage f anta sy on h e r . But her u n a t t a i n a b i l i t y denies any g r a t i f i c a t i o n . "Even i n h i s dreams, h e . . . i s shy i n her p r e s e n c e . . . a w k w a r d , dumb, t o r n by dark pass ions unworthy o f h e r ; " i t i s as i f s imply dreaming of her i s a l r e a d y "an i n t r u s i o n , l i k e the v i o l a t i o n of an i n v i o l a b l e p r i v a c y " (46, 4 8 ) . N e i l s ' thoughts r e v e a l not o n l y E l l e n ' s i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y , but a l s o h own g u i l t and f e a r . When he can f i n a l l y admit to h i m s e l f t h a t h i s f e e l i n g s f o r E l l e n i n v o l v e " t h e u l t i m a t e , supreme, p h y s i c a l d e s i r e , " the r e a l i z a t i o n comes i n the form of a "paroxysm of p a s s i o n and d e s p a i r " (49) In G r o v e ' s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , the two emotions are wedded; t h e r e i s never 15. anywhere f o r sexual energy to go except into g u i l t and despair. Good woman or bad, N e i l s i s blocked. For even when Clara encourages h i s sexual responses, N e i l s himself denies them. Whenever he catches himself fantasying about C l a r a , he f e e l s " g u i l t y . . . d e f i l e d as i f he had given i n to s i n . Her appeal was to something i n him which was lower, which was not worthy of the man who had seen E l l e n " (46). N e i l s i s a c l a s s i c a l v i c t i m of the kind of mind-body dualism that Norman 0. Brown describes: For two thousand years or more man has been subjugated to a systematic e f f o r t to transform him into an as c e t i c animal. He remains a pleasure-seeking animal. Parental d i s c i p l i n e , r e l i g i o u s denunciation of bo d i l y pleasure, and p h i l o s o p h i c a l e x a l t a t i o n of the l i f e of reason have a l l l e f t man ov e r t l y d o c i l e , but s e c r e t l y i n h i s unconscious unconvinced and therefore neurotic. Man remains unconvinced because i n infancy he tasted of the tree of l i f e and knows that i t i s good, and never f o r g e t s . 2 2 The Puritan i n N e i l s must p r o h i b i t any sexual urges not s t r i c t l y subordinated to love, but i t i s the neurotic i n him who can only love where sex i s forbidden. In Grove's f i c t i o n a l world, however, love and sex are so disassociated that the hero i s a neurotic by d e f i n i t i o n of the determining dualism. Grove's f i c t i o n a l women are t y p i c a l l y V i c t o r i a n , e i t h e r worthy of love and therefore e n t i r e l y devoid of sex or u t t e r l y unworthy of love and f u l l of sexual promise. The good women o f f e r asexual love and tenderness while the bad d e l i v e r sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n and eventual emotional destruction. Grove accepts unquestioningly the t r a d i t i o n a l stereotypes of good martyr-mothers, helpless l i t t l e g i r l s , and devouring whores. But once the women are divided i n t o good and bad, sex becomes eit h e r impossible 16. or dangerous, and thus the r o l e s of the men become c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y reduced and p o l a r i z e d as w e l l . Faced w i t h women who are e i t h e r h e l p l e s s v i c t i m s or aggre s s ive seducers , the men must t u r n i n t o e i t h e r s exua l t y r a n t s , powerless v i c t i m s , o r n e u t e r s . They have no c h o i c e but to v i o l a t e the good women, or run the r i s k of be ing des t royed by the bad, o r g i v e up p l e a s u r a b l e sex a l t o g e t h e r . 23 Grove s a i d of h i m s e l f , " I was my mother ' s s o n , " and he might w e l l have had h i s hero say i t t o o . For N e i l s mentions h i s f a t h e r o n l y once and then to say b l u n t l y t h a t he worked hard and d i e d . But he f r e q u e n t l y remembers h i s mother , and u s u a l l y does so at c r i t i c a l s exua l moments. He r e c a l l s a mother once "young, p r e t t y , p u l s a t i n g , v i b r a t i n g i n every f i b r e of l i f e , " a mother who wore h e r s e l f out " s l a v i n g away to keep her l i t t l e home f r e e from d e b t , " s c rubb ing r i c h p e o p l e ' s f l o o r s and g a t h e r i n g f u e l f o r t h e i r f i r e " t o the v e r y l a s t , to the day she was over t aken by her f i n a l i l l n e s s " (44, 102) . I n N e i l s ' mind , t h i s p u l s a t i n g , s e l f -s a c r i f i c i n g mother i s i n e x t r i c a b l y mixed w i t h E l l e n and C l a r a . A l t h o u g h i t i s o n l y E l l e n that Grove can e x p l i c i t l y l i n k w i t h N e i l s ' mother. Of C l a r a ' s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h e r , both he and N e i l s remain l a r g e l y unconsc ious . The f i r s t t ime N e i l s i s a lone w i t h E l l e n he f i n d s h i m s e l f f i l l e d w i t h c o n f u s i o n . I n h i s hear t t h e r e was a great tenderness such as he had f e l t f o r h i s m o t h e r . . . . B u t t h e r e was a l s o a t r a c e of resentment aga ins t the u n y i e l d i n g a loo fnes s of the g i r l . (44) I t does not seem too f a r - f e t c h e d to imagine j u s t t h i s same combinat ion of tenderness and resentment u n d e r l y i n g h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s mother, and f o r the same rea son . N e i l s ' g u i d i n g v i s i o n , the marr iage f a n t a s y , i s c r u c i a l l y centered 17. on the woman as mother. In i t s s tandard form, i t c o n s i s t s o f h i m s e l f and h i s w i f e seated "on o p p o s i t e s i d e s of a t a b l e i n f r o n t of a f i r e p l a c e " (56 ) ; they never t o u c h ; the o n l y sugges t ion of p a s s i o n i s i n the f i r e p l a c e and the o n l y evidence of consummation i n the p i t t e r - p a t t o f l i t t l e c h i l d r e n ' s f e e t . N e i l s ' c h o i c e of l o v e o b j e c t i s the s a f e l y d e s e x u a l i z e d mother. But i f onto E l l e n are p r o j e c t e d a l l of N e i l s ' good-mother needs, onto C l a r a are p r o j e c t e d h i s bad. H i s i n c r e d i b l e o v e r - r e a c t i o n to her f l i r t a t i o u s advances can be e x p l a i n e d not by a p p e a l i n g to s i n i n the a b s t r a c t , but to s i n w i t h the mother. When C l a r a approaches N e i l s a t a p a r t y s a y i n g , " I wonder whether you c o u l d s m i l e , M r . L i n d s t e d t ? " N e i l s i s " shocked" and t e r r i f i e d : He f e l t as i f somebody were p i l i n g a c r u s h i n g weight on h i m ; o r as i f he were b e i n g s t r i p p e d o f h i s d i s g u i s e s . H i s c h a s t i t y f e l t a t t a c k e d . He wanted to get away and looked h e l p l e s s l y at the crowd. But she had chosen her p l a c e w e l l . (52) F i n a l l y , i n order to " f l e e t e m p t a t i o n " and "save h i m s e l f , " N e i l s s l i p s out the s i d e door and runs away (52, 5 3 ) . I t i s a t t h i s p o i n t i n the n o v e l tha t Grove ' s o f t e n quoted " d e t e r m i n i s m " appears : Tonight something had happened which he d i d not unders tand ; he was a l e a f borne a long the w i n d , a prey to t h i n g s beyond h i s c o n t r o l , a fragment swept away by t o r r e n t s . (55) I t i s c l e a r that the t o r r e n t s a re N e i l s ' l ong-den ied unconscious u rge s . In f a c t , N e i l s now exper iences the r e t u r n of the repres sed and as a lways , the repressed i s r e g r e s s i v e l y i n f a n t i l e . A " l a s s i t u d e " comes over h i m , " a d e s i r e to escape l i f e ' s i s s u e s , " he " longs to be w i t h h i s mother , to f e e l her g n a r l e d c a l l o u s e d f i n g e r s rumpl ing h i s h a i r " (56 ) . I t i s a 18. f l i g h t back i n t o c h i l d h o o d where l o v e and sex were s t i l l fused , where he was r e l a t i v e l y f r e e from the d u a l i s m that d i v i d e s him aga ins t h i m s e l f . But f o r N e i l s , the mothers are too separa te ; the best he can f anta sy f o r the moment, i s more s a f e t y through d e n i a l : "a w r i n k l e d , shrunk l i t t l e face l o o k i n g a n x i o u s l y i n t o h i s o w n . . . t h e face w i t h the watery b lue eyes / j u s t l i k e E l l e n ' s / . " She l o o k s i n t o him " k n o w i n g l y , r e p r o a c h f u l l y " (56) . Poor N e i l s , surrounded by women of h i s own making, women who know h i s s e c r e t shameful thoughts , who s c r u t i n i z e him m e r c i l e s s l y , and who expose h i s g u i l t ' : "There was p i t y i n the l o o k of the a n c i e n t mother: p i t y w i t h him who was go ing a s t r a y : p i t y w i t h h i m , not because of what a s s a i l e d him from w i t h o u t ; but p i t y w i t h what he was i n h i s h e a r t " (56) . The f anta sy mother puts the blame r i g h t back where N e i l s always knew i t was, not on C l a r a , but on h i m s e l f . Suddenly N e i l s r e a l i z e s that sex had tormented h i s mother a l s o , but t h a t "she had fought i t down" (56 ) . Thus the good mother t r i u m p h s : N e i l s r e i n f o r c e s h i s sense of unworthiness and g u i l t and so prevents h i m s e l f from b e t r a y i n g h e r , p h y s i c a l l y a t l e a s t . But the mind i s more r e s i s t a n t . Longing and f o r b i d d e n , ashamed and g u i l t y , unworthy of the u n a t t a i n a b l e good mothers , N e i l s seeks f an ta sy g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r the f i r s t and o n l y t ime by l e t t i n g C l a r a usurp E l l e n i n h i s marr iage v i s i o n . I t i s the one time that he can manage to touch the woman i n the dream. He can do so , however, o n l y by " c r o u c h i n g on a low s t o o l i n f r o n t of the woman's s e a t . . . l e a n i n g h i s head on h e r . . . l o o k i n g up i n t o her face (56 ) . For any k i n d of p h y s i c a l contact to o c c u r , N e i l s has to reduce h i m s e l f to s u b m i s s i v e , g u i l t y , s m a l l , dependent son. There are no c h i l d r e n i n t h i s 19. f a n t a s y , n o t , as has been f r e q u e n t l y suggested, j u s t because C l a r a repre sent s s t e r i l e s i n and dea th , but because, more fundamenta l ly , any other l i t t l e f ee t i n t h i s u n i o n would be unwelcome c o m p e t i t i o n . As f o r any good P u r i t a n , work i s c l o s e to the cen t re of N e i l s ' sense of purpose and w e l l - b e i n g . The d e n i e d , p l e a s u r e - s e e k i n g c h i l d i n him can n e i t h e r p l a y nor l a u g h . But so long as h i s farm work goes hand- in-hand w i t h h i s marr iage f a n t a s i e s , i t remains an e r o t i c and g r a t i f y i n g p a r t of the movement toward the f u t u r e . But as the p o s s i b i l i t y of s exua l g r a t i f i c a t i o n d i m i n i s h e s , so does the e f f i c a c y o f work. He begins to r e l y upon i t and r e t r e a t to i t as a sa fe s u b s t i t u t e , something " sane . . . compared w i t h h i s w o r l d o f p a s s i o n , d e s i r e , and l o n g i n g " ( 5 4 ) . Denying h i m s e l f even h i s f a n t a s i e s , he has to " c l i n g to the landscape as something a b i d i n g , something to steady h i m s e l f " ( 5 5 ) . H i s great s t r o n g body which had been a " m a r v e l " to him and h i s work on the homestead now become o n l y the mechanica l means of " g i v i n g vent to some pent-up powers w i t h i n i n order to a v o i d an e x p l o s i o n " ( 6 5 ) . N e i l s ' c o l d comfort i s " a g r im s o r t of s a t i s f a c t i o n at hav ing r e s i s t e d both t e m p t a t i o n s , " but the cos t o f the r e p r e s s i o n i s h i g h ( 5 7 ) . As Freud s ays : I t i s soon apparent tha t by a c c e p t i n g a n e u r o s i s the ego has made a bad b a r g a i n . I t has p a i d too h e a v i l y f o r the s o l u t i o n to the c o n f l i c t ; the s u f f e r i n g s e n t a i l e d by the symptoms are perhaps as bad as those of the c o n f l i c t they r e p l a c e , and they may probably be very much w o r s e . ^ N e i l s becomes premature ly aged, t a c i t u r n , i s o l a t e d , and invaded by a " f e e l i n g of u t t e r u s e l e s s n e s s " ( 6 5 ) . The "sense of o p p r e s s i o n . . . and the apparent f u t i l i t y of a l l endeavour" become almost more than he 20. can bear (64) . He cannot "defend h i m s e l f a g a i n s t a f e e l i n g of f e a r : the f e a r of l i f e " (60) . N e i l s ' thoughts are t u r n i n g more and more towards "our common g o a l , the g rave " (64), That i t i s Grove , and not j u s t N e i l s , t rapped i n s i d e a c r i p p l i n g ideo logy becomes apparent i n the scene i n which N e i l s ' o l d f r i e n d S igurdson i s t a l k i n g to h i m s e l f , m u t t e r i n g " d i s q u i e t i n g t h i n g s . . . w i l d v i s i o n s , incomprehens ib le i n one so o l d " : " T ' y a . . . Y o , she l a u g h . . . a n d she t u r n her h i p s . And her b r e a s t s . . . H i . . . t y a . And she b i t e ! Sharp t e e t h she had , the h u s s y . . . " And t h i s decay of the human f a c u l t i e s , the reappearance of the animal i n a man whom he l o v e d , aroused i n N e i l s s t range enthusiasms: as i f he c o u l d have got up and howled and w h i s t l e d , v y i n g f o r the w i n d . . . ( 8 4 ) S ince N e i l s i s too deeply i d e n t i f y i n g to be p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , i t can o n l y be Grove who i s p u t t i n g an age l i m i t on e r o t i c f e e l i n g s , r e a s s e r t i n g the c o n n e c t i o n between d e s i r e and decay, d e c r y i n g the p e r s i s t e n t a n i m a l i t y of man, and most important of a l l , r e a c t i n g w i t h r e v u l s i o n t o a l o v e d one ' s a n i m a l i t y . But i t i s p r e c i s e l y because n e i t h e r N e i l s nor Grove can conce ive of E l l e n t u r n i n g her h i p s and b i t i n g , any more than they can b e l i e v e C l a r a de se rv ing of l o v e , tha t N e i l s i s l o c k e d i n t o the t r a g i c framework. W i t h the coming o f s p r i n g and under the urg ings of o l d S i g u r d s o n , N e i l s t e n t a t i v e l y approaches E l l e n . S lowly a l o v i n g but p l a t o n i c f r i e n d s h i p deve lops . G r a t e f u l f o r the r e v i v i f y i n g dream, f r i g h t e n e d by h i s own s e x u a l i t y , and s t i l l i gnorant o f the depths of E l l e n ' s a v e r s i o n to mar r i age , N e i l s l e t s the r e l a t i o n s h i p d r i f t f o r another f i v e 21. y e a r s . F i n a l l y a t the beds ide of the dy ing S igurdson , he has the r e v e l a t i o n t h a t , w i t h o u t l o v e , l i f e i s j u s t "a dumb s h i f t i n g of f o r c e s " (101) . But once aga in i t i s a r e v e l a t i o n p e c u l i a r l y bound i n w i t h h i s mother. N e i l s p e r c e i v e s i n h o r r o r the s o u l of the o l d man being transformed i n t o " f l e s h tha t would r o t and feed worms t i l l i t became c l a y " and he t h i n k s of h i s mother once young and p u l s a t i n g , "now a heap of b r i t t l e bones" (102) . Suddenly he r e a l i z e s tha t h i s mother l i v e s on through h i s l o v e f o r h e r , and knows t h a t w i t h o u t l o v e men " s h i v e r i n an u t t e r v o i d " (102) . Grove says that t h i s i l l u m i n a t i o n l e t s N e i l s accept death c a l m l y , even laugh i n i t s f a c e , y e t N e i l s ' response to o l d S igurdson remains oddly morbid and u n c o n v i n c i n g : " T h i s man had loved h im. Y e s , a f t e r a l l i t was good that he c o u l d d i e . . . . C o u l d d i e w i t h o u t s ee ing the h o r r o r s tha t were sure to come" (102) . Grove seems to be a f f i r m i n g d e a t h , not so much a s -par t of the process o f l i v i n g a f u l l l i f e , but more as an escape from an i n t o l e r a b l e one. Behind the r e s i g n a t i o n l u r k s a death w i s h . N e v e r t h e l e s s , N e i l s i s a b l e to take h i s p a r t i a l i n s i g h t and r i s e from the death bed to go and p lead " t h e cause of l i f e w i t h E l l e n " (102) . The p r o p o s a l o f marr iage f i n a l l y f o r c e s E l l e n to t e l l N e i l s her s t o r y . But so s t rong are the s e x u a l taboos , that be fore she can expose her " l e p r o u s s c a r s , " she must r i t u a l l y d e c l a r e h e r s e l f no l o n g e r a young woman and N e i l s must r i t u a l l y move away and t u r n h i s back on her (105) . E l l e n says that s imply t e l l i n g the s t o r y w i l l d e s t r o y any i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s between them " s i n c e no man can s t i l l be the l o v e r of a woman who has spoken so p l a i n l y about such t h i n g s " (111) . A l l t h i s might be enjoyed 22. as a qua int p i e c e of V i c t o r i a n prudery were i t not the source of the t ragedy . But i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s d i s a s s o c i a t i o n of l o v e and sex which leads to C l a r a ' s murder . P r e d i c t a b l y , N e i l s f l e e s a f t e r E l l e n d e s c r i b e s her t y r a n n i c a l f a t h e r and the h e l p l e s s , des t royed mother . He f l e e s not because h i s V i c t o r i a n i l l u s i o n s are s h a t t e r e d , nor j u s t because E l l e n r e a f f i r m s her u n a t t a i n a b i l i t y , but more i m p o r t a n t l y because the d e t a i l s of the s t o r y are t e r r i f y i n g l y i n keeping w i t h h i s own sexua l a n x i e t i e s . The c o n j u g a l bed i s r e v e a l e d f o r what he has always f ea red i t would be , a death bed. So long as w i f e and mother a re one i n N e i l s ' mind , h i s c h o i c e i s to be e i t h e r the murderous t y r a n t or the c a s t r a t e d boy. That he must become i n t ime both i s the n o v e l ' s u n i n t e n t i o n a l t r a g i c i r o n y , and the v i s i o n ' s t r a g i c l i m i t a t i o n . Grove i s deeply ambiva lent about sexua l r e p r e s s i o n . But u l t i m a t e l y he comes out i n favour o f i t s supposedly ennobl ing e f f e c t s as j u s t i f y i n g i t s c r i p p l i n g ones . That he can so i n t e n s e l y convey both the c o m p e l l i n g na ture of s e x u a l i t y and the p a i n i n v o l v e d denying i t and s t i l l a s s e r t the moral i d e a l i s m which denies p l e a s u r e and approves p a i n remains the n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l f a s c i n a t i o n . I t s f a i l u r e l i e s i n Grove ' s i n a b i l i t y to r e a l i z e d r a m a t i c a l l y h i s c o n v i c t i o n s : we b e l i e v e i n N e i l s ' p a i n and s low consumption; we are never convinced o f t h e i r v a l u e . The " g r a d u a l n e g a t i o n " of both h i s body and h i s dream once aga in works to de s t roy N e i l s : h i s f a c e , at t w e n t y - f i v e , i s " s cored and l i n e d ; l i f e has "no meaning i n i t . . . n o j u s t i f i c a t i o n " (19 ) . H i s f an ta sy s h i f t 23. to one of parano id d e l u s i o n , p e r s e c u t i o n and f l i g h t . He dreams of moving c o n t i n u a l l y to a f r e s h f r o n t i e r where " h i s enormous s t r e n g t h would s t i l l have meaning /and where/ women would have no p l a c e i n h i s l i f e " (119) . He f a n t a s i e s h i m s e l f a member of "a s p e c i a l r a c e . . . a race doomed to e v e r l a s t i n g e x t i n c t i o n and yet r e c r u i t e d out of the wastage of a l l o ther n a t i o n s . " Grove adds tha t t h i s i s " the dream of the s l a v e who dreams of f reedom." " F l a s h e s of p a i n " go through N e i l s ' l o o k g i v i n g "h im the appearance of one insane o r o f one who has communed w i t h o ther w o r l d s . " A l l t h i s s u f f e r i n g g i v e s him " such an a i r of s u p e r i o r i t y over h i s environment" t h a t a l l h o l d him " i n awe, some i n t e r r o r " (119) . Thus the r e p r e s s i o n and d e n i a l r e s u l t i n p a i n , i s o l a t i o n , i n s a n i t y , s l a v e r y , death and martyrdom. But the measure of the ennobl ing must s u r e l y l i e i n the r e s u l t s , and N e i l s , u n l i k e the p r o p h e t s , has n o t h i n g to t e l l , and u n l i k e the m a r t y r s , no e x t e r n a l source of l i g h t or energy to draw upon. A l l he has i s dead-end p a i n . D e s p i t e a l l h i s attempts to deny h i s s e x u a l needs, C l a r a rouses them a g a i n . She waylays him i n a dark h o t e l h a l l , and " h e r s o f t , warm, f r a g r a n t body seemed to envelop h i s . A hand c l o s e d on h i s mouth, he was drawn f o r w a r d ; he y i e l d e d " (121) . Su ther l and has commented 25 tha t Grove seems " t o have a s o f t spot f o r l o o s e women." I t i s obvious why. Denied the p o s s i b i l i t y of p l e a s u r a b l e sex w i t h the v i r g i n mothers of the w o r l d , a l l s e x u a l i t y as w e l l as a l l d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s , i s p r o j e c t e d onto the whore, from whom s c r u p l e s and f ea r s w i l l work to keep the male s a fe . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s a b l e a k l y a sexua l p i c t u r e , un le s s the whore i s s e d u c t i v e enough to overcome the r e l u c t a n c e . T h e r e i n l i e s 24. the t r a d i t i o n a l appeal and power of seducers : they l eave the " i n n o c e n t s " f r ee from g u i l t and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and s t i l l a l l o w them to enjoy what they must o therwi se deny. A f t e r spending the n i g h t w i t h C l a r a , N e i l s proposes m a r r i a g e . Grove h i n t s that the p r o p o s a l stems from N e i l s ' innocence and sense of moral o b l i g a t i o n . But i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e tha t h i s temporary sexua l r e l i e f makes the u n i o n seem as i m p e r a t i v e as any mora l c o n s i d e r a t i o n . C l a r a i s at f i r s t a s ton i shed and then " h a l f - l a u g h i n g , h a l f - c r y i n g " she a c c e p t s , making N e i l s promise never to l eave her "not f o r a s i n g l e day! I t would be t e r r i b l e " (125) . Grove never misses an o p p o r t u n i t y o f u n d e r l i n i n g the t e r r i f y i n g l y v o r a c i o u s a p p e t i t e of the s exua l woman. T h e i r marr iage i s doomed from i t s i n c e p t i o n . T h e i r t a s t e s and backgrounds are as d i f f e r e n t as t h e i r mot ives and e x p e c t a t i o n s . C l a r a o r i g i n a l l y wants o n l y a n i g h t of s exua l exc i tement ; N e i l s wants a l i f e t i m e of high-minded l o v e . N e i l s proposes i n ignorance of C l a r a ' s promiscuous c h a r a c t e r ; she accepts i n ignorance of h i s mot ives f o r p r o p o s i n g . She expects l o v e , sexua l g r a t i f i c a t i o n , and f i n a n c i a l s e c u r i t y . N e i l s expects a he lp mate, a f i r e s i d e companion, and a mother f o r h i s c h i l d r e n . N e i l s i s mot iva ted by d u t y ; C l a r a says " du ty does not e x i s t f o r me" (155) . N e i l s l i v e s f o r work, C l a r a f o r p l e a s u r e . There i s no f r e e and informed c o n t r a c t , no banns, no community p a r t i -c i p a t i o n , no church s e r v i c e , and no n u p t i a l p a r t y . The marr iage i s a P u r i t a n t r a v e s t y from i t s s exua l s t a r t to i t s murderous c o n c l u s i o n . C l a r a i s o b v i o u s l y not going to be a s u i t a b l e mate. She serves d i n n e r i n a s i l k y d r e s s i n g gown, s m i l e s when N e i l s ' ward, young Bobby, 25. s t a r e s a t her r e v e a l e d s h o u l d e r , and smothers N e i l s i n e f f u s i v e a f f e c t i o n . She laughs a l o t ; s l eeps i n the dayt ime; reads French n o v e l s ; e s p e c i a l l y enjoys Madame Bovary; f u r n i s h e s her bedroom and the d i n i n g room i n l a v i s h t a s t e ; hangs r e p r i n t s of famous p a i n t i n g s , i n c l u d i n g nudes, on the w a l l ; corresponds w i t h her o l d men f r i e n d s i n the c i t y ; and what i s most damning of a l l she l i m i t s " h e r work i n the house to the l e a s t t h a t would do" (127) . In f a c t , a scrub woman comes i n to do the work that " N e i l s ' mother had done" (127) . Moreover , C l a r a re fuses to take on the two t r a d i t i o n a l f a rm-wife d u t i e s — t h e vege tab le garden and the d a i r y , d e c l a r i n g openly and e m p h a t i c a l l y : " I w i l l t r y to keep house f o r you . But that i s a l l . . . . I am not the k i n d of woman who works " (129) . Grove attempts to g i v e C l a r a her due, but i t i s g r u d g i n g l y g i v e n . A l l h i s deepest sympathies l i e w i t h N e i l s , i n h i s d i s a p p o i n t e d l o n e l i n e s s , h i s l o n g hours of work wi thout a w i l l i n g he lp mate, and i n h i s growing s exua l d i s t a s t e . For N e i l s i s no sooner m a r r i e d to the bad mother , than he i s r e p e l l e d by h e r . She f o l l o w s him i n t o the f i e l d and i n t e r r u p t s h i s work to rumple h i s h a i r , k i s s h i s ear and whisper tha t she l o v e s h im. To h im, a l r e a d y " t h i s marr iage seemed. . . a lmost an indecency" (125) . And no wonder, s i n c e C l a r a p e r s o n i f i e s a r e p u d i a t i o n of N e i l s ' p u r i t a n i c a l i d e a l i s m , h i s work e t h i c , and h i s d e f i n i t i o n of sex as p r o c r e a t i v e , monogomous, g e n i t a l , and d u t i f u l . C l a r a c h a r a c t e r i s e s p l a y and p l e a s u r e - s e e k i n g e r o t i c i s m . She begrudges the t ime spent at r o u t i n e drudgery and t r i e s to extend e r o t i c g r a t i f i c a t i o n i n t o her books , c l o t h e s , food , f u r n i s h i n g s , c o v e r s a t i o n , 26. and even i n t o the workday. She i s a l s o s e x u a l l y potent and f r e q u e n t l y seeks to b r i n g t h i s p e r v a s i v e f o r e p l a y to i t s g e n i t a l c o n c l u s i o n . N e i l s f i n d s h i m s e l f o n l y m e c h a n i c a l l y s a t i s f y i n g " h e r s t r a n g e , a r d e n t , e r r a t i c d e s i r e s . . . d i s t a s t e f u l though they were" (126) . I t i s f o r t u n a t e t h a t Grove ' s l i k i n g f o r n a t u r a l i s t i c d e t a i l s u p p l i e s a l i s t o f C l a r a ' s apparent p e r v e r s i o n s . Otherwise contemporary i m a g i n a t i o n s might w e l l b e l i e v e her g u i l t y of d e p r a v i t i e s more s e r i o u s than the k i n d of honeymoon enthusiasm which o b v i o u s l y t e r r i f i e s both N e i l s and Grove . For C l a r a ' s s t range ardent e r r a t i c d i s t a s t e f u l d e s i r e s t u r n out to be tha t she "awakened him i n the midd le o f the n i g h t , i n the e a r l y morning h o u r s . . . o f t e n she robbed him of h i s s l eep i n the evening keeping him up t i l l midn ight and l a t e r " (126) . At most i t would seem that C l a r a i s g u i l t y o f needing f requent reassurance and a t t e n t i o n , and even so , i n the l i g h t of N e i l s ' i n d i f f e r e n c e and r e l u c t a n c e , her need would not seem a l t o g e t h e r u n j u s t i f i e d . C l a r a i s unhappy, u n f u l f i l l e d , l o n e l y , w i l l f u l , r e s t l e s s and s e l f - i n d u l g e n t . But she i s not a c a s t r a t i n g monster , a t l e a s t not u n t i l N e i l s i n v i t e s her to be one. N e i l s , d e s p i t e h i s s e n s i t i v i t y , d i g n i t y , and tendernes s , i s so overwhelmed by C l a r a ' s o v e r t s e x u a l i t y tha t whatever f l e e t i n g p a s s i o n he had been a b l e to summon up i n the h o t e l room van i shes on the farm. He never once i n i t i a t e s any k i n d of embrace w i t h C l a r a ; he can o n l y respond to her advances d u t i f u l l y and d i s t a s t e f u l l y ; and, a f t e r , she withdraws i n t o her i r o n i c d e f e n s i v e n e s s , he i s so devo id of i n t e r e s t i n her t h a t more than s i x months pass w i t h no s exua l c o n t a c t o f any k i n d . 27. A l l t h i s occurs be fore her i n f i d e l i t y . I t i s N e i l s who commits the pr imary s i n s aga i n s t P u r i t a n marr i age : he marr i e s where he knows he can never l o v e , and he cannot f u l f i l l h i s s exua l o b l i g a t i o n s . Contemporary and supposedly e n l i g h t e n e d c r i t i c s are s t i l l responding to C l a r a through N e i l s ' eyes . Pacey d e s c r i b e s N e i l s ' 26 s exua l i n s t i n c t s as "moderate ly s t r o n g " and C l a r a ' s as " i n s a t i a b l e . " Su ther l and says that " i n every way N e i l s L i n d s t e d t i s the o p p o s i t e of 27 E l l e n ' s f a t h e r " d e s p i t e the undeniab le f a c t t h a t both men murder t h e i r wives over sex . And D . G . Jones , i n a l a p s e from h i s s tance as spokes-man f o r the v i t a l i n s t i n c t u a l l i f e , f a l l s i n t o the r o l e of f r i g h t e n e d male be fore devour ing whore. He t r e a t s N e i l s and E l l e n s e n s i t i v e l y and s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y , but r e f e r s to C l a r a o n l y as the " l o c a l p r o s t i t u t e " , 28 "whore" , " s p e c t r e " , " l e e r i n g M a r a " , and " p a i n t e d d e a t h ' s h e a d . " C e r t a i n l y , Grove uses these l a b e l s to e v e n t u a l l y symbol i ze C l a r a out of a l l i n d i v i d u a l i t y , but t h a t the c r i t i c who has done most towards t r a c i n g the s exua l themes i n Canadian l i t e r a t u r e should f a l l i n t o the v e r y d u a l i t y he i s d e c r y i n g o n l y p r o v i d e s one more i n d i c a t i o n of j u s t how deeply i n g r a i n e d the response t o the sexua l woman remains . Grove r e p e a t e d l y makes use of C l a r a ' s a f f e c t i o n f o r cosmet ics and h a i r dye to emphasize her e s s e n t i a l mora l f a l s e n e s s . Yet i n the eyes of the squeamish P u r i t a n i t ' s a case of damned i f you do, damned i f you d o n ' t . For when N e i l s f i r s t sees C l a r a w i t h o u t her makeup he i s a p p a l l e d and t e r r i f i e d by her coarse aged f ace . As f a r as N e i l s i s concerned n e i t h e r the r e a l i t y nor the i l l u s i o n of C l a r a ' s appearance i s conducive to l o v e . 28. N e i l s and C l a r a l i v e l i k e s t r a n g e r s , " s i d e by s i d e : w i t h o u t common memories i n the pa s t ; w i t h o u t common i n t e r e s t s i n the p r e s e n t ; w i t h o u t common aims i n the f u t u r e " (136) . Why, N e i l s asks h i m s e l f m i s e r a b l y , are they marr i ed a t a l l . H i s r i g o r o u s p u r i t a n consc ience answers that i t i s a l l f o r the sake of the one n i g h t " t h e i r pu l se s had beaten together i n l u s t " (138) . But s i n c e l u s t i s s i n , " t h e d e f i l i n g of an i n s t i n c t of n a t u r e " , n e i t h e r l o v e , nor companionship , nor c h i l d r e n can come of the u n i o n , o n l y dea th- (138) . They d r i f t on i n despera te i s o l a t i o n , days pass w i t h o u t them even see ing each o t h e r ; N e i l s does a l l the work, C l a r a s t ays i n her room read ing and s l e e p i n g . She makes s e v e r a l t r i p s to the c i t y , and r e t u r n s each time more i r o n i c a l and more a l i e n a t e d . F i n a l l y N e i l s re fuses to l e t her l e a v e the farm. They q u a r r e l and i t i s to G r o v e ' s c r e d i t t h a t he can move so t e l l i n g l y i n t o C l a r a ' s s i d e of the g r i e v a n c e s . She accuses N e i l s of marry ing her d i s h o n e s t l y , o f s e x u a l l y r e j e c t i n g h e r , and of want ing to keep her as a p i e c e of p r o p e r t y t h a t a l though he no longer has any use f o r he w i l l not l e t any o t h e r man have. She d e s c r i b e s her l o n e l i n e s s on the farm, her o r i g i n a l e f f o r t s to p l e a s e , her i n c r e a s i n g awareness of h i s u t t e r i n d i f f e r e n c e to h e r , and her desperate attempts to arouse some response i n h im, by t a u n t i n g h i m , by r e f u s i n g to do anyth ing a t a l l i n the home, by go ing away w i t h o u t e x p l a n a t i o n s , and f i n a l l y by t a k i n g other men: I t was n o t h i n g to me. I thought i t meant much to you . I r e v e l l e d i n my r e v e n g e . . . I might have s tayed away, t h e n . I came back. I s t i l l h o p e d . . . N o t h i n g . Nothing . ' (115) 2 9 . A d m i t t i n g tha t she hates h im, she asks s e n s i b l y to be a l l o w e d to l e a v e . N e i l s has heard n o t h i n g except that "she had g i v e n her body" , and he b l i n d l y re fuses her request (159) . They l i v e on i n anger and mi sery and increa sed a l i e n a t i o n . N e i l s i s a mora l a b s o l u t i s t unable to f i n d any way out o f what he regards as a mora l s i t u a t i o n . He judges her g u i l t y and demands " repentance and atonement" (159) . But she no longer g rant s him any mora l a u t h o r i t y over h e r . A l l he can do i s admit to h i m s e l f tha t " t h e whole antecedents o f the marr iage were i m m o r a l " ; he cannot l e t her go, nor can he "make the best of a bad b a r g a i n , " f o r marr iage i s i n h i s i d e a l i s t i c terms s t i l l " a l l or n o t h i n g . G ive a l l and take a l l " ( 1 6 0 ) . N e i l s i s s t u c k h a r p i n g back to h i s o r i g i n a l s i n : i t a l l comes to t h i s "he should not have f a l l e n " (160) . As a lways , g u i l t p a r a l y s e s h im. F i x e d i n both a b s o l u t e i d e a l i s m and s e x u a l n e u r o s i s , he i s u t t e r l y b locked i n a r e a l l i f e s i t u a t i o n . C l a r a makes s e v e r a l l a s t p a t h e t i c , f u t i l e attempts a t r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i n the o n l y way she knows how: she p h y s i c a l l y puts h e r s e l f i n N e i l s ' path i n her s i l k n i g h t gowns but w i t h o u t her mask o f make-up. I t i s a ge s ture more genu ine ly courageous than any N e i l s can under take , but both he and Grove are r e p e l l e d and h o r r i f i e d by the r e a l i t y of her l i n e d , y e l l o w s k i n and the b l a c k ho l lows under her eyes . N e i l s , i n whom " a l l s exua l i n s t i n c t s . /are/ dead" cannot b r i n g h i m s e l f even to speak to her when she approaches (165) . F i n a l l y , she turns aga i n s t him i n e a r n e s t . A year of her mockery and haunt ing f r i g h t e n s N e i l s enough to f o r c e him to g i v e i n and dec ide to l e t her go, but she i s now i n s a n e l y i n t e n t on revenge. She re fuses 30. to l eave and d e l i b e r a t e l y t u r n s h i s l i f e i n t o a nightmare and h i s home i n t o a b o r d e l l o . F i n a l l y , N e i l s l e a r n s that h i s w i f e i s the d i s t r i c t whore. The r a t i o n a l i s t i n him i s rendered i n s e n s i b l e by the news. He stumbles homeward w i t h "unsee ing eyes , u n t h i n k i n g b r a i n " ; he goes as "an an imal goes, wounded to d e a t h , seek ing h i s l a i r , to h i d e h i m s e l f . " H i s mind i s reduced to " a p a i n f u l raw v o i d " (182) and h i s head to "an enormous burden" swaying on h i s neck (184) . L i k e a wary a n i m a l , h i s l i p c u r l i n g i n d i s t a s t e , N e i l s approaches h i s fence t h r e e t imes be fore he can f o r c e h i m s e l f to c r o s s i t . And then " l i k e a man broken by a l i f e t i m e of work too heavy f o r h i m " he can o n l y s i n k to h i s knees and c r a w l under i t onto h i s l a n d where he c o l l a p s e s (183) . The e f f o r t to c o n t r o l man's i n s t i n c t i v e nature under the r e s t r a i n t s of reason i s , i n Grove ' s v i e w , c o s t l y but nece s sa ry . Having de f ined man's i r r a t i o n a l na ture as e s s e n t i a l l y d e s t r u c t i v e , i t o b v i o u s l y must be repres sed and t rans formed . But as Freud p o i n t s o u t , the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i s never complete . The repres sed m a t e r i a l , t h a t which " i s p r i m i t i v e . . . i s preserved a l o n g s i d e the transformed v e r s i o n which has 29 r i s e n from i t . " Marcuse phrases the same idea i n a more t h r e a t e n i n g way: " C i v i l i z a t i o n has subjugated sensuousness to reason i n such a manner that the former , i f i t r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f , does so i n d e s t r u c t i v e and , , - i.30 savage forms. The news about C l a r a c l o s e s N e i l s ' s c h i z o i d d i s a s s o c i a t i o n of l o v e and sex . H i s s u b l i m a t i o n s are des t royed and he i s h u r l e d back i n t o the w o r l d of the unrepres sed . He gropes h i s way " f rom t r e e to t r e e , 31. suppor t ing h i m s e l f by h i s hands, f e e l i n g up and down the r i g i d t runks as i f s e a r c h i n g f o r something" (183) . The p h a l l i c i m p l i c a t i o n s are hard to i g n o r e and no other e x p l a n a t i o n s are o f f e r e d . In a desperate attempt to recover h i s manhood, N e i l s has abandoned h i m s e l f to the o n l y rea lm where he s t i l l has a hope of f i n d i n g i t : an imal unconsc iousnes s . He c rawl s i n t o the s t a b l e , paws down feed sacks and c o l l a p s e s on them. There i n a manger, he becomes once aga in a l i t t l e c h i l d , but because Grove b e l i e v e s n e i t h e r i n innocent a n i m a l i t y nor g u i l t l e s s c h i l d h o o d , the r e b i r t h i s a daemonic parody. When the p l e a s u r e - s e e k i n g c h i l d i n N e i l s f i n a l l y breaks through , he a r r i v e s as an insane murderer . He h ides i n the corner c h u c k l i n g . F i g h t i n g to " suppress h i s l a u g h t e r , " he t h i n k s h e ' s " p l a y i n g a prank" on the anxious Bobby who has come l o o k i n g f o r h i m . He s i t s on the t h r e s h o l d d a n g l i n g " h i s f e e t l i k e a c h i l d , or l i k e one who has been s i c k and has un learned the a r t of w a l k i n g " (185) . But i t i s too l a t e ; when N e i l s sees C l a r a i n the window, the t i g h t l y wound " p o w e r f u l s p r i n g i n s i d e " snaps and "wave a f t e r wave of hot b lood goes through h i s body, l a p p i n g up i n t o h i s b r a i n , b r e a k i n g t h e r e , f l o o d i n g h i s consc iousness w i t h an opaque s c a r l e t f l o o d " (186) . T h i s murderous p s y c h o t i c moment i s a lmost i d e n t i c a l w i t h tha t f i r s t "paroxysm of p a s s i o n " which accompanied h i s f a n t a s y i n g of sex w i t h E l l e n . He f i r e s h i s gun " e n t i r e l y under the compuls ion of the s p r i n g " and then immediate ly a f t e r w a r d s , w i t h o u t ever knowing why, he goes to the s t a b l e and shoots h i s g e l d i n g (186) . A p p a r e n t l y some of the c r i t i c s never know why e i t h e r . S u t h e r l a n d , f o r example, summarizes N e i l s ' a t t i t u d e to women as " s e n s i t i v e and t e n d e r " —-a j a r r i n g l y o v e r s i m p l i f i e d r e a d i n g of an ambivalence s u f f i c i e n t l y severe to cu lminate i n murder (50) . I t seems to suggest once aga in t h a t the d i s a s s o c i a t i o n of l o v e and sex and the congruent f e a r and hatred of the bad mother have a much more tenac ious h o l d than i s r e a d i l y a d m i t t e d . When Pacey c r i t i c i z e s Grove f o r not ending the n o v e l w i t h 32 the "murder o f the f a i t h l e s s w i f e . . . t h e l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n " one cannot he lp but wonder i f h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i s e n t i r e l y d i c t a t e d by a e s t h e t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . That Grove h i m s e l f u n c o n s c i o u s l y approves the murder of women who can render men " a s l a v e of p a s s i o n " seems born out by the a f te rmath of the k i l l i n g (161) . Having s l e p t a l l day, N e i l s wakes w i t h a c l e a r -eyed l o o k " f rom another w o r l d " (189) . He p a i n s t a k i n g l y and r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y c l eans h i s body which seems at l ong l a s t to be t r u l y dead. He moves s l o w l y , d e l i b e r a t e l y , h e a v i l y as i f " h i s weight had i n c r e a s e d t e n f o l d " and h i s arms were made of " l e a d " (190) . When he r i s e s to say goodbye to Bobby, he has to make one l a s t e f f o r t a t "mas te r ing h i s r e f r a c t o r y body" and then when t h a t ' s done he can q u i e t l y but d i s t i n c t l y u t t e r h i s l i t a n y : "Hanged by the neck u n t i l dead" (191) . N e i l s i s more eager f o r punishment and death than e v e r . But a sympathet ic j u r y sentences him to t en y e a r s , o f which he a c t u a l l y serves o n l y s i x . N e i l s never repents of the murder. In f a c t , he says p l a i n l y t h a t "he would so a g a i n should the o c c a s i o n a r i s e " s i n c e the s i n l a y not i n the k i l l i n g but i n "what l e d up to i t . . . t h e very b e g i n n i n g of i t " (192, 201) . Thus l u s t , and not murder, remains , f o r Grove , the pr imary s i n . The k i n d l y warden reas sures N e i l s tha t he too would probab ly have 33. acted the same way under the c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h a t God has l i k e l y l o n g f o r g i v e n the o r i g i n a l s i n , and tha t " t h e k i l l i n g , . . t o o was i n the atonement" (201) . But i n s p i t e of a l l the supposedly ennob l ing s u f f e r i n g , N e i l s has l e a r n e d n o t h i n g new. H i s p o s i t i o n , and G r o v e ' s , remain u n a l t e r e d : g i v i n g i n to the f l e s h i s deadly s i n , but a c t i v e l y d e s t r o y i n g s i n (even i f i t happens to e x i s t i n the form of another human being) can go a l o n g way towards atonement. N e i l s ' p r i s o n sentence i s h u r r i e d over i n three pages, d u r i n g which N e i l s gets a h i g h s c h o o l e d u c a t i o n , Bobby doubles the v a l u e of N e i l s ' f a rm, and E l l e n changes her mind about marr iage and l o y a l l y w a i t s . A c y n i c might be f o r g i v e n f o r t h i n k i n g wife-murder was b e i n g recommended. The extent to which the i d e a l o f a sexua l s p i r i t u a l l o v e dominates the n o v e l can be most f u l l y f e l t i n the s e n t i m e n t a l e n d i n g . N e i l s l e a r n s t h a t he went a s t r a y when he l o s t E l l e n "not as a. m a t e . . . w h a t d i d t h a t m a t t e r . . . ( b u t ) as a g u i d i n g i n f l u e n c e i n h i s l i f e . . . a s a s i s t e r , a f r i e n d " (209) . E l l e n , a l though s t i l l a v i r g i n a t t h i r t y - s i x , i s now s u f f i c i e n t l y s e x u a l l y l i b e r a t e d to renounce her vow of c e l i b a c y and embrace m a r r i a g e . She can at l a s t say " I am a woman. I . . . n e e d more than mere b r o t h e r h o o d . . . i t i s my d e s t i n y and my g r e a t e s t need to have c h i l d r e n , c h i l d r e n " (217) . I t i s a d e f i n i t i o n of s e l f which h a r d l y promises much sexua l p l e a s u r e but i t i s an improvement o f s o r t s . With N e i l s w i l l i n g to g i v e up sex a l t o g e t h e r i f necessary to preserve l o v e , and E l l e n w i l l i n g to submit to sex i f necessary to preserve l i f e , N e i l s ' mother makes her l a s t f an ta sy appearance, but t h i s t ime she wears a r e l a x e d , knowing s m i l e . Her face h a p p i l y fuses w i t h 34. tha t of o l d S igurdson who i s r e s u r r e c t e d murmuring a s u i t a b l y de-s e x u a l i z e d and abbrev i a ted " H ' m . . . t y a . " The compromise r e s o l u t i o n t h a t many c r i t i c s have read i n t o t h i s i s r e a l l y no compromise at a l l : i t i s a s t r a i g h t defeat of the i r r a t i o n a l and the e r o t i c as p o s i t i v e l i f e f o r c e s . Grove o b v i o u s l y in tends the u n i o n of N e i l s and E l l e n to f u n c t i o n as a s l i m but h o p e f u l p o s s i b i l i t y o f the way out of an imal needs and s p i r i t u a l a ims . But the terms i n which he couches i t should r u l e out any f a i t h i n the v i s i o n . The coup le walk i n a d e l i c a t e knowing s i l e n c e , a v o i d i n g each o t h e r ' s eyes and m u t u a l l y s m i l i n g " a s t range almost o t h e r w o r l d l y s m i l e " (216) . They have no need f o r words any more because: Between them stands the p a s t ; not as a b a r r i e r now; as a bond. These two have been p a r t e d ; and p a r t i n g has opened t h e i r eyes . They have s u f f e r e d ; s u f f e r i n g has made them s w e e t . . . . L i f e has i n v o l v e d them i n g u i l t ; r e g r e t and repentance have l e d them t o g e t h e r ; they know tha t never aga in must they p a r t . I t i s not p a s s i o n tha t w i l l u n i t e them; what w i l l u n i t e them i s l o v e . (216) F i n a l l y the Canadian Adam and Eve "wa lk home through the dusk. They do not k i s s . T h e i r l i p s have not touched. But t h e i r arms r e s t i n each o t h e r ; t h e i r f i n g e r s i n t e r t w i n e d . . . . A s they go, a v i s i o n r i s e s between them, shared by b o t h " (217) . I n compari son, the "hand i n hand" of M i l t o n ' s p u r i t a n p a i r seems s e x u a l l y r o b u s t . The n o v e l ' s f i n a l v i s i o n of marr iage i s p r e c i s e l y what i t was i n the b e g i n n i n g : s p i r i t u a l l o v e , a sexua l companionship, and p r o c r e a t i o n . For N e i l s and E l l e n i t promises a s y m b i o t i c dependence i n which two c a s t r a t e d people w i l l c h e r i s h each 35. other main ly as arms to l e a n on . Unable to accept man's a n i m a l i t y w i t h any sense of p l e a s u r e , Grove dooms h i s p r o t a g a n i s t s to a l i f e of g u i l t , r e p r e s s i o n and s low consumption. There i s no way f o r them t o l i v e f u l l y i n s i d e a d u a l i t y which demands the r e s i g n a t i o n of e i t h e r the mind o r the body. Denis de Rougement m a i n t a i n s , Every d u a l i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the u n i v e r s e ho lds the f a c t s of be ing a l i v e i n the body to be ab so lu te w o e . . . a n d death to be a b s o l u t e g o o d . . . . T h e goa l and the end of the s p i r i t i s a l s o the end o f p h y s i c a l l i f e . ^ g U l t i m a t e l y , he i s r i g h t , ye t by f o c u s s i n g on the promise o f e t e r n a l j o y i n exchange f o r temporal woe and the d e b i l i t a t i n g e f f e c t s of tha t b a r g a i n on human l i f e , de Rougement tends to o v e r l o o k the p o s s i b i l i t y o f any g e n u i n e l y v i v i f y i n g i d e a l . The o r i g i n a l P u r i t a n s had such an i d e a l . Heaven was a t best a p o s s i b i l i t y : the d o c t r i n e of the e l e c t p rec luded any c e r t a i n t y . T h e i r God was a r b i t r a r y but He was a l s o A b s o l u t e Power, and those l i v i n g i n u n i o n w i t h H i s s t r e n g t h o b v i o u s l y f e l t the b e n e f i t s o f a source of enormous c r e a t i v e energy: God, i f not l i b e r a t e d s e x u a l i t y , f lowed through them. The famous P u r i t a n z e a l might w e l l have been sub l imated s e x u a l i t y , but a more important i n s i g h t , i s t h a t , at l e a s t f o r a w h i l e , the s u b l i m a t i o n worked: i t made a c c e s s i b l e v i t a l energy i n t h i s l i f e f o r t h i s l i f e . E v e n t u a l l y , however, the P u r i t a n God was abandoned but not the n o t i o n of man's e s s e n t i a l d e p r a v i t y . Thus the debased P u r i t a n , l i k e the V i c t o r i a n , i s i n the i n s a n e l y weakened p o s i t i o n of hav ing none o f 36. God's power to draw upon and o n l y a f r a c t i o n of h i s own. Denied access to e i t h e r d i r e c t or c r e a t i v e l y sub l imated s exua l energy, he i s d r i v e n to s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e , perver se forms. Grove recommends g u i l t and s u f f e r i n g as l i f e ' s necessary sweetening i n g r e d i e n t s , yet the n o v e l i n a d v e r t e n t l y demonstrates how such dead-end s u f f e r i n g f a i l s to e n l i g h t e n , ennoble or even e n l i v e n . When l i f e i s d e f i n e d as 34 " l a r g e l y the a b i l i t y to f e e l p a i n " and man's h i g h e s t a s p i r a t i o n as be ing " t o i n f l i c t p a i n on o ther s i n undergoing the supreme p a i n o u r s e l v e s " (102), the v i s i o n i s c l e a r l y s a d o - m a s o c h i s t i c . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , Gove's i n s i s t e n c e upon d e n i a l and s u f f e r i n g i s not o n l y the unconsc ious g r a t i f i c a t i o n of n e u r o t i c needs, i t i s a l s o the means whereby the c o n d i t i o n s which produce the n e u r o s i s a re ma inta ined and perpe tua ted . CHAPTER I I I MORLEY CALLAGHAN George Woodcock has q u i t e a c c u r a t e l y d e f i n e d the c e n t r a l c o n f l i c t i n Mor ley C a l l a g h a n ' s work as tha t between sacred and profane l o v e . ^ He has a l s o s a i d that " l i k e most Canadian male a u t h o r s , C a l l a g h a n has always had d i f f i c u l t y i n p o r t r a y i n g women except as types—the c o l d proud pseudo-sa int and the easy-hear ted l o o s e - l e g g e d 2 f l o o z i e . " A l though C a l l a g h a n does tend to s t e r e o t y p e h i s female c h a r a c t e r s , Woodcock's c r i t i c i s m o v e r s h i m p l i f i e s C a l l a g h a n ' s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s attempt to break away from the t r a d i t i o n a l s exua l d i v i s i o n . For i n C a l l a g h a n ' s e t h i c a l system, the good women are separated from the bad not so much by s e x u a l i t y as by m o t i v e . Thus, because good equals s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n w h i l e bad equals s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n , the t r a d i t i o n a l v i r g i n becomes a s exua l mar tyr w h i l e the whore i s turned i n t o a sensua l e g o t i s t . A t f i r s t g lance C a l l a g h a n ' s mora l scheme seems an improvement over G r o v e ' s . C e r t a i n l y , i t p rov ide s f o r an i n c r e a s e d f l e x i b i l i t y i n c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . F o r i n s t a n c e , i n They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h , the profane woman, Mar the , i s p e r m i t t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e d i g n i t y and emot iona l power, w h i l e the sacred woman, Anna, i s a l l owed a sexua l range i m p o s s i b l e i n Grove ' s f i c t i o n . The i n t e n t i o n of t h i s c h a p t e r , however, i s to e s t a b l i s h tha t the n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l concern l i e s w i t h the C h r i s t i a n i d e a l of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , and that C a l l a g h a n ' s v e r s i o n of tha t i d e a l f u n c t i o n s i n a d v e r t e n t l y to deny the c h a r a c t e r s emot iona l and sexua l m a t u r i t y . 38. A c l o s e look at the two women i n the n o v e l r e v e a l s tha t C a l l a g h a n ' s v i s i o n i s u l t i m a t e l y as l i m i t e d and l i m i t i n g as G r o v e ' s . In f a c t , i n terms of e v o c a t i v e power, i t i s c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s c o m p e l l i n g . M a r t h e ' s l o v e d i v i d e s and de s t roys w h i l e Anna ' s r e c o n c i l e s and c r e a t e s . But C a l l a g h a n , d e l i b e r a t e l y and i r o n i c a l l y , makes the two women share much i n common: both are h i g h l y emot iona l and s e x u a l ; both l i v e common-law w i t h t h e i r l o v e r s ; both are l o v i n g mothers ; both are seen i n the r o l e o f nurse and both are r e p e a t e d l y d e s c r i b e d as " s o f t . " However, the d i f f e r i n g na ture of t h e i r so f tnes s d i v i d e s them i n t o the sacred-redempt ive and the p r o f a n e - d e s t r u c t i v e t y p e s . M a r t h e ' s "deep-breas ted" warmth does not n u r t u r e but r a t h e r embodies a " k i n d of r i c h opulence h a l f concea led by a n a t u r a l p a s s i v i t y 3 or s t i l l n e s s w i t h i n h e r . " Because C a l l a g h a n f r e q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e s Anna i n terms o f her s t i l l n e s s and repose , i t i s important to note t h a t , d e s p i t e M a r t h e ' s " l a r g e and s o f t dark eyes" which l o o k " m e d i t a t i v e and q u i e t l y w i s e , " she i s r e a l l y "never v e r y calm about a n y t h i n g " (16) . Having m a r r i e d her f i r s t husband i n " w i l d n e s s and e x c i t e m e n t . . . w h e n they c o u l d n ' t a f f o r d i t , " Marche almost immediate ly f i n d s h e r s e l f a young war widow w i t h a s m a l l son to support (16) . I n one shor t sentence C a l l a g h a n i m p l i e s the moral weakness which e v e n t u a l l y undoes almost everyone i n the n o v e l : "She l i v e d f r u g a l l y and was o f t e n weary, and i t became a p a s s i o n f o r her to g a i n some s e c u r i t y f o r h e r s e l f and her son" (16 ) . U n l i k e Anna, Marthe i s not d r i v e n to s e l l h e r s e l f out of economic d e s p e r a t i o n but r a t h e r s imply because her " o p u l e n t s o f t ways" cannot bear f r u g a l i t y and hard work (99 ) . Her sexua l so f tnes s amounts to 39. the same k i n d o f s e l f indulgence of which M i c h a e l l a t e r accuses h i s f a t h e r : "You never d i d anyth ing i n your l i f e but t r y and make y o u r s e l f f e e l good" (70 ) . I t i s the s e l f - g r a t i f y i n g urge w h i c h , i n the w o r l d of C h r i s t i a n i d e a l i s m , marks the s e n s u a l i s t , e g o t i s t and m a t e r i a l i s t . Thus, i n t h i s n o v e l , i t r e s u l t s i n death and d e s t r u c t i o n . Andrew Aikenhead f a l l s h e l p l e s s l y i n l o v e w i t h Marthe whose s i n i s t e r q u a l i t i e s are suggested more by the emphasis g i v e n to h i s h e l p l e s s n e s s than to her over t a c t i o n s . " B i t by b i t " Marthe makes " h i s l i f e her l i f e and h i s ways her ways" u n t i l , " h e l p l e s s ag a in s t h i s p a s s i o n f o r h e r , " he overcomes h i s s c r u p l e s and coaxes her to come and l i v e w i t h him o s t e n s i b l y as nurse and housekeeper ( 1 6 ) . M o t i v a t e d by l o n e l i n e s s and the d e s i r e f o r s e c u r i t y , Marthe and Andrew's l o v e i r o n i c a l l y r e s u l t s i n i s o l a t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n f o r every member of the f a m i l y . A f t e r years of s e p a r a t i o n from h i s son , Andrew f i n a l l y persuades him to r e t u r n home f o r what i s supposed to be a f a m i l y r e u n i o n . But the week-end i n t e n s i f i e s the h o s t i l i t y u n t i l i t cu lmina te s i n M i c h a e l ' s h a t e - f i l l e d r e f u s a l to save h i s s t e p - b r o t h e r from drowning . C a l l a g h a n ' s n o t i o n s of g u i l t are more s u b t l e than G r o v e ' s . Everyone shares i n the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r Dave's d e a t h : Marthe brought him i n t o the Aikenhead home, Andrew o f f e r e d him n o t h i n g but money; M i c h a e l j e a l o u s l y hated him f o r coming betweeen him and h i s s i s t e r ; and Dave h i m s e l f i n d u l g e d i n s e l f - p i t y and e g o t i s t i c a l d i s s i p a t i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , Ca l l aghan l i n k s Dave ' s death more w i t h the pr imary s i n of Marthe and Andrew's l o v e than w i t h a n y t h i n g e l s e . As Andrew exper iences the t o t a l i s o l a t i o n tha t f o l l o w s M a r t h e ' s a c c u s a t i o n , he l o o k s back i n 40. dismay and d i s b e l i e f at how " a t n i g h t i n h i s bed, such a few shor t years ago, he had sought out her f a c e , l o n g i n g f o r her so f t opulent ways, as i f h i s s o u l had loved h e r " (99) . The i m p l i c a t i o n i s , of course , that the tragedy has occurred p r e c i s e l y because Andrew's body and not h i s s o u l l o v e s M a r t h e . Thus he begins to behave e x a c t l y as i f he had murdered Dave, not j u s t because he wished the boy dead, but more i m p o r t a n t l y , because h i s " s e c r e t g u i l t " reaches back and drags out h i s " u n f a i t h f u l n e s s to h i s f i r s t w i f e . . . a n d a l l the uneas iness and doubt t h a t had gone i n t o h i s l o v e f o r the second" (171) . Thus the h e l p l e s s p a s s i o n of more than t en years i s r e v e a l e d to be a s exua l enslavement i n which the s e l f - g r a t i f y i n g d e s i r e s of the l o v e r s l e a d f i n a l l y to s p i r i t u a l and a c t u a l dea th . Andrew's s i n i s more compl i ca ted than N e i l s L i n d s t e d t ' s , but i n a fundamental way both C a l l a g h a n and Grove are s ay ing the same t h i n g . C a l l a g h a n attempts to move away from a s imple d u a l i t y of body and s o u l , but u l t i m a t e l y sex , w i t h o u t b e n e f i t o f s p i r i t u a l l o v e , remains as i t does f o r Grove , the source of s i n and d e a t h . L i k e w i s e , the road back to r e u n i o n and l i f e , l i e s through g u i l t , s u f f e r i n g , and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , and comes about through E l l e n ' s n a t u r a l descendent , Anna. I n d i r e c t p r o p o r t i o n to the degree of mi se ry which M a r t h e ' s l o v e e n t a i l s , Anna ' s promises a j o y f u l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of body and s p i r i t . A t r a d i t i o n a l " f a i r g i r l w i t h b i g candid b l u e eyes and t h i c k y e l l o w h a i r " Anna l o o k s l i k e E l l e n , but u n l i k e h e r , smi l e s the "warmest f r i e n d l i e s t s m i l e . . . p l e a d i n g " f o r acceptance and l o v e ( 6 ) . Her e n t r y i s as s y m b o l i c a l l y p o r t e n t i o u s as i t i s p r e t e n t i o u s . She a r r i v e s c a r r y i n g 41 . a basket of f r u i t which Huck F a r r , the a rch seducer , has l e f t on her doorstep as par t of h i s "war of a t t r i t i o n " ag a in s t her sexua l r e s i s t a n c e (195) . T h i s b e t t e r Eve, however, does not eat of the f r u i t . She b r i n g s i t i n n o c e n t l y and generous ly to M i c h a e l who p r e d i c t a b l y s e l e c t s and b i t e s i n t o a s h i n y red a p p l e . Anna ' s g i f t i s o b v i o u s l y as u n t a i n t e d as i t i s u n s t i n t i n g . Ca l l aghan in tends her to f u n c t i o n not as the t r a d i t i o n a l v i r g i n . but as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of f u l l y s e x u a l human l o v e . He o b v i o u s l y f e e l s i t necessary to make her s t rong i n her c a p a c i t y to l o v e i n order that she be a t t r a c t i v e and power fu l enough to command b e l i e f as a contemporary redemptive f i g u r e . In genera l d e s c r i p t i o n s , t h e r e f o r e , he present s her as hav ing "a n a t u r a l g l adnes s , d i g n i t y and repose" and as be ing a " b o l d , warm, eager, wonder ing , " young woman w i t h " r e d cheeks and a f i n e body" and an i n f i n i t e a b i l i t y " t o g i v e a l l of h e r s e l f to each separate moment" (110, 239, 237, 203) . L i k e the Song of Songs, Anna i s to r e v e a l d i v i n e l o v e made j o y f u l l y i n c a r n a t e and p e r s o n a l . She i s the n o v e l ' s word made f l e s h , and as such C a l l a g h a n i n t e n d s her to o f f e r not the k i n d of p a l e l o v e i n which two people " n i b b l e d e l i c a t e l y at t h e i r own tenderness f o r each o t h e r " but a f i n e "pa s s iona te l u s t " (235) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Anna ' s o n l y s u s t a i n e d resentment i s d i r e c t e d at the improbable N a t h a n i e l Benjamin i n whom " J e w i s h arrogance and C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y make such a c o n f l i c t . . . t h a t he ' s got the j i t t e r s h a l f the t i m e " (191) . Benjamin, an e n t h u s i a s t i c convert to C a t h o l i c i s m , s ings "Adeste F i d e l i s " at the top o f h i s v o i c e i n the s t r e e t s , marvels at the medieva l monks who t o r e s k i n o f f each 42. o t h e r ' s backs w i t h p l i e r s " j u s t f o r the sake of an i d e a , " and quotes l i n e s l i k e " F o r n i c a t i o n i s the death of the s p i r i t " (188, 187) . Anna re sent s Benjamin ' s d e n i a l of s e x u a l i t y and r i d i c u l e s him f o r hav ing a l l of h i s excitement i n h i s head. Anna of course i s the embodiment of h e a r t — a l l tender warmth and l o v i n g eagerness . Her s o f t s e x u a l i t y , however, i s the problem. Never i n s i n u a t i n g l i k e M a r t h e ' s , i t i s nonethe les s a v a i l a b l e , i n v i t i n g , and v u l n e r a b l e . Huck F a r r l a s c i v i o u s l y a p p r e c i a t e s her "soft under-n e a t h " and p r e d i c t s tha t she h a s n ' t "got a chance of g e t t i n g away" from h i s p reda tory hands (126) . Of course Anna does escape, but not because of her own s t r e n g t h or i n s i g h t . She i s s imply rescued from the v i l l a i n ' s c l u t c h e s i n the n i c k of t ime by M i c h a e l who has a l s o f a l l e n i n l o v e w i t h her " s o f t and w h i t e and d e s p e r a t e " l ook (142) . I t i s important to r e a l i s e that not o n l y i s Anna h e l p l e s s w i t h o u t M i c h a e l ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n , but a l s o that C a l l a g h a n in tends her v u l n e r a b l e h e l p l e s s n e s s to be a p l a u s i b l e and admirab le echo of her v i r g i n a n c e s t o r s . Anna, indeed , has much of the v i r g i n about h e r . She makes her sexua l approaches i n the t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e of the snow maiden: i n a " s h y , wondering w a y , " " c a n d i d l y , " w i t h a " h e s i t a n t shy e x p r e s s i o n " on her f ace (144, 123) . Once, i n a h o p e f u l merger of s u b t l e t i e s , C a l l a g h a n d e s c r i b e s her manner as tha t of " shy eagerness" (125) . But from the out se t the reader has some d i f f i c u l t y i n a c c e p t i n g modest and b o l d , shy and c a n d i d , h e s i t a n t and eager as comfor tab ly c o - e x i s t e n t s t a t e s of mind . The one always seems to undercut the o ther u n t i l C a l l a g h a n ' s attempt to have h i s s exua l cake and eat i t too becomes oddly 43. queasy. C a l l a g h a n conce ives of h i s h e r o i n e as be ing reduced by the Depres s ion to d e s p e r a t i o n r e a l enough to f o r c e her i n t o Huck ' s bed i n r e t u r n f o r some food . I t i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine a b o l d , eager , e n e r g e t i c , woman e i t h e r so e a s i l y duped by the obvious Huck or so n a r r o w l y v i c t i m i z e d by economic c o n d i t i o n s . Everyone i n t h i s Depre s s ion n o v e l r e a c t s to the l a c k of work and money, yet o n l y Anna has to choose between hunger and s e x u a l debasement. The male c h a r a c t e r s , i n the face of the same s o c i a l c i rcumstances , p e r s i s t doggedly w i t h t h e i r s t u d i e s , a g g r e s s i v e l y scrounge work, embrace r e v o l u t i o n a r y d o c t r i n e s , conver t to C a t h o l i c i s m , h u s t l e s exua l p a r t n e r s of t h e i r own c h o o s i n g , t u r n to l i q u o r and j o k e s , p r a c t i s e e x i s t e n t i a l d e s p a i r , and even murder t h e i r s t e p - b r o t h e r s . Only Anna i s a u t o m a t i c a l l y a s exua l v i c t i m . I t i s l u d i c r o u s to t h i n k of a s t r o n g woman abandoning h e r s e l f to Huck w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r i n g any o t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e s . But i t i s even more l u d i c r o u s to t h i n k o f a shy , s e n s i t i v e g i r l r i s k i n g h e r s e l f w i t h the rapac ious Huck r a t h e r than appea l ing f o r h e l p from the male f r i e n d she t r u s t s o r throwing i n her l o t w i t h her poor but devoted p a r e n t s . E i t h e r way Anna ' s c a p i t u l a t i o n makes no p s y c h o l o g i c a l sense. Her behaviour i s d i c t a t e d not by her c h a r a c t e r r e a c t i n g to her c i rcumstances but by C a l l a g h a n ' s i n s i s t e n c e upon d e f i n i n g the hopes f o r t h i s w o r l d i n terms of the i d e a l s of the o t h e r . To b r i n g about M i c h a e l ' s redempt ion , he makes Anna by d e f i n i t i o n the embodiment of C h r i s t i a n r e s i g n a t i o n , meekness and l o v e , so t h a t i n t h e i r m y t h i c a l context her a c t i o n s a t t a i n the s i g n i f i c a n c e which a t taches to the r i t u a l 44. a c t i n g out of d i v i n e i d e a l s . But s i n c e a n o v e l must be more than a t r a c t , the c r e d i b i l i t y of i t s v i s i o n has to depend upon i t s power to compel l the reader i n t o suspending h i s doubts and e n t e r i n g i m a g i n a t i v e l y i n t o the f i c t i o n a l w o r l d . I n a n o v e l formed i n s i d e the tenet s o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m , much of that power w i l l depend upon the c a p a c i t y of the c h a r a c t e r s to seduce the reader i n t o i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . Unhapp i ly C a l l a g h a n ' s i n s i s t e n c e upon equat ing C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y w i t h . s imple-mindedness and C h r i s t i a n r e s i g n a t i o n w i t h eager v i c t i m i z a t i o n denies h i s c h a r a c t e r s p r e c i s e l y the k i n d of c o m p l e x i t y and s t a t u r e necessary f o r e i t h e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n or a d m i r a t i o n . The way i n which C a l l a g h a n p r e d i c a t e s the c e n t r a l l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p upon Anna ' s h u m i l i a t i o n and p o i n t l e s s s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n o n l y f u r t h e r e x e m p l i f i e s the way i n which he manipula te s h i s c h a r a c t e r s not a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r s e l f - e m e r g i n g n e c e s s i t i e s but to the d i c t a t e s o f a debased v e r s i o n of C h r i s t i a n i t y . A f t e r M i c h a e l rescues Anna from Huck he a c t s l i k e an ind ignant moral mentor, e n t i r e l y o v e r l o o k i n g h i s own hidden cr ime and g u i l t . Faced w i t h Anna ' s p l a i n t i v e q u e s t i o n as to why he f a i l e d to warn her of Huck ' s v e n e r e a l d i sea se s when she asked him f o r a c h a r a c t e r r e f e r e n c e , M i c h a e l can o n l y lamely answer "Things have been going p r e t t y bad f o r me. My l i f e i s p r e t t y mixed up. I t h i n k of these t h i n g s too l a t e " (142) . D e s p i t e the inadequacy of the r e p l y , Anna i s more than s a t i s f i e d . She remains b l i s s f u l l y unaware of the n e g a t i v e i m p l i c a t i o n s of M i c h a e l ' s b e h a v i o u r , and indeed , i n d e s c r i b i n g h i s hero as " e a r n e s t " C a l l a g h a n , t o o , seems more impressed by M i c h a e l ' s m o r a l i s t i c speeches than by h i s h y p o c r i t i c a l condescens ion . Thus Anna ends up p l e a d i n g f o r M i c h a e l ' s f o r g i v e n e s s a l though she has not wronged h i m . D e s p i t e i t s l o g i c a l i r r e l e v a n c y , her a c t i o n works l i k e magic . For no sooner has she h u m i l i a t e d h e r s e l f than the l o v e r s f i n d each o t h e r : They l a y c l o s e toge ther w i t h t h e i r arms around each o t h e r , l i k e two people who were scared of g e t t i n g l o s t a g a i n . Her eyes were c l o s e d , and there was a l i t t l e shadow on her f u l l and l o v e l y w h i t e t h r o a t . For a l ong t ime he looked at h e r , then he pushed a t the shoulder s t r a p of her b l a c k d r e s s , and i t came away e a s i l y from her w h i t e s h o u l d e r , and he f e l t the smoothness of her shoulder and he k i s s e d her b r e a s t . He k i s s e d her b r e a s t three t i m e s . Then he put h i s head a g a i n s t h e r , and he f e l t so b e w i l d e r e d , he c l o s e d h i s eyes . They bo th seemed to need each o t h e r ' s l o v e so much. H i s head was a g a i n s t h e r , and i t was s i l e n t . . . b u t w h i l e he l a y t h e r e . . . h e began to hear the b e a t i n g o f her hear t aga ins t h i s head, and soon he c o u l d hear n o t h i n g e l s e but the b e a t i n g of her h e a r t , and i t grew s t r o n g e r , and i t seemed to get louder and l o u d e r . (143) T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s f i r s t s exua l encounter e s t a b l i s h e s s e v e r a l important elements of C a l l a g h a n ' s treatment o f sex . F i r s t i t focusses on Anna ' s s p i r i t u a l f u n c t i o n emphasizing her whiteness that i s her innocence , her v u l n e r a b i l i t y and her p a s s i v i t y . Secondly , i t p l ace s the s t r e s s on need and s e c u r i t y r a t h e r than on d e s i r e and p l e a s u r e . And i n so do ing i t r e p l a c e s the g e n i t a l s w i t h the materna l b rea s t and then surrounds the b rea s t w i t h r e l i g i o u s c o n n o t a t i o n s which reduce the p o s s i b i l i t y of d i r e c t aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y . In the r i t u a l k i s s i n g , warm eager Anna v i r t u a l l y van i shes i n t o a h o r i z o n t a l s t a tue of the Holy Mother . F i n a l l y i t p o s t u l a t e s not o n l y the o p p o s i t i o n of reason and emotion, but a l so the e v e n t u a l t r iumph of emotion, as the mascu l ine head i s b e w i l d e r e d and overwhelmed by the feminine h e a r t . L i 46. any s i m p l i s t i c d u a l i t y , t h i s one promises a r e d u c t i o n of human p o t e n t i a l . B u t , whereas Grove ' s v i s i o n of l o v e threa tens o n l y the g e n i t a l s , C a l l a g h a n ' s seems to j e o p a r d i s e both sexua l and i n t e l l e c t u a l potency . The next morning M i c h a e l ' s f i e r c e sense o f g u i l t r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f so tha t he denies and h u m i l i a t e s Anna three t i m e s . But a f t e r a token s t r u g g l e she i s a b l e to respond w i t h "warmth and s o f t n e s s " t o h i s u g l i n e s s (148) . M i c h a e l ' s f r e n z i e d a l i e n a t i o n cont inues to mount u n t i l he c o l l a p s e s i n t o an a r c h e t y p a l s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e i l l n e s s from which Anna, l i k e L i t t l e D o r r i t , nurses him back to l o v e and l i f e . He awakens to marve l at her " n a t u r a l b r i g h t n e s s , " and her " d i s i n t e r e s t e d goodness" s a y i n g , " I t doe sn ' t mat te r how much anybody h u r t s you ; as soon as you f e e l o t h e r people a re hur t you want to g i v e a l l of y o u r s e l f to he lp them" (152) . One i s tempted to r e c a l l F r e u d ' s c y n i c a l comment on the i d e a l of u n i v e r s a l l o v e : " A l o v e t h a t does not d i s c r i m i n a t e seems to me to f o r f e i t a p a r t of i t s own v a l u e , by do ing an i n j u s t i c e to i t s 4 o b j e c t ; and s e c o n d l y , not a l l men are worthy of l o v e . " Even i f one p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t F r e u d ' s c a v i l , C a l l a g h a n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of C h r i s t i a n l o v e s t i l l f a i l s to impress except i n s o f a r as i t seems u n h e a l t h y . C e r t a i n l y , i t depends too h e a v i l y upon a d e n i a l of i n t e l l i g e n c e to be a d m i r a b l e . One cannot h e l p but f e e l t h a t Anna love s M i c h a e l more because o f her i n a b i l i t y to know him than because of her C h r i s t - l i k e c a p a c i t y to see and accept h i s f l a w s . She remains as b l i n d to M i c h a e l ' s f a i l u r e s as she was to Huck ' s and presumably the n o t i o n of d i v i n e l y p e r f e c t l o v e does not r e s t upon i g n o r a n c e . 47. N e v e r t h e l e s s C a l l a g h a n would have us b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s because of Anna ' s l o v i n g care t h a t M i c h a e l i s s u f f i c i e n t l y r e s t o r e d to seek sex a g a i n : H i s hand went out and touched her b r e a s t t i m i d l y , and then he began to h o l d her v e r y t i g h t , h o l d i n g her d e s p e r a t e l y , and making her a l i t t l e a f r a i d because she knew, when he d i d not r a i s e h i s head from her b r e a s t , tha t he was c r y i n g to h i m s e l f . . . then the angui sh tha t had been so mixed w i t h r e l i e f passed out of h i m , and there was j u s t the one surge of j o y . When her v o i c e , s o f t and g e n t l e , came out of the d a r k n e s s . . . i t was the most i n t i m a t e and c a r e s s i n g sound he had ever heard . She kept t e l l i n g him he should go to s l e e p , and he d i d b e g i n to doze , huddled c l o s e to h e r , and he had no sudden waking moment of v a s t doubt , f o r t h e i r room now had a s p l e n d i d s i l e n c e , the profound and comfor t ing s i l e n c e of home. (160) W i t h i t s emphasis upon f ea r s and t e a r s r a t h e r than upon p a s s i o n or p l e a s u r e , the embrace i s more than a l i t t l e r e m i n i s c e n t of G r o v e ' s " e t e r n a l v i s i o n t h a t has moved the w o r l d . " " * The unmanned man seeks reassurance from the brea s t w h i l e the w i f e o f f e r s soo th ing c a r e s s e s . In f a c t , t h i s f o r e p l a y f u n c t i o n s more l i k e an a n a e s t h e t i c than an a p h r o d i s i a c , an a n a e s t h e t i c a d m i n i s t e r e d by a woman i n the r o l e of mother l o o k i n g a f t e r a man i n the r o l e of f r i g h t e n e d s e n s i t i v e son. Indeed, Anna resembles M i c h a e l ' s mother i n more ways than one. The f i r s t M r s . Aikenhead had been the good mother par e x c e l l e n c e . S m a l l , eager , f r i e n d l y , g e n t l e , l o v i n g and " f u l l of w i l l i n g n e s s to go the ways of those she l o v e d " (64) . She d i e d of a "broken mind" l o c k e d i n her bedroom by her husband and kept from her c h i l d r e n by her husband's m i s t r e s s . I r o n i c a l l y , C a l l a g h a n seems u t t e r l y unaware o f , o r u n i n t e r e s t e d i n the i m p l i c a t i o n s a r i s i n g from the m a r t y r ' s meekness 48 . i n r e l a t i o n to her d e s t i n y . But s u r e l y her end o f f e r s some comment upon the p o s s i b l e f a t e of eager , s imple-minded v i c t i m s . D e s p i t e the unhappy example set by M i c h a e l ' s mother, Anna i s c l e a r l y in tended to re-enact the good mother r o l e . E q u a l l y submis s ive and eager to p l e a s e , the t e s t of her r e s i g n a t i o n and h u m i l i t y a r i s e s over M i c h a e l ' s u n w i l l i n g n e s s to marry h e r . In f a c t , he wants her as h i s w i f e , but out of supposedly nob le concern f o r her should h i s p a r t i n Dave ' s death ever come o u t , he r e f r a i n s from p r o p o s i n g . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , he l a c k s the courage to t e l l Anna about h i s g u i l t y s ec re t and so she does not know the reason behind h i s r e l u c t a n c e to marry . Once when he asks her i f she would not be happ ier m a r r i e d , she r e p l i e s , "Not un le s s i t made you e a s i e r i n your own mind" (187) . C a l l a g h a n d e s c r i b e s t h i s as s a i d " h o n e s t l y . . . i n her candid way" but l a t e r he admits that she v e r y much wanted to be marr i ed a l l a l o n g . Thus her r e p l y i s r e v e a l e d to be , i n f a c t , more s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g than hones t , a h i e r a r c h y of e t h i c a l va lue s which a p p a r e n t l y causes C a l l a g h a n no qualms. Because he b e l i e v e s , i n the words of Hugo MacPherson, " t h a t the temporal w o r l d cannot be se l f - redeemed; tha t human f r a i l t y i s bearab le o n l y i n the l i g h t of d i v i n e p e r f e c t i o n , " ^ C a l l a g h a n p laces much more f a i t h i n the e f f i c a c y of s u f f e r i n g than i n e i t h e r courage or hones ty . However, the c o n t i n u a l r e d u c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r to p r e d i c t a b l e and over -s i m p l i f i e d C h r i s t i a n formula e v e n t u a l l y works aga in s t the impact of the r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n . For i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to accept an i d e a l of s e l f -s a c r i f i c e which i s r e p e a t e d l y demonstrated to be meaningless and d e s t r u c t i v e . And Anna ' s brand of humble s u f f e r i n g i s e v e n t u a l l y b o t h . Even when the l o v e r s are asked to l e a v e t h e i r apartment over compla int s about Anna ' s " b r o t h e l m o r a l s , " Anna re fuse s to ask Mike why he w i l l not marry h e r . A g a i n Ca l l aghan s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y p o r t r a y s her as a h e l p l e s s l i t t l e g i r l , "head on one s i d e . . . h a n d s c lenched toge ther i n her l a p . . . f rowning and wonder ing" (201). A f t e r s u f f e r i n g i n s i l e n c e f o r some t i m e , she screws up her courage to p l a i n t i v e l y ask , "Do you t h i n k I l o o k l i k e a whore, M i k e ? " Her pro longed d i s t r e s s seems as m a s o c h i s t i c a l l y s a t i s f y i n g as i t i s s a d i s t i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l i n i t s e f f e c t : M i c h a e l exper iences " such an ache of h e l p l e s s n e s s . . . tha t he c o u l d say n o t h i n g " (201). C a l l a g h a n , l i k e Grove, seems u t t e r l y unaware of the p o t e n t i a l l y c a s t r a t i n g power which the m a r t y r - v i c t i m w i e l d s over the g u i l t - r i d d e n v i c t i m i z e r . But the scene c l e a r l y , a l though i n a d v e r t e n t l y , r e v e a l s the way i n which Anna ' s supposed s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g a c t u a l l y punishes M i c h a e l . She repeats her " i n n o c e n t " q u e s t i o n : " D i d you ever see a g i r l i n a b r o t h e l tha t looked a b i t l i k e me, M i k e ? " (201). No wonder M i c h a e l aches w i t h h e l p l e s s n e s s . I n one f e l l swoop Anna puts him i n a b r o t h e l w i t h r e a l whores w h i l e reminding him w i t h her every ge s ture o f how she l o v e s him l o y a l l y d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t h i s r e l u c t a n c e to marry her makes her l o o k l i k e a whore i n the eyes of the w o r l d . The h o s t i l i t y u n d e r l y i n g her martyrdom i s apparent to a l l but those too steeped i n the i d e a l of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e to n o t i c e or care about emot iona l d i s h o n e s t y and cover t a g g r e s s i o n . C a l l a g h a n seems oddly n a i v e , even p e r v e r s e , i n h i s a d m i r a t i o n f o r Anna ' s l o n g - s u f f e r i n g s i l e n c e c o n s i d e r i n g tha t her pose so e f f i c i e n t l y renders M i c h a e l speechless w i t h g u i l t . 50. Suddenly i n the midst of t h e i r a n g u i s h , M i c h a e l senses " t h e beg inning o f some degrada t ion f o r h e r " and i n s t a n t l y the magic i n g r e d i e n t s of female s u f f e r i n g p lu s male g u i l t move him to a speech about the meaningless of l i f e and h i s f e a r of death (201) . O b v i o u s l y C a l l a g h a n in tends t h i s scene to f u n c t i o n as a step-ahead i n M i c h a e l ' s se l f -awareness and a f u r t h e r demonstra t ion of the e f f i c a c y of s e l f -s a c r i f i c e . Yet one can o n l y specu la te on whether or not M i c h a e l might have come c l o s e r to h i s more s p e c i f i c sources of g u i l t and f e a r i f Anna had been prov ided w i t h the emot iona l courage to press f o r what she wanted— an e x p l a n a t i o n of h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to see her hur t and degraded r a t h e r than to marry h e r . But the b i t t e r n e s s i n M i c h a e l ' s v o i c e , i f not the content of h i s speech, i n s t a n t l y makes Anna f o r g e t her own p a i n and c o n c e n t r a t e on c h e e r f u l l y cooking d i n n e r . M i c h a e l watches amazed, as w e l l he might be , by her sudden s w i t c h i n f e e l i n g s m a r v e l l i n g a t her a b i l i t y " t o g i v e a l l of h e r s e l f to each separate moment" (203) . I t i s a c a p a c i t y which makes him b e l i e v e , d e s p i t e h i s e x i s t e n t i a l doubts and d e s p a i r , that there might a f t e r a l l be "something h i g h and dea th le s s i n t h e i r l o v e f o r each o t h e r " (203) . M i c h a e l and C a l l a g h a n , however, remain the o n l y ones convinced of the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l power of t h i s k i n d of s e n t i m e n t a l V i c t o r i a n h u m i l i t y . D r a m a t i c a l l y , i t f a i l s to render e i t h e r Anna or the e t e r n a l v i s i o n p l a u s i b l e . Ca l l aghan i n s i s t s on p o r t r a y i n g o n l y the p o s i t i v e moral v a l u e of g u i l t and p a i n , t h a t i s , t h e i r c a p a c i t y to render one more s e n s i t i v e and sympathet ic towards the p a i n of a n o t h e r . Yet r e p e a t e d l y i n the 5 1 . n o v e l , the c a s t r a t i n g e f f e c t s of f e a r and g u i l t make themselves more a c u t e l y f e l t than the promise of a more meaningful way of l i f e . For as t h e i r t r a n s c e n d e n t a l l o v e grows, t h e i r sex gets p r o g r e s s i v e l y l e s s a c t i v e . When Anna h u r r i e s home from shopping to t e l l M i c h a e l of her o v e r f l o w i n g f e e l i n g s of l o v e f o r h im, C a l l a g h a n renders t h e i r u n i o n as f o l l o w s : From day to day h i s g r a v i t y had i n c r e a s e d h i s g e n t l e n e s s , and now he was so touched by what she had s a i d t h a t he c o u l d h a r d l y speak. And when she came over and put her head down aga ins t h i s neck , he h e l d her c l o s e to h im, and h i s hands began to caress her h e s i t a n t l y . "Do you t h i n k y o u ' l l always come home l i k e t h i s , Anna?" he s a i d . " I ' l l h u r r y even f a s t e r , " she s a i d . "No mat ter what happens, y o u ' l l always be as eager as t h i s ? " " W e ' l l keep i t t h i s way so n o t h i n g can happen . " H i s head was s t i l l pressed aga ins t h e r , and he was murmuring l i k e t h i s when they heard a knock on the door . (185) M i c h a e l ' s s ec re t g u i l t and a n x i e t i e s have by now made him almost as i n a r t i c u l a t e s e x u a l l y as he i s v e r b a l l y . Y e t , Anna , no l e s s than he, seems e q u a l l y content to pre serve the f e e l i n g s of s e c u r i t y i n p e r p e t u a l , p a s s i v e f o r e p l a y . C e r t a i n l y , w i t h h i s head pressed f o r e v e r a g a i n s t her breas t i t seems sa fe enough to promise t h a t n o t h i n g w i l l ever happen. When the young l o v e r s s t i r from t h e i r s t a t i c p o s i t i o n s i t i s o n l y to answer the door . T h e i r v i s i t o r i s Benjamin, the s p i r i t u a l e n t h u s i a s t , and as Anna s i t s l i s t e n i n g to the men p a s s i o n a t e l y d i s c u s s the pros and cons of c a r n a l l o v e she f e e l s exc luded , r e s e n t f u l and f e a r f u l of l o s i n g M i c h a e l . Suddenly as she watches M i c h a e l ' s " t h i n , p e a c e f u l f a c e " she 5 2 . f e e l s both a " l o n g i n g f o r s e c u r i t y " and an eager s t i r r i n g i n s i d e h e r " (187) . A p p a r e n t l y Anna, t o o , a s s o c i a t e s sex more w i t h seeking s a f e t y than p l e a s u r e . Needing to be needed, Anna sees i n M i c h a e l ' s t h i n face the p o s s i b l e f u l f i l l m e n t of her n u r t u r i n g l o n g i n g s . Thus she a l s o enjoys the mother-son r e l a t i o n s h i p : she s i t s remembering how s e x u a l l y aroused she was "when h i s head was pressed aga ins t my breas t a l i t t l e w h i l e ago" (187) . C o n s i d e r i n g the s t a t i c na ture of tha t embrace, one cannot h e l p but f e e l tha t Anna remembers more exci tement than she e x p e r i e n c e d , and t h a t her d e s i r e i s aroused l e s s by M i c h a e l ' s body than by the fear of l o s i n g h im. As the men cont inue to t a l k h a p p i l y and i g n o r e h e r , she t h i n k s , " R i g h t now the f e e l i n g o f want ing him i s so s t r o n g i n me i t ' s funny i t d o e s n ' t reach out and touch h i m " (187) . But M i c h a e l f o r the moment remains impervious to the charms and demands o f the pos se s s ive materna l b r e a s t . J u s t as Anna ' s s e x u a l i t y i s aroused most when she i s e m o t i o n a l l y t h r e a t e n e d , so too does M i c h a e l p r o t e c t h i m s e l f from her i n t e n s e d e s i r e by choos ing i n s t e a d the bond w i t h a male f r i e n d who at that moment s i t s denying women a l t o g e t h e r . T h i s i s Anna ' s most p o w e r f u l l y c o n v i n c i n g scene, but C a l l a g h a n once aga in cut s i t out from underneath her wi thout regard f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l v e r a c i t y i n order to serve the d i c t a t e s of h i s n o t i o n of C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y . One moment Anna i s l e a n i n g a g g r e s s i v e l y f o r w a r d , b e l l i g e r e n t l y l i s t e n i n g to Benjamin and scheming ways of r e p l a c i n g him i n M i c h a e l ' s a f f e c t i o n , and the next she f e e l s " v e r y humble" a p p a r e n t l y f o r no b e t t e r reason than that she i s " h a r d l y ab le to f o l l o w " her r i v a l ' s 53. f l o w of words (189) . Not a s i t u a t i o n that one would n o r m a l l y expect to a l l e v i a t e resentment. L a t e r s t i l l more of her anger and s u l l e n n e s s drops away when, i n s p i t e of having s t r u g g l e d " e a r n e s t l y to g ra sp " M i c h a e l ' s argument, she f a i l s to understand i t (191) . In C a l l a g h a n ' s v i e w , i n t e l l e c t u a l i n a b i l i t y seems to be a necessary i f i n s u f f i c i e n t p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y . F o r t u n a t e l y f o r Anna ' s s t a t e of g race , i t comes e a s i l y . But a l though she i s reduced to her u s u a l humble s t a t e , i t i s not u n t i l she becomes " f r i g h t e n e d at the f e e l i n g o f be ing a p a r t " t h a t she abandons the l a s t of her r e s i s t a n c e to Benjamin and the remnant of her j e a l o u s anger (192) . Then suddenly i n the mids t of a r g u i n g w i t h M i c h a e l a f t e r Benjamin has gone she p e r c e i v e s "how wide and q u i c k the s e p a r a t i o n from him might be" (192) . I n s t a n t l y a l l the remaining f i g h t van i shes and her b l u e eyes m i s t over w i t h " h e l p l e s s n e s s . " M i c h a e l takes one l o o k i n t o them, drops the argument and commences l o v e - m a k i n g . The message i s supposed to read t h a t paying a t t e n t i o n to s e l f i s h needs d i v i d e s w h i l e s e l f - e f f a c i n g h u m i l i t y u n i t e s . However, what a c t u a l l y sounds loud and c l e a r through the i d e o l o g i c a l fog i s t h a t two weak and f e a r f u l people are denying p a r t s o f themselves i n a desperate b i d to i n c r e a s e t h e i r l o v a b i l i t y and ensure t h e i r emot iona l s a f e t y . The f a c t tha t t h e i r s e x u a l contac t f u n c t i o n s p r i m a r i l y as a p r o p h y l a c t i c aga in s t f e a r and l o n e l i n e s s becomes obvious i n the n o v e l ' s s i n g l e d e s c r i p t i o n of g e n i t a l sex : . . . w h e n they went to bed, and he put h i s arms around her and k i s s e d her and t h e i r bodies were together and he h e l d her t i g h t , there was an ecs ta sy between them tha t 54. made her c r y out b r o k e n l y i n the dark o f the n i g h t . Yet she f e l t that even i n h i s lovemaking , even i n the way he h e l d her f a s t , there was a w o r r i e d h u r r y i n g as i f he must be q u i c k and h a r d , or i t would be l o s t . (193) That Anna can imagine sex d i f f e r e n t l y presumably r e f l e c t s C a l l a g h a n ' s sense t h a t t h i n g s need not be so . Yet i f the promise of f u l l s e x u a l i t y l i e s i n Anna , then her response to M i c h a e l ' s f e a r f u l n e s s i s c r u c i a l l y impor tan t . And i n f a c t i t i s a response t h a t g ive s more cause f o r doubt than r e l i e f : Once she woke up and found he had h o l d of her arm. He was c l e n c h i n g her arm so t i g h t lie was h u r t i n g h e r , yet he went on s l e e p i n g and dreaming and b r e a t h i n g w i t h tha t deep t e r r i b l e s t e a d i n e s s . She was f r i g h t e n e d as she l a y there wondering what was i n h i s dreams, and her arm was almost numb, ye t she c o u l d have c r i e d w i t h j o y a t knowing h i s f e a r of l o s i n g h e r . (193) C a l l a g h a n never t r e a t s t h i s f e a r f u l search f o r s e c u r i t y as an i n d i c a t i o n of emot ional inadequacy, but r a t h e r as evidence of man's e s s e n t i a l humanity . Every c h a r a c t e r i n the book i s d r i v e n to seek more or l e s s desperate bonds of f e l l o w s h i p , and every attempt at u n i o n , save t h a t supposedly of s e l f l e s s l o v e , i s shown to be e i t h e r f u t i l e or d e s t r u c t i v e . The f ea r o f b e i n g " a l i v e and a l o n e " i s so p e r v a s i v e t h a t un ion w i t h God o r man becomes i m p e r a t i v e at any p r i c e (252) . And s i n c e Ca l l aghan de f ine s the mind as that which separates man from h i s bes t s e l f , h i s ne ighbour s , and h i s God, he attempts to d e n i g r a t e and deny the demands of the ego. I n d i v i d u a l l y , s e l f - r e l i a n c e , emot iona l hones ty , i n t e l l e c t u a l courage, even i n t e l l i g e n t awareness, a l l go by the board i n the desperate search f o r a sense o f t r a n s c e n d e n t a l u n i t y 55. and purpose. In t h i s n o v e l the man who stands a lone i s e i t h e r a f r i g h t e n e d c h i l d or a d e s t r u c t i v e " w o l f . . . a n i n d i v i d u a l i s t " who enjoys " k i l l i n g and t e a r i n g and p r e y i n g on weaker l i v i n g t h i n g s " (248, 247). M i c h a e l i s b o t h . From the beg inn ing of the n o v e l , he i s a lone on a quest towards r e u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h h i s mother, h i s f a t h e r , and h i s God, and u n t i l he can c l o s e w i t h them he remains both a f r a i d and capable of murder. I n i t i a l l y he chooses the way o f the r a t i o n a l i s t , but e v e n t u a l l y h i s g u i l t , h i s f e a r , and Anna ' s example conv ince him t h a t " P e o p l e j u s t s e e . . . w i t h t h e i r heads and not t h e i r h e a r t s at a l l . I d i s t r u s t my head now. I d o n ' t ever want to be aware aga in of the t h i n g s tha t separate me from o ther human b e i n g s " (191) . I t i s a w i l f u l l and doomed attempt to deny a l a r g e p a r t of h i m s e l f . And what i s worse , i t i s an attempt determined not by dramat ic n e c e s s i t y but by C a l l a g h a n ' s p r e d e l i c t i o n f o r equat ing h u m i l i t y w i t h s imple mindedness and i g n o r a n c e . On h i s t r i p i n t o the w i l d e r n e s s and the dark s i d e of h i s s o u l , M i c h a e l l i e s awake i n h i s tent overwhelmed by inadequacy, g u i l t , f e a r and d e s p a i r . He hears the " t h r e a t e n i n g w o l f ' s moan, out of the n i g h t and the snow, even deeper than t h a t , out of the core of the h o s t i l e w o r l d " (253). He i s " f u l l of f e a r . . . n o t a fear of the w o l f , but a f e a r of be ing a l i v e and a l o n e " (252). In t e r r o r and anguish he r e a l i z e s tha t l i f e b r u t a l i z e s and crushes w h i l e death a w a i t s , and tha t l o v e i s a l l he and Anna have to "put aga ins t l i f e and d e a t h " (253). L i f e i n t h i s v iew becomes even more a c t i v e l y menacing than d e a t h . 56. The next morning , when the a p p a r e n t l y sense les s savagery o f the wolves i s viewed from a p o i n t of v iew more d i s t a n t and more a l l -i n c l u s i v e than t h a t o f e i t h e r the k i l l e r wolves o r the v i c t i m i z e d deer , the s l a u g h t e r i s seen as a s a c r i f i c e to the ongoing c y c l e of l i f e and suddenly becomes f o r M i c h a e l " f u l l of meaning" (257) . He ends h i s h u n t i n g t r i p r e s o l v i n g not to judge o t h e r s , to f o r g e t h i m s e l f , and to v i e w the w o r l d w i t h whatever goodness he has i n h im. What the reader can never l o s e s i g h t of i n the fuzzy C h r i s t i a n i t y i s t h a t the p r e s s i n g mot ive behind the sudden n o b i l i t y i s f e a r : f e a r of knowing o n e s e l f ; f ea r of a c c e p t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r one ' s deepest f e e l i n g s and most d e s t r u c t i v e impul se s ; and f e a r o f f a c i n g l i f e ' s unavo idab le share of p a i n w i t h o u t someone to l e a n on. D e s p i t e a l l the t a l k about l o v e , the focus i s not on the d e l i g h t s of l o v e , nor even on the uniqueness and beauty o f the l o v e d one, but on the desperate need of the l o v e r . And as such i t not o n l y d e n i g r a t e s the p o t e n t i a l s t r e n g t h and i m a g i n a t i o n of man, i t a l s o denies the r e a l power and v a l u e o f l o v e . Perhaps the best example of C a l l a g h a n ' s f a i l u r e to v i v i f y h i s d i v i n e v i s i o n l i e s i n Andrew Aikenhead ' s s p i r i t u a l re -awakening . A f t e r months of l o n e l i n e s s , g u i l t and d e s p a i r , Andrew f i n a l l y c o l l a p s e s i n p r a y e r : I used to take p r i d e i n be ing d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r peop le . I used to l i k e to t h i n k I was going my own way and tha t I was c l e v e r and t h a t i t was up to me to have my own way w i t h the r e s t of the w o r l d . I n my own way I was an enemy of the community because I was i n t e r e s t e d o n l y i n my own w e l f a r e . I know now how t e r r i b l e i t i s to keep doing t h i n g s tha t make people draw away from each o t h e r . I 'm t e r r i b l y s o r r y f o r a n y t h i n g I ever d i d tha t separated one man from a n o t h e r . 57. I ' v e had to f e e l a l o t to see i t t h a t way, but now I know how d r e a d f u l i t i s to be put apart from peop le . I t ' s not good to s tand apar t i n your t h i n k i n g and h o p i n g . My God, I want to t h i n k and f e e l as a l l these people here t h i n k and f e e l . I f I do t h a t , then I know I 'm c l o s e r to y o u , God. (285) Once aga in the u n d e r l y i n g t e r r o r i s t h a t of hav ing to s tand a lone and the o v e r r i d i n g need f o r f e l l o w s h i p on any terms. But C a l l a g h a n does not present t h i s prayer as the p a t h e t i c mumblings of a broken and confused man, nor even as the d i sma l r e c o r d of a man's f a i l u r e to r e a l i z e h i s own d i g n i t y and to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s own l i f e , but r a t h e r as a good and necessary s tep towards r e a l i z i n g human p o t e n t i a l i n s i d e the framework of C h r i s t i a n s a l v a t i o n . With both Andrew and M i c h a e l a l o n e , a f r a i d , and ready to s a c r i f i c e t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , d i g n i t y , independence, and even t h e i r i n t e l l i g e n c e on the a l t a r of communion, a l l t h a t remains i s f o r Anna , whose name means " g r a c e , " to move them to a f i n a l c o n f e s s i o n , r e v e l a t i o n and r e u n i o n . She does i t by g e t t i n g pregnant and d e l i v e r i n g a son i n a s e r i e s of p r e d i c t a b l y s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g s t e p s . F i r s t , she h i d e s her growing s u s p i c i o n s about her c o n d i t i o n f o r three months, u n t i l she c o l l a p s e s and f r i g h t e n s everyone i n c l u d i n g h e r s e l f . (This k i n d o f p e t t y , meaningless n o b i l i t y never l o s e s i t s appeal f o r C a l l a g h a n . ) Then, as soon as her c o n d i t i o n i s d iagnosed , Anna assumes the blame f o r i t and a p o l o g i z e s : "Oh, M i k e , my sweethear t , I 'm s o r r y . . . I know i t ' s my f a u l t , honey. I ought to have been more c a r e f u l " (269) . S ince M i c h a e l and Anna have chosen not to marry , have no money and no prospect of work, i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g tha t S h e i l a 58. and Ross s i t s i l e n t l y w o r r y i n g about the l i k e l i h o o d of an a b o r t i o n . I t i s a l s o no wonder that they are amazed a t the next words which pass between the l o v e r s : "Do you mind much, M i k e ? " " I t ' s a l l r i g h t , d a r l i n g . I 'm j u s t s u r p r i s e d , t h a t ' s a l l . " "You were so s i l e n t I thought maybe you were w o r r y i n g . " " I was j u s t f e e l i n g g l a d , and I was t r y i n g to understand why I f e l t g l a d . " "Then I 'm g l a d t o o , " Anna s a i d . . . . The shy way Anna had w h i s p e r e d , "Then I 'm g l a d t o o , " had so impressed S h e i l a tha t when she went d o w n s t a i r s . . . she f e l t she had been dreaming. (270) One sympathizes w i t h S h e i l a . I t i s hard to dec ide who i s more cut o f f from i n s t i n c t i v e f e e l i n g : M i c h a e l , who has to s top and wonder about why he i s g l a d be fore he can move a muscle towards expre s s ing t h a t he i s , o r Anna whose need to p lease M i c h a e l i s so a l l - c o n s u m i n g tha t she cannot a l l o w h e r s e l f to e x p l o r e how she f e e l s about b e i n g pregnant u n t i l she gets a cue from him as to how she should f e e l . C a l l a g h a n , however, d e s c r i b e s S h e i l a as m a r v e l l i n g over how " t h e r e was no f e a r i n Anna" (270) A p p a r e n t l y n e i t h e r she nor C a l l a g h a n ever r e a l i z e t h a t Anna ' s f e a r i s much more deep-rooted and p e r v a s i v e than g i v i n g b i r t h to an i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d d u r i n g the d e p r e s s i o n . Indeed Anna t h r i v e s on the pregnancy, which t h r u s t s her i n t o a new k i n d of dominance i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . In t h e i r next scene of love-making Anna s h i f t s suddenly from being w h o l l y r e a s s u r i n g and a c c e p t i n g to be ing s e x u a l l y dominant and demanding. I t i s the l e a s t f e a r f u l and most c r e a t i v e of t h e i r sexua l ac t s but i t i s a l s o the most h o s t i l 59. And when they were i n bed , w i t h the c h i l l go ing from the shee t s , they l aughed , and he knew by the way she put h i s head on her shoulder tha t she wanted h i s l o v e . Yet he was a b i t a f r a i d of her body now, as i f whatever was growing and changing and always becoming i n h e r , must ever be p r e s e r v e d . Wi th h i s head on her b r e a s t , he went to put h i s palm on her b e l l y , and she knew he was a f r a i d , and she began to l augh and seemed to want him a l l the more. (273) A l t h o u g h a p p r o p r i a t e l y modest and coy i n her advances, Anna n e v e r t h e l e s s makes them, and moreover, makes them i n such a way as to s u b t l y r e -e s t a b l i s h her dominance: she puts M i c h a e l ' s head down onto her mother ly s h o u l d e r . M i c h a e l i s as u s u a l a f r a i d . T h i s t ime h i s f e a r s take the form of r a t i o n a l i z e d a n x i e t i e s about the baby ' s s a f e t y and s i n c e s a f e t y f o r the i n f a n t , w i t h whom he i d e n t i f i e s , l i e s not i n the b i r t h c a n a l but a t the b r e a s t , M i c h a e l heads there and s t o p s . Anna i s a roused , even made e x u l t a n t b y , M i c h a e l ' s f e a r . C a l l a g h a n seems o b l i v i o u s to the d i s p a r i t y e n t a i l e d i n hav ing a supposedly mature and e n t h u s i a s t i c woman so e a s i l y and c o n s i s t e n t l y made happy by such a t i m i d p a r t n e r . I r o n i c a l l y , C a l l a g h a n ' s n a i v e v iew of female s e x u a l i t y works i n t h i s case on b e h a l f of an i n t e g r a t e d c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , s i n c e on the unconscious l e v e l t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s based p r i m a r i l y on materna l dominance and i n f a n t i l e male h e l p l e s s n e s s . D e s p i t e h i s f e a r s and r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s , M i c h a e l f i n d s h i m s e l f s t i l l faced w i t h an eager and demanding woman. He attempts to j u s t i f y h i s b a s i c r e l u c t a n c e by appea l ing to a male a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e and the p l a y f u l , but c o v e r t l y h o s t i l e , argument i s underway: " I t ' s l i k e t h i s , s w e e t h e a r t , " he s a i d . "Maybe I s h o u l d n ' t touch you at a l l when y o u ' r e pregnant . I read that i n one of T o l s t o i ' s essays one t i m e . I 60. j u s t remembered i t . T o l s t o i had very d e f i n i t e n o t i o n s on the s u b j e c t . N o t h i n g should be done to d i s t u r b the development of the c h i l d . " "How o l d was T o l s t o i when he wrote t h a t ? " " G e t t i n g on a b i t . C e r t a i n l y a b i t pas t the f i r s t f l u s h of y o u t h . " " I t wasn' t hard f o r him to w r i t e i t . " "No, but maybe he was r i g h t . He ' s put you out o f c i r c u l a t i o n from now o n . " " A l l r i g h t , i t doesn ' t matter how I f e e l , " she pouted. " I ' l l j u s t be an i n c u b a t o r from now o n . " " D a r l i n g y o u ' l l get so h e a l t h y and s t rong and s tatuesque and y o u ' l l never f e e l b e t t e r . See what good parents we a r e . We t h i n k o n l y of the c h i l d . " " M i k e , I d o n ' t t h i n k h e ' d mind much. Not r i g h t now. " " I s i t going to be a boy?" " D o n ' t you want a b o y ? " " I t b e t t e r be a boy, o r I ' l l beat y o u . " "Then h e ' s a b o y . And l i s t e n , M i k e . He ' s an a w f u l l y p o l i t e l i t t l e boy, s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g and devoted to h i s mother and f a t h e r , and he won' t mind you l o v i n g me a l i t t l e r i g h t now. H e ' l l be very p a t i e n t w i t h us f o r a w h i l e . " "Maybe i t ' l l be a l l r i g h t i f w e ' r e v e r y c a r e f u l . " " W e ' l l be t r u l y c a r e f u l , M i k e , " she s a i d . (274) . I t i s u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y i r o n i c t h a t Anna should r i d i c u l e T o l s t o y on e x a c t l y the grounds o f M i c h a e l ' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y , that i s , h i s j u s t i f i c a t i o n of n a t u r a l d i s i n c l i n a t i o n w i t h convenient argument. M i c h a e l responds to her i n f e r e n c e w i t h an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of h o s t i l i t y : h i s metaphors put Anna out of c i r c u l a t i o n l i k e an unwanted o b j e c t or an enemy. But s i n c e M i c h a e l cannot r i s k o v e r t a g g r e s s i o n , he s t ay s hidden behind h i s sur roga te and makes T o l s t o y deny Anna ' s g r a t i f i c a t i o n . Beg inning to sense and re sent the l i m i t a t i o n s o f be ing f i r s t and foremost a s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g mother , Anna complains about g e t t i n g reduced to the r o l e of i n c u b a t o r . M i c h a e l t r i e s to p l a c a t e her w i t h c h e e r f u l op t imi sm, f l a t t e r y , and the o l d appeal to s e l f - s a c r i f i c e . Anna pursues her own 61. p l e a s u r a b l e ends from behind the cover of the baby. She and M i c h a e l agree i n f anta sy p l a y that boy babies are u n q u e s t i o n a b l y s u p e r i o r and more d e s i r a b l e than g i r l s , tha t M i c h a e l has p h y s i c a l dominion over Anna, and tha t the devoted s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g c h i l d has g i v e n them p e r m i s s i o n to i n d u l g e themselves . I t i s a t e m p o r a r i l y u s e f u l p i e c e o f w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t . M i c h a e l ' s shaky m a s c u l i n i t y i s propped up and the demands of t h e i r e t h i c a l i d e a l s a t i s f i e d enough to permit sex . Moreover , the " n o b l e " promise to be v e r y c a r e f u l r e l e a s e s M i c h a e l from the t h r e a t of perhaps hav ing to respond more f u l l y to h i s newly-demanding p a r t n e r . The game promises a c o n t i n u a t i o n of the f a m i l i a r l i m i t e d embrace and an e x a c e r b a t i o n of c o v e r t resentments . Ca l l aghan a p p a r e n t l y in tends t h i s love-making t o dramat ize n o t h i n g more s i n i s t e r than Anna ' s l o v i n g eagerness and M i c h a e l ' s l o v i n g tenderness . However, i f we assume that p l a y o f t e n r e v e a l s u n d e r l y i n g a n x i e t i e s and unconscious concerns , then t h e i r sex game can be seen p o i n t i n g to a r e l a t i o n s h i p based on the needs of a dependent male and a dominant female both of whom are growing i n c r e a s i n g l y r e s t i v e i n t h e i r l i m i t e d r o l e s . Thus i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d M i c h a e l o n l y a few moments l a t e r l y i n g awake and c o l d , s i l e n t l y a n g u i s h i n g over how soon the " h i g h b r i g h t n e s s " and "hope" of t h e i r love-making proves " t e r r i b l y u n s u b s t a n t i a l " i n the face of h i s g u i l t and f e a r s (274) . M i c h a e l ' s s exua l development i s h e l d i n check p a r t i a l l y because of h i s i n a b i l i t y to acknowledge and accept the t r u t h about h i s aggre s s ive and p o t e n t i a l l y d e s t r u c t i v e n a t u r e . He l i e s awake l o n g i n g to confess the murder o f Dave but keeps q u i e t out of what he chooses to b e l i e v e i s I 62. h i s f e a r of h u r t i n g Anna. Because the i d e a l of s a c r i f i c i a l s u f f e r i n g prov ides a handy r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , he avoids hav ing to l o o k c l o s e l y a t h i s motives f o r remaining s i l e n t , not l e a s t among them the f e a r of l o s i n g Anna. Thus he denies h i m s e l f the double o p p o r t u n i t y o f g e t t i n g r i d of h i s c r i p p l i n g g u i l t and g e t t i n g to know h i m s e l f . I t i s the n o v e l ' s most f a m i l i a r and l e a s t a t t r a c t i v e mora l p a t t e r n — t h e s a c r i f i c e of r e a l good i n exchange f o r imagined , i l l u s o r y or downright f a l s e rewards . In f a c t , the n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l , a l though aga in i n a d v e r t e n t , i r o n y i s t h a t d e s p i t e the themat ic importance of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , Anna and M i c h a e l a re never a l l o w e d the d i g n i t y of a genuine s a c r i f i c e . They s u f f e r a l l the disadvantages of c o n s c i o u s l y denying and s u b o r d i n a t i n g themselves , w h i l e they c o n t i n u e to seek c o v e r t and unconscious g r a t i f i -c a t i o n w i t h o u t ever e x p e r i e n c i n g the c o n d i t i o n s of the c h o i c e . They are never p e r m i t t e d an i m a g i n a t i v e e x p l o r a t i o n of what they are g i v i n g up or what they are g e t t i n g . They make b l i n d barga ins i n ignorance o f r e l a t i v e cos t and rewards . T h e i r a c t i o n s , t h e r e f o r e , have none of the e v o c a t i v e power of r e a l s a c r i f i c e s . Indeed, i n C a l l a g h a n ' s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , s a c r i f i c e s are f r e q u e n t l y as i l l u s o r y and f a l s e as the imagined rewards . T h i s brand of b l i n d s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i s u l t i m a t e l y s e l f - d e c e p t i v e and d e s t r u c t i v e . I t c r e a t e s sexua l r o l e s too r i g i d and narrow to serve the complex needs of human b e i n g s , reduces human p o t e n t i a l , and encourages cover t h o s t i l i t y and resentment. The treatment of the b i r t h scene most c l e a r l y r e v e a l s the extent of the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s e n t a i l e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which the f e a r f u l male comes u n c o n s c i o u s l y to the 63. dominant mar tyr-mother . D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t the body i s in tended to be c e n t r a l to C a l l a g h a n ' s n o t i o n of C h r i s t i a n l o v e and redempt ion , Anna ' s p h y s i c a l s t r u g g l e gets s i g n i f i c a n t l y upstaged,even denied by M i c h a e l ' s s p i r i t u a l s t r u g g l e . For a l though her l o n g and d i f f i c u l t l a b o u r f u n c t i o n s as her u l t i m a t e s a c r i f i c e and the c a t a l y s t f o r M i c h a e l ' s change of h e a r t , i t takes p l a c e i n anonymous o f f - s t a g e s u f f e r i n g . C a l l a g h a n proves h i m s e l f e i t h e r unable or u n w i l l i n g to l e t Anna l i v e up to her r e p u t a t i o n f o r f e a r l e s s courage, j o y f u l c r e a t i v e energy, and i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l body awareness. In the course of d e l i v e r i n g her c h i l d she i s reduced to a l e s s than i n t e r e s t i n g , l e s s than human lump. When the c u r t a i n r i s e s on the b i r t h scene, Anna i s s i t t i n g , d e s p i t e her s t rong c o n t r a c t i o n s , i n the h o s p i t a l r e c e p t i o n room p a t i e n t l y and p a s s i v e l y w a i t i n g f o r M i c h a e l to o r g a n i z e something f o r h e r . She s i t s "by h e r s e l f , w i t h her hands f o l d e d i n her l a p , her f ace f u l l of the s u r p r i s e and t i m i d i t y o f a shy g i r l " (301) . She seems remarkably i gnorant o f , and o b l i v i o u s t o , the demands of her body. One has the f e e l i n g t h a t she would s i t q u i e t l y and meekly u n t i l the baby a r r i v e d on the f l o o r were i t not that the n u r s i n g nun and M i c h a e l a r r i v e f i r s t . They pat h e r , chat over her and l i f t her i n t o a w h e e l c h a i r ; Anna says and does n o t h i n g . F i n a l l y j u s t as she i s about to d i sappear i n t o her o f f - s t a g e t r a v a i l , she l i v e n s up enough to look back at M i c h a e l and s m i l e " s h y l y " . I t i s r i d i c u l o u s to imagine even a n o r m a l l y s t rong woman, l e t a lone one capable o f human m i r a c l e s , re sponding to the exper ience of 64. l abour w i t h no emotion s t ronger than a shy s m i l e . C a l l a g h a n ' s p e r s i s t e n t use of t h i s a d j e c t i v e makes i t s e l f too i n t r u s i v e l y f e l t to be e x p l a i n e d away e n t i r e l y by appea l ing to h i s d e s i r e to evoke symbol ic a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h the V i r g i n Mary . I t i s necessary to l o o k elsewhere f o r an adequate e x p l a n a t i o n of why the female embodiment of pa s s iona te l u s t i s rendered so c o n s i s t e n t l y shy. The most obvious answer l i e s i n the way i n which Anna ' s r o l e s , tha t of mother and young g i r l , bo th serve to b o l s t e r the inadequate male ego i n that they permit the man to be at once p r o t e c t e d and p r o t e c t o r . But on a deeper l e v e l , the two s h a r p l y d i v i d e d r c l e s can be seen to serve the ambivalent needs of both the male and the female . The d e s i r e f o r male dominance and female submis s ion gets s a t i s f i e d i n the daytime p u b l i c w o r l d , w h i l e the need f o r male submis s ion and female dominance i s f u l f i l l e d i n bed. At bes t the ba lance i s . p r e c a r i o u s , and i n the course of the n o v e l i t becomes apparent t h a t the male f i n d s p u b l i c female submiss iveness inadequate in surance aga ins t her sexua l dominance. Hence the f e a r f u l man beg ins to work towards autonomy and s a f e t y by reduc ing h i s dependence upon the woman and denying her power fu l h o l d over h im. M i c h a e l and C a l l a g h a n s t r u g g l e most a c t i v e l y a g a i n s t the martyr-mother a t that moment when she i s at her most t r a d i t i o n a l l y power fu l and m y s t e r i o u s , and t h e r e f o r e most f r i g h t e n i n g — when she i s produc ing new l i f e . Wi th Anna wheeled s i l e n t l y away, M i c h a e l i s l e f t to w a i t a n x i o u s l y w i t h the o t h e r expectant f a t h e r s . A f t e r a few moments of s t r a i n e d j o c u l a r i t y , even the exper ienced I t a l i a n admi t s , "We f e e l i t , we f e e l i t , 65. no doubt about t h a t , eh?" (304) . M i c h a e l , i n f a c t , begins to f e e l i t to such an extent that i t suddenly seems to him as i f the men were " r e a l l y having the babies there i n t h a t - l i t t l e room, and the wives were o u t s i d e w a i t i n g f o r them" (304) . M i c h a e l ' s exper ience d i f f e r s s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the common phenomena o f empathetic male c o n t r a c t i o n s , f o r i n h i s f an ta sy the females are reduced to a w h o l l y p e r i p h e r a l and n o n - t h r e a t e n i n g r o l e w h i l e the males are rendered m a g n i f i c e n t l y s e l f -s u f f i c i e n t . A t the moment of b i r t h M i c h a e l j o i n s not w i t h Anna but w i t h the o t h e r men. Indeed, C a l l a g h a n ' s treatment of the whole scene moves u n c o n s c i o u s l y towards r e a l i z i n g M i c h a e l ' s f a n t a s y . The doctor warns tha t Anna ' s l abour w i l l be l e n g t h y , but he i s both honest and r e a s s u r i n g . He even promises not t o l e t her s u f f e r too l o n g w i t h o u t a n a e s t h e t i c s and i n s t r u m e n t s . Suddenly a nun emerges from Anna ' s room and suggests they c a l l i n a p r i e s t . When M i c h a e l f e a r f u l l y asks why, she answers " I n case o f dea th . I f i t gets too bad , the p r i e s t anno int s them" (306) . D e s p i t e the l a c k of med ica l evidence to i n d i c a t e t h a t Anna ' s l i f e i s i n any way i n danger , both M i c h a e l and C a l l a g h a n respond s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y to the nun ' s g r a t u i t o u s i n f o r m a t i o n . Then when she says that because Anna i s " such a l o v e l y g i r l she ought to have some r e l i g i o n , " M i c h a e l immediate ly f e e l s sure that something has gone wrong and that Anna i s f a c i n g i t " u t t e r l y a l o n e " (305) . He i s suddenly a f r a i d that i t might seem as i f he has " r e b u f f e d the s i s t e r , who wanted to h e l p " and so when she suggests t h a t they have Anna b a p t i z e d he r e a d i l y agrees . I t i s a deeply d i s q u i e t i n g scene. O b v i o u s l y C a l l a g h a n in tends 66. the baptism to function as part of the redemptive movement, yet what emerges, in fact, is Michael's fear and Anna's being sacrificed to that fear. For in the face of Michael's terror over facing l i f e alone and offending a possibly punitive God, Anna gets entirely bypassed as an individual worthy of consideration. No one even mentions that she might be distressed by the sudden appearance of a priest in the middle of a d i f f i c u l t labour, or that she might have an opinion about her own baptism. Michael, the nun, and apparently Callaghan, a l l remain oblivious or indifferent to her feelings. They assume the right to act for her as i f she were a child, an incompetent, or unconscious. It i s a remarkable reduction of human dignity in the name of Christian love. The conversation with the nun plunges Michael into a belated recognition of his sin in denying Dave's l i f e . He becomes increasingly obsessed with the notion that Anna is dying and sees her death as "some fin a l justice" (307). His insight i s interesting on two counts. In the light of the doctor's prognosis i t seems premature to say the least, but of more importance is the way in which i t reduces Anna's l i f e to a kind of pawn in Michael's game with God. Once again her significance depends entirely on how. she can best serve Michael's guilt and Michael's fears even i f i t means k i l l i n g her off. The nurses decide that she is about to give birth and wheel her into the delivery room. The doctor examines her and reverses the medical opinion and has her wheeled back again. Then Michael, lik e Job, f i n a l l y has his moment of truth: "I don't know what i t means, I only know that 67. Anna w i l l have to d i e , and i t won' t be u n j u s t " (310) . He s tops t h i n k i n g , f a l l s s i l e n t and prays "My God have p i t y on me. I d o n ' t want j u s t i c e , I want mercy. Have p i t y on me" (310) . He catches a g l impse o f Anna ' s face and hears a " s o f t moan" as she i s f i n a l l y wheeled i n t o the d e l i v e r y room. A nurse asks him to s i g n f o r p e r m i s s i o n to operate on Anna i f necessary and he does so " su re now that she would not l i v e . She would d i e tha t n i g h t and d i e apar t from h i m " (311) . He says the L o r d ' s P r a y e r , exper iences "an a b s o l u t e s i l e n c e w i t h i n " and knows he has accepted "what t h e r e was to be of d e a t h " (312) . A f t e r a l l the emphasis on s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e M i c h a e l ' s moment of t r u t h i s i r o n i c a l l y e g o t i s t i c a l . F i r s t he exchanges Anna ' s l i f e f o r h i s s i n , then he conce ives of her death o n l y as h i s l o s s , prays f o r h i m s e l f , and p r o j e c t s h i s own death onto h e r . H i s egot ism comes too l a t e , too u n c o n s c i o u s l y , and too d e s t r u c t i v e l y of Anna to be e i t h e r p r o d u c t i v e or a d m i r a b l e . H i s f e a r and h i s cover t resentment remain more c o n v i n c i n g than h i s l o v e . And because he s tays u t t e r l y unaware of the na ture of h i s ambiva lent f e e l i n g s , there i s no cause f o r b e l i e v i n g i n any k i n d of p s y c h o l o g i c a l b reak through . Cons idered i n i t s r e l i g i o u s c o n t e x t , M i c h a e l ' s epiphany i s too at odds w i t h the n o t i o n of s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n to be good t h e o l o g y . For even i f Anna ' s death i s l ooked at as a g l o r i o u s r e b i r t h and t h e r e f o r e not her l o s s , her l i f e i s s t i l l not h i s to b a r g a i n away. L i k e J o b , what M i c h a e l i s supposed to have l e a r n e d i s tha t he i s not God. Yet at the v e r y moment tha t he r e a l i z e s he cannot j u s t i f y l e t t i n g Dave drown he o f f e r s up Anna i n exchange f o r h i s e a r l i e r s i n . I t i s a perverse 68. s a c r i f i c e : only God could make a g i f t of h i s son's l i f e ; Abraham obeyed a command. And neither God nor Abraham made t h e i r s a c r i f i c e s i n p r o p i t i a t i o n f o r t h e i r own s i n s . Michael's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n f a i l s even C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s . His duty i s not to a n t i c i p a t e God's w i l l nor to bargain with a human l i f e , but to accept. Thus Callaghan's theology becomes ultim a t e l y as f a u l t y as h i s psychology. What i s dramatically r e a l i z e d i n the scene i s the unintended deni a l of Anna. From i t s beginning to i t s end she i s reduced to a s u f f e r i n g automan: she i s admitted, l i f t e d , wheeled, and subjected to decisions to baptise her, anaesthetize her, not to anaesthetize her, to d e l i v e r her, not to d e l i v e r her, d e l i v e r her v a g i n a l l y , d e l i v e r her by instrument, d e l i v e r her s u r g i c a l l y , and even to s a c r i f i c e h e r — a l l without her p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Throughout her glor i o u s ordeal she i s allowed two i n d i c a t i o n s that she i s a l i v e : one shy smile and one low moan. In the process of intending to make her a l a r g e r - t h a n - l i f e heroine, Callaghan a c t u a l l y reduces Anna to an object considerably l e s s animated and l e s s i n t e r e s t i n g than an incubator. V i c t i m at the novel's opening i n r e l a t i o n to the predatory Huck, she remains v i c t i m at the end to the cov e r t l y h o s t i l e Michael and Callaghan. They make her pay f o r being the dominant mother but they cannot do without her i n that r o l e . A f t e r the ordeal, nothing has changed. Exhausted and "bloodless," able to speak only i n an "unbearable whisper," Anna nevertheless manages to come up with the t r a d i t i o n a l l y appropriate words: " I t ' s a l l r i g h t Mike. Did you see the baby? Wasn't I r i g h t i n saying i t would be a boy" (312). 69. M i c h a e l gets reas surance , Anna gets to s u f f e r and c o v e r t l y dominate, and the baby gets to be a boy. Thus i f the meek i n h e r i t t h i s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d they do so by means of p e r p e t u a l s e l f - d e c e p t i o n , b l i n d s a c r i f i c e , unconscious h o s t i l i t y and u n s a t i s f a c t o r y r e g r e s s i v e sex r o l e s . 70. CHAPTER IV  HUGH MACLENNAN Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends the N ight exp lore s the problem of man "born knowing tha t nobody can be equal to h i s d e s t i n y i f h e ' s alone"^" b u t , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , born at a t ime when "God. . .appears i n d i f f e r e n t . . . m a n i f e s t l y unconcerned w i t h j u s t i c e as men understand the meaning of the word" (319) . In the course of the n o v e l , the c h a r a c -t e r s work through a s e r i e s of exper iences which r e s u l t i n t h e i r accep-tance of the f a c t tha t even the t r a n s i t o r y , p a i n f u l , and p a r a d o x i c a l na ture of a man's l i f e must be a f f i r m e d s i n c e I t i s of no importance tha t God appears i n d i f f e r e n t to j u s t i c e as men understand i t . He gave l i f e . He gave i t . L i f e f o r a y e a r , a month, a day or an hour i s s t i l l a g i f t . . . t h e human bondage i s a l s o the human l i b e r t y . (322) However, i n s p i t e of a l l the t a l k about l i f e ' s b e i n g a g l a d and j o y f u l g i f t d e s e r v i n g of a f f i r m a t i o n and c e l e b r a t i o n , MacLennan's pr imary i n t e r e s t l i e s not w i t h the immediate c l a i m s and p l ea sure s of t h i s e a r t h l y l i f e but w i t h man's s p i r i t u a l e x i s t e n c e . George Woodcock 2 p r a i s e s the n o v e l f o r i t s " p h i l o s o p h i c a l l a r g e n e s s " and i t s contem-p l a t i v e E a s t e r n a t t i t u d e which . . . s e e s a man going i n t o the wor ld and t a k i n g p a r t i n i t s a c t i o n when he i s young, and t h e n , as the shadows b e g i n to gather over h i m , t u r n i n g inward to nurse the s p i r i t u a l flame tha t w i l l guide him i n t o the w o r l d of l i g h t . 3 I t i s d i f f i c u l t , however, to defend the n o v e l on these grounds , s i n c e the shadows b e g i n g a t h e r i n g over MacLennan's p r o t a g o n i s t s i n c h i l d h o o d and by f o r t y they are a l l as good as dead. 71. Another comment of Woodcock's i s much more u s e f u l . He c l a i m s that the n o v e l s u f f e r s from "a suave mawkishness i n t a l k i n g about sex which amounts almost to a d i p l o m a t i c e v a s i o n . . . and suggests how f a r 4 MacLennan s t i l l s u f f e r s from h i s C a l v i n i s t i c b a c k g r o u n d . " T h i s remark prov ide s an important c l u e to the c r u c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between MacLennan's m y s t i c i s m and h i s a t t i t u d e towards sex . Indeed, i t i s the i n t e n t i o n of t h i s chapter to e s t a b l i s h t h a t the n o v e l ' s m e t a p h y s i c a l v i s i o n not o n l y denies the body, but a l s o p e r v e r s e l y a f f i r m s p a i n and death i n the name of s p i r i t u a l i l l u m i n a t i o n . The n o v e l ' s opening g l impse i n t o the p e r s o n a l l i v e s of the p r o t a g o n i s t s immediate ly suggests the death-dominated , s p i r i t u a l , and e s s e n t i a l l y a sexua l na ture of t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . George ' s f i r s t thought of h i s w i f e center s on the " p e c u l i a r f a t e " which " c o n t r o l s " h i s l i f e — her rheumatic hear t ( 6 ) . He l i e s awake at dawn l o o k i n g a t one of her p a i n t i n g s , h a p p i l y " consc ious of her pre sence" even though she l i e s a s leep i n her separate room ( 8 ) , And a l though he s t r e s s e s the f u l l n e s s of h i s l o v e f o r h e r , the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s o b v i o u s l y more complex than George r e a l i z e s . Perhaps the most i n t e r e s t i n g d i s c repancy between George ' s v iew of t h e i r marr iage and ours stems from the supposedly s e x u a l na ture of C a t h e r i n e . For d e s p i t e a l l the t a l k about her hav ing an abundance of the L i f e - F o r c e that " c r e a t e s . . . d e s t r o y s . . . [ a n d ] r e c r e a t e s " ( 27 ) , C a t h e r i n e engages i n remarkably i n f r e q u e n t and l i m i t e d sex . And f o r a l l h i s murmuring about her s m a l l plump body, George makes almost no e f f o r t to come i n contac t w i t h i t . The most a c t i v e of t h e i r 72. d r a m a t i c a l l y r endered , a d u l t s e x u a l encounters occurs when George hugs C a t h e r i n e , she mel t s i n t o h i s arms, and then the two of them walk i n t o the bedroom to l o o k at her l a t e s t p a i n t i n g . But even i f the l i m i t a t i o n s of her rheumatic hear t or MacLennan's t a l e n t make C a t h e r i n e a p a l e poor M o l l y Bloom, n e v e r t h e l e s s she e x i s t s as George ' s reason f o r b e i n g . Having long s i n c e ceased b e l i e v i n g i n God, and hav ing made C a t h e r i n e h i s " r o c k " and h i s " s a l v a t i o n , " George deludes h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t God's e x i s t e n c e i s i r r e l e v a n t to h i s sense of purpose and w e l l - b e i n g . He adm i t s , however, to b e i n g unable to imagine l i f e w i t h o u t C a t h e r i n e and even o c c a s i o n a l l y to d r e a d -i n g h i s dependence upon h e r . But C a t h e r i n e seems as good a sur roga te d i v i n i t y as any. Her " a s t o n i s h i n g l i f e - f o r c e " and "her s t r e n g t h , her essence, her m y s t e r y . . . her s p i r i t " are abundant enough to have "a lmost drowned" the inadequate George (302 ,27) . As a r e s u l t of her h e a r t c o n d i t i o n and r e c u r r i n g embolisms, she has gone ahead i n t o death and r e t u r n e d " s t r o n g l y s o l i -t a r y i n her c a r e " and " r u t h l e s s " about wi th dr awi ng i n t o i t (26) . She has a l s o developed a " c a p a c i t y to f e e l w i t h almost a n y o n e . . . a c a p a c i t y so c a t h o l i c i t . . . [ i s ] a lmost i m p e r s o n a l " (37) . As i f b e i n g i m p e r s o n a l , s o l i t a r y , and e m o t i o n a l l y r u t h l e s s were not enough to make George f e e l d i s t a n c e d and inadequate , C a t h e r i n e i s a l s o demanding. George remembers how " i f there were some t h i n g s she wanted to do and l a c k e d the s t r e n g t h to do h e r s e l f , she s t i l l planned t h a t they be done p e r f e c t l y and I c a r r i e d out her o r d e r s " (29 ) . Another one of her e x t r a o r d i n a r y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i s her super-73. s e n s i t i v e p e r c e p t i o n , but somehow MacLennan's r e n d e r i n g of t h i s t a l e n t prov ides C a t h e r i n e w i t h an unpleasant mother-knows-best q u a l i t y . Her omni-present , omnisc ient s m i l e , combined w i t h her serene composure and her treatment of George as a d e a r - b u t - s i m p l e c h i l d , g ra tes on the r e a d e r ' s n e r v e s , a l though George never admits to r e c o g n i z i n g or r e s e n t i n g her s u p e r i o r a t t i t u d e . But a sex scene which occurs immediate ly a f t e r a t y p i c a l l y condescending c o n v e r s a t i o n perhaps i n d i -cates something of h i s u n c o n s c i o u s l y ambiva lent f e e l i n g s towards h e r : I f e l t d e s i r e as I watched the curve of her back , the l o v e l y l i n e of her s h o u l d e r s , the f u l l s w e l l of her h i p s as she b e n t . Always when I saw C a t h e r i n e l i k e t h i s these days , these sensua l images were touched w i t h poignancy and I remembered and loved even b e t t e r the image of her i n a h o s p i t a l bed f i v e days a f t e r her second embolism when she had suddenly recovered from the p a r a l y s i s . " L o o k ! " she had c r i e d . "Both hands work today . Watch me t i e t h i s r i b b o n i n my h a i r . " L i k e a proud l i t t l e g i r l she had t i e d the r i b b o n w h i l e I watched. And then she had s a i d : " I t ' s n i c e to know I 'm not going to be a c r i p p l e . D o n ' t I keep on f o o l i n g them?" And t h i s e x p r e s s i o n had reminded me of s t i l l another I had seen i n her c h i l d h o o d a f t e r her f i r s t a t t a c k of rheumatic f ever when I came to v i s i t h e r . "Here I am a g a i n ! " her l i t t l e g i r l ' s face had seemed to say . "Here I am aga in i n s p i t e of e v e r y t h i n g , and p lea se nobody mind f o r I hated be ing s i c k . " (29,30 I t a l i c s mine . ) In the course of the n o v e l we are t r e a t e d to at l e a s t s i x v a r i -a t i o n s of t h i s scene, i n c l u d i n g the whole of the c h i l d h o o d o r i g i n a l (56) . George ' s fondness f o r t u r n i n g C a t h e r i n e i n t o a s i c k l i t t l e g i r l can p a r t l y be j u s t i f i e d i n terms of h i s s e n t i m e n t a l and r e p e t i t i v e n a t u r e . But when t h i s tendency of h i s i s viewed i n the l i g h t of the n o v e l ' s p a t t e r n of female dominat ion i t begins to look as i f the arch- inadequate male has s e i z e d upon the i d e a l , i f unconsc ious , way 74. of e q u a l i z i n g the power s t r u g g l e between h i m s e l f and h i s dominant w i f e . In f a c t , i t becomes c l e a r that C a t h e r i n e ' s two r o l e s , that of imperious queen and h e l p l e s s l i t t l e g i r l , complement each o ther so as to make p o s s i b l e the same k i n d of d e l i c a t e ba lance between mascu l ine and feminine dominance and submiss ion which we saw o p e r a t i n g i n They  S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h . I n t h i s n o v e l , however, men have a g r e a t e r need than ever of such p r o t e c t i o n . For i n MacLennan's f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , women dominate by d e f i n i t i o n : some s t e e r t h e i r men s u b t l y and c o n s t r u c t i v e l y , l i k e M r s . M a r t e l l and C a r o l i n e ; some j u s t f r a n k l y l e a d , l i k e C a t h e r i n e and S a l l y ; o thers i n s i d i o u s l y manoeuvre, l i k e Norah B l a c k w e l l ; w h i l e the wors t t y r a n n i z e and d e s t r o y , l i k e Aunt Agnes and Jerome's mother . But d e s p i t e the d i f f e r e n c e s i n mode, mot ive and e f f e c t , the women are conce ived of as u n i f o r m l y s t r o n g e r than t h e i r men. I n f a c t , the phrase used to d e s c r i b e C a t h e r i n e ' s f a t h e r c o u l d w e l l be s a i d of any of the men, "unequal to h i s w i f e " (59). Even Jerome, who at f i r s t l ooks l i k e the e x c e p t i o n to the r u l e , can o n l y e q u a l i z e h i s power s t r u g g l e w i t h h i s women by f l e e i n g them. Indeed, i t i s Jerome's f l i g h t from the body of h i s mother which e s t a b l i s h e s the b a s i c male-female r e l a t i o n s h i p i n t h i s n o v e l . Jerome's c h i l d h o o d takes p l a c e d u r i n g the e a r l y 1900's i n a l o g g i n g camp where h i s mother i s cook. In the n o v e l ' s l a r g e thematic s t r u c t u r e , the f l a shbacks o u t l i n e not o n l y the s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e i n the f i r s t h a l f of the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , but a l s o the h i s t o r y of r e l i g i o n i n the western w o r l d . Thus the p r i m i t i v e l o g g i n g camp 75. f u n c t i o n s as a p r e - C h r i s t i a n w o r l d where men l i v e i n b l i n d i n a r t i c u l a t e v i o l e n c e p r e s i d e d over by an earth-mother goddess as i n c a p a b l e of s a t i s f y i n g t h e i r emot iona l needs as she i s t e r r i f y i n g l y p o w e r f u l . Jerome remembers h i s mother , the "queen" of the camp, best as a " s h o r t , square , powerfu l w o m a n . . . w i t h mois t beefy arms" l a d l i n g out food to the men pa s s ing i n f r o n t of her l i k e s u p p l i c a n t s h o l d i n g up t h e i r empty t i n p l a t e s (162) . But the power of t h i s " ab so lu te r u l e r of the k i t c h e n " goes " f a r beyond f o o d " (162) . More than once she d r i v e s men out of her domain "by throwing b o i l i n g water and t h r e a t e n i n g them w i t h a c a r v i n g k n i f e " (162) . For weeks she ignores them a l t o -g e t h e r , but o c c a s i o n a l l y she summons one f o r sex . And i t i s i n these scenes t h a t the source of her r e a l power i s f o r c i b l y f e l t . L i f t e d from h i s mother ' s bed and l y i n g on a mat behind the s tove w i t h the dog, Jerome l i s t e n s to the l o n e l y men who seek sympathy and t a l k , w h i l e h i s mother "mean and s h a r p " cut s o f f t h e i r attempts a t l o v e and demands s e x u a l s a t i s f a c t i o n : A l l she wanted from any of them was the sex , and by God she c o u l d be n o i s y about t h a t . I ' d l i e there l i s t e n i n g and d r i v i n g my f i n g e r n a i l s i n t o my palms hoping to God the man she had t h a t n i g h t would be ab le to s a t i s f y h e r . Not many d i d , and she was c r u e l to them a f t e r w a r d s . I used to hear her s n e e r i n g and mocking them. U s u a l l y she never t a l k e d u n l e s s she had t o . But i f she had a man, and he d i d n ' t g ive her what she wanted, then she t a l k e d and I knew what her face would look l i k e . I used to see some of those men c r e e p i n g out l i k e whipped dogs and I used to hate her f o r what she d i d to them. (165) I t i s noteworthy that i n making Jerome's mother the a r c h e t y p a l Great Mother , the d e i t y of both womb and tomb, MacLennan chooses to t r e a t her s e x u a l i t y as the source of her d e s t r u c t i v e power r a t h e r than as the p r o c r e a t i v e and p o s i t i v e s i d e of her double-edged o f f e r i n g . Indeed, w i t h the emphasis he g ives to her s e x u a l demands and her c a r v i n g k n i v e s , she becomes v i r t u a l l y the Great C a s t r a t i n g Mother , a f i e r c e l y n e g a t i v e v e r s i o n of the o r i g i n a l and a d e c i d e d l y f o r m i d a b l e parent f o r a ten-year o l d boy. As Jerome begins to i d e n t i t y w i t h the men whom she desp i se s and d e s t r o y s , the n u r t u r i n g s a f e t y of her "warm, heavy b r e a s t s " i n c r e a s i n g l y g ives way to the t h r e a t of her b e e f y , k n i f e - w i e l d i n g arms (167) . Then one "magic" s p r i n g e v e n i n g , " the pures t k i n d of e v e n i n g , " the " l o n l i e s t man of a l l " comes to make l o v e to Jerome's mother (166, 167) . The boy l i e s p r a y i n g t h a t the Engineer w i l l be ab le to "break through h i s mother ' s r e f u s a l to some k indness i n s i d e , to some safe k indness i n s i d e " (167) . But she responds to h i s t a l k w i t h s i l e n c e and to h i s s e x u a l e f f o r t s w i t h a " j e e r of unspeakable contempt" : "So t h a t ' s the bes t you can do! A k i d c o u l d of done b e t t e r ! " (168) . The man moans and Jerome pleads to h i m s e l f , " D o n ' t l e t her t r e a t you l i k e t h a t , Eng ineer ! P l e a s e , p l e a s e , p lease do something to make her s top t r e a t i n g you l i k e t h a t ! " (168) . They q u a r r e l , the woman s l a p s h i m , the Engineer punches h e r , she k i c k s him i n the t e s t i c l e s , and he bludgeons her to d e a t h . Jerome hears the l a s t " c r u n c h i n g shock" and then s i l e n c e , "a s i l e n c e as profound as the end of the w o r l d " (168) . Almost immediate ly the s i l e n t n i g h t i s " f i l l e d w i t h a m u l t i t u d e of sweet n o i s e s " as the f rogs c e l e b r a t e the death of the c r u e l goddess (168) . Jerome opens the door and sees the sprawled naked t h i g h s of h i s mother and the man "bent double c l u t c h i n g h i s g r o i n " (168) . L a t e r w h i l e the Engineer hunts f o r the boy o u t s i d e , Jerome r e t u r n s to h i s mother ' s body. He reaches out to touch her face and " the f i n g e r s of h i s r i g h t hand s i n k i n t o warm s t i c k i n e s s " : Her body was not ye t c o l d , but i t had l o s t some of i t s warmth and the b lood b a r e l y oozed now that the hear t had ceased to pump i t . Blood was dark and wet a l l over the p i l l o w and w e t l y t h i c k i n her h a i r ; her b rea s t s were l i k e c h a l k w h i t e b a l l o o n s when he t r i e d to s h i f t her body. I t was o n l y then that he knew a b s o l u t e l y tha t she was dead. He c r i e d , out to h e r , he beat her naked b r e a s t s w i t h h i s palms to wake her and a l l the time he d i d t h i s he understood she was dead. Knowing she was dead he c a l l e d to her to come a l i v e aga in and take care of h i m , ye t a l l t h i s w h i l e he was g lad the Engineer had not been l i k e the o ther men whom she had h u m i l i a t e d . (171) T h i s scene r e v e a l s how Jerome i s c l e a r l y a t t r a c t e d to and r e p u l s e d by h i s mother ' s body and how he rages a g a i n s t i t w h i l e remain ing dependent upon i t . I t i s an ambivalence which has l e d to the m a t r i c i d e - b y - p r o x y , a b lood r i t u a l which i s in tended to at once d e f i l e and c l e a n s e . Much has been made of the Odysseus myth i n MacLennan's f i c t i o n , but the symbol ic a s s o c i a t i o n s of t h i s s e c t i o n are so e x p l i c i t l y C h r i s t i a n i t seems u n n e c e s s a r i l y ingen ious to go f u r t h e r a f i e l d f o r an a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n . The moon sends f o r t h a "vas t c i r c l e of l i g h t s h i n i n g r o u n d " to comfort Jerome; a manger of p ine needles s h i e l d s him from the murderer who hunts f o r h i m ; the r i v e r " w i d e , f i r m , s i l v e r and a l i v e " bears him s a f e l y away; and a f t e r e a t i n g b l o o d sausage and d r i n k i n g the c l e a r r i v e r water he f e e l s " t w i c e as a l i v e as he ever f e l t b e f o r e " (174) . He paddles through the dark n i g h t , u n t i l "a l i g h t i n the e a s t " h e r a l d s i n the day and an " e n t i r e w o r l d " (174) . His en t ry i s greeted by the " c a r o l l i n g r i n g of b i r d s , " a miracu lous abundance of l e a p i n g 78. f i s h " b r i g h t as s i l v e r c o i n s , " and the sun r i s i n g "a t u r m o i l of g o l d l i k e tremendous exci tement i n the heaven" (178) . As he approaches c i v i l i z a t i o n , he sees f i r s t a b l a c k and then two w h i t e men who ask him where he comes f rom. When he leaves the r i v e r and enter s the r e a l w o r l d , he i s i g n o r e d , j e e r e d a t , and f i n a l l y d r i v e n away so tha t he stumbles and cut s h i s fo rehead , palms and a n k l e s . L a t e r , p a i n and d e s p a i r overcome him and he c r i e s out f o r h i s mother , f a l l s i n t o a deep unconscious s l eep and wakes on the " b r i g h t " morning of the t h i r d day to the " k i n d l i e s t f a c e " of the good C h r i s t i a n M a r t e l l who i s t r a v e l l i n g w i t h h i s even more l o v i n g w i f e through the l and of the P h i l i s t i n e s (188) . What i s most i n t e r e s t i n g about t h i s f u s i o n of the human and the m y t h i c a l i s the a s s o c i a t i o n of C h r i s t ' s a r r i v a l w i t h the death of a power fu l d e s t r u c t i v e woman. For a l though the movement from a m a t r i -a r c h a l pagan goddess to the p a t r i a r c h a l J u d e o - C h r i s t i a n God works w e l l on the m y t h o - h i s t o r i c a l l e v e l , i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l terms i t becomes some-what d i s t u r b i n g to have a b o y ' s s t r u g g l e f o r manhood take the form of t e r r i f i e d , g u i l t y f l i g h t a f t e r m a t r i c i d e . E s p e c i a l l y so , s i n c e Jerome spends h i s next e i g h t years i n a t r a d i t i o n a l l y l o v i n g but a sexua l C h r i s t i a n home where he mentions h i s mother ' s murder o n l y once and then i s f e a r f u l l y s i l e n c e d . Desp i t e the f a c t tha t MacLennan makes no attempt to have Jerome exper ience emot iona l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s mother ' s d e a t h , the a d u l t Jerome emerges exuberant ly and c r e a t i v e l y s e x u a l . There i s n o t h i n g i n the n o v e l , except h i s G o d - l i k e q u a l i t i e s , to e x p l a i n the p r o g r e s s . E i t h e r we accept him as myth i n c a r n a t e or we 79. regard h i s c h i l d h o o d exper iences as therapy r a t h e r than trauma. The f i r s t seems e a s i e r . Jerome's ado lescent decade i s a l s o the c e n t u r y ' s and C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s Age of Innocence. I t d i v i d e s i n t o the e a r l y years of s imple f a i t h and acceptance and the l a t t e r p e r i o d of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . Jerome's adopt ive parents r a i s e him sure i n the b e l i e f tha t he i s the d i r e c t g i f t of a l o v i n g Fa ther and t h a t goodness and mercy w i l l f o l l o w them a l l the days of t h e i r l i v e s . M r s . M a r t e l l i s t h i s n o v e l ' s Good Mother : " s o f t , warm, and g e n t l e , and s t i l l s t r o n g : (193) . L i k e Anna and the f i r s t M r s . A ikenhead , her s t r e n g t h c o n s i s t s of the p a s s i v e c a p a c i t y to l o v e and a c c e p t , the safe k indness which Jerome's own mother l a c k e d . Yet the boy knows i n t u i t i v e l y that of h i s a d o p t i v e parents t h i s s o f t l i t t l e woman i s the " s t r o n g e r " (193) . And years l a t e r when he once complains of C a t h e r i n e ' s p e r f e c t i o n i s m , Jerome w i s t f u l l y remembers how M r s . M a r t e l l had deplored but accepted her husband's d r i n k i n g , how i n f a c t : . . . s h e loved h i m . . . a n d d i d n ' t expect the man she loved to be p e r f e c t . She accepted h i s rum because i t was a p a r t of h i s n e c e s s i t y , and she never nagged or t r i e d to change h i m , even though the doc tor t o l d her h e ' d probab ly d i e of c i r r o h s i s of the l i v e r , which he d i d . (250) I t i s amazing how o f t e n the s e l f - e f f a c i n g , a l l - a c c e p t i n g l o v e of the Good Mother somehow a ids and abet t s the diminishment of e a r t h l y h e a l t h and s imple human f u l f i l m e n t . O b v i o u s l y the Good Mothers have t h e i r eyes more f i r m l y f i x e d on the next l i f e than on t h i s one. But f o r MacLennan, as f o r Grove and C a l l a g h a n , the s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g M r s . M a r t e l l s remain the unquest ioned touchstones of the i d e a l w i f e and mother . 80. P r e d i c t a b l y , M r s . M a r t e l l i s as a sexua l as she i s l o v i n g . Her l i f e w i t h her husband i s bo th c h i l d l e s s and c h i l d l i k e . They d r i n k cocoa t o g e t h e r , c h a t t e r h a p p i l y , h o l d hands and s leep on p i l l o w s underneath which they keep l i t t l e bags of l a v e n d e r . The o n l y t ime we see them i n t h e i r bedroom they are k n e e l i n g at the s i d e of t h e i r bed s a y i n g t h e i r p r a y e r s . T h e i r w a l l s are decorated w i t h two p r i n t s : Joshua R e y n o l d ' s "The Age of Innocence" and a s h i p t o s s i n g i n a s torm. Too a sexua l and d e l i c a t e to w i t h s t a n d the b r u t a l i z i n g r e a l i t i e s of the coming age, t h e i r s i s a l o v i n g but doomed u n i v e r s e . As a r e s u l t o f t h e i r i n f l u e n c e , at n i n e t e e n Jerome i s an eager , v i r g i n a l " S o l d i e r of G o d , " u t t e r l y unprepared f o r what he w i l l do and f e e l as a r e a l s o l d i e r (202) . In b a t t l e , he d i s c o v e r s h i m s e l f to be an a g g r e s s i v e k i l l e r o f men; on l e a v e he c o n t r a c t s gonorrhea from a p r o s t i t u t e , and back at the f r o n t he gets shot and t r a u m a t i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e s w i t h the dead German youth on whom he l i e s f o r ten hour s . S t r i p p e d of h i s i l l u s i o n s about h i m s e l f , s o c i e t y and God, he s t a r t s t h i n k i n g about Marx and m e d i c i n e . He r e t u r n s home to r a i l a g a i n s t the M a r t e l l ' s "myths and o l d w i v e s ' t a l e s " and to devote h i m s e l f to the t w i n spurs of t w e n t i e t h century humanism: s c i e n c e and s o c i a l i s m (292) . The twent i e s are a decade o f su r f ace s t a b i l i t y , f r i v o l i t y and romance, but a l so a t ime of i n n e r a n x i e t y , c o r r u p t i o n and i l l n e s s . For George and C a t h e r i n e , i t means f i r s t l o v e , ado lescent s t r u g g l e ag a in s t i n t e r n a l i n a d e q u a c i e s , and a l i e n a t i o n from t h e i r f a m i l i e s and t h e i r c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n . The o l d order i s represented by weak e s c a p i s t f a t h e r s who f l e e m a t u r i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a b d i c a t i n g to yet another 81. c r u e l m a t r i a r c h . Aunt Agnes c h a r a c t e r i z e s the i n t e r e s t s of the A n g l o -Saxon, m a t e r i a l i s t i c , m i l i t a r i s t i c t r a d i t i o n , and i s a l s o , s i g n i f i -c a n t l y enough, marr ied to the church i n the form of a "cadaverous c a n o n . . . p a r t i a l l y d e a f . . . l a z y and i n s e n s i t i v e " (73 ) . D e s p i t e her a n t i - l i f e narrowness , Agnes i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s a d i s t i c s e x u a l i t y . A r i b a l d u n c l e says that she would have made "an e x c e l l e n t madam of a bawdy house" and so , f o r the t y r a n n i z e d young George, her whalebone s t a y s , p o i n t e d shoes , r u s t l i n g d r e s s e s , and "wasp-wa i s t " take on a doubly s i n i s t e r import (68 ) . But i f the church i s a dead, even p r e d a t o r y , f o r c e i n the w o r l d , the Holy S p i r i t s t i l l sh ines on i n C a t h e r i n e who even as a teenager walks w i t h "a nimbus around h e r " (54) . When she and George f a l l i n l o v e , " t h e g l o r y of the L o r d " sh ines t e m p o r a r i l y around them; when they t o u c h , " t h e g l o r y of the w o r l d " enter s i n t o them; and when they f i r s t k i s s , i t i s a v e r i t a b l e " m i r a c l e " ( 6 3 , 5 5 ) . C a t h e r i n e ' s o f f e r i n g , l i k e Anna , i s c l e a r l y in tended to be tha t of both s p i r i t u a l and s e x u a l l o v e . U n h a p p i l y , d e s p i t e her eagerness to i n i t i a t e l o v e - m a k i n g , the o f f e r i n g always ends up much more s p i r i t u a l than s e x u a l : C a t h e r i n e ' s head t u r n e d , i t turned as though at tha t i n s t a n t she had heard my boyhood break , and the next moment I was k i s s i n g h e r . I thought of an orchard w i t h dew on i t , but her l i p s were s o f t , g i v i n g and r e c e i v i n g , and she took my head i n her hands and bent i t downward u n t i l my ear was aga in s t h e r , and I f e l t her b r e a s t s l i f t i n g and f a l l i n g and l i f t i n g as she breathed and i t was the f i r s t time I ever touched a woman s o . She took my hands and drew them to where my head had been and I h e l d her as though my hands were r e c e i v i n g two h o l y cups . " G e o r g e ! " she w h i s p e r e d , and I whispered " C a t h e r i n e ! " 82. She s a i d : "La s t n i g h t I c o u l d n ' t s l eep f o r t e l l i n g myse l f we ' re too young to be i n l o v e . But we a r e . " " Y e s . " " I suppose t h i s means we've grown up?" " Y e s . " "Unless I can t e l l the t r u t h I c a n ' t l i v e . I l o v e you and t h a t ' s the t r u t h , t o o . " " Y e s . " "George, I ' v e been so u n f a i r ! " She turned away, her hand c l a s p i n g mine c o n v u l s i v e l y , and I f e l t the emotion s t r i k e out of her l i k e a p h y s i c a l power. I t e l l y o u , I f e l t her s o u l . My body longed f o r h e r s , but my s o u l t h i r s t e d f o r her essence . F e a r f u l l y , w o n d e r i n g l y , p r e t e n d i n g i t was a c a r e s s , I l i f t e d my hand to her cheek and found i t wet . She surged a g a i n s t me w i t h a k i s s and I f e l t her t ea r s warm and s a l t , and I knew she was not c r y i n g as a g i r l but as a mature woman, and I d i d not know why. (64) In t h e i r l o v e scenes George i s almost as speechless as he i s s e x u a l l y l i f e l e s s . Indeed, he seems l i t t l e more than a l imp dummy b e i n g worked by C a t h e r i n e ' s noble g e s t u r e s . Three f a m i l i a r p a t t e r n s s tand out i n MacLennan's romant ic scenes : the s p i r i t u a l assumes p r e c e -dence over the s e x u a l , the woman dominates the man, and the m a t e r n a l b r e a s t r e p l a c e s the g e n i t a l s . C a t h e r i n e e x p l a i n s tha t she i s c r y i n g because she can never marry nor bear a c h i l d . George puts h i s head down to her b r e a s t s once more, but t h i s time i t i s to l i s t e n to the " l i t a n y " of her d i sea sed h e a r t . Moved by t h i s r a t h e r than by her more r e a d i l y apparent charms, the r e l u c t a n t l o v e r i s at l a s t ab le to i n i t i a t e speech: " I t ' s not as i f I was any p r i z e " (66) . Once aga in we can watch the way i n which the sudden weakening of the dominant female t e m p o r a r i l y r e s t o r e s the inadequate male . However, be fore George can do anyth ing more d e c i s i v e than confess h i s l a c k of s e l f - e s t e e m , C a t h e r i n e rushes i n w i t h mother ly assurances about how l o v a b l e he i s . She o f f e r s h e r s e l f to him i n a 83. condescending and c l a s s i c a l l y c a s t r a t i n g s a c r i f i c e , one which would be amusing were i t not so p a i n f u l l y a p a r t of the n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l energy: D o n ' t be f r i g h t e n e d George. Take what I can o f f e r y o u . Take me and use me, p l e a s e . Le t me he lp you s top be ing a f r i g h t e n e d l i t t l e boy , and then you can grow o l d e r and marry somebody who i s s t r o n g and h e a l t h y . (66) With C a t h e r i n e to b u i l d up the m a s c u l i n i t y that Aunt Agnes has s h a t t e r e d , i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g tha t the bes t George can do i s to h o l d her i n h i s arms and walk her home. D e s p i t e Aunt Agnes ' p r o h i b i t i o n s r e g a r d i n g C a t h e r i n e and George 's m i s e r a b l e a c c e s s i o n to her demands, C a t h e r i n e g ive s the unhappy boy one l a s t chance. They s i t be s ide each o t h e r , she seeming " l i t t l e more than a presence i n the dim l i g h t " ( 7 5 ) . A p p a r e n t l y encour-aged by her s a f e l y s p i r i t u a l appearance, George takes her hand. I n s t a n t l y the s exua l t a b l e s t u r n : " G e o r g e ! " she w h i s p e r e d , and I f e l t her w i l l , her woman's w i l l , t a k i n g pos se s s ion of my weaker male one. Then we were i n one a n o t h e r ' s arms on the s o f a and she had n o t h i n g on but her d r e s s i n g gown and the n i g h t d r e s s under-n e a t h . I h e l d her and f e l t the house q u i v e r and saw s t range images and she was a l i v e and s t i r r i n g aga in s t me, embracing - me w i t h an i n s t i n c t u a l female knowledge wonder fu l and f r i g h t e n i n g . " G e o r g e ! " she murmured. "Dear George! Dear G e o r g e ! " Then she sat up and looked at me and I saw her eyes grave i n the dim l i g h t . She s l i p p e d out of her c l o t h e s and I saw her naked and s t range w i t h the w h i t e and immense wonder of a woman's beauty the f i r s t time a man or a boy sees i t . Then aga in she was i n my arms and I h e l d her b l i n d l y . " Y e s , " she w h i s p e r e d , " y e s , Y e s . We must, we m u s t . " But I trembled and was a f r a i d not merely as a boy i s who fear s to make a g i r l pregnant , but because I was not y e t a man. She wa i t ed f o r me, she h e l d me, she was as q u i e t l y r e s t l e s s as a q u i e t s ea . F i n a l l y I sat up and heard mysel f say : "No I c a n ' t . " ( 7 5 ) C l e a r l y there e x i s t s a c a u s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between George ' s impotency and h i s t h e o r i e s about s t ronger female w i l l s and i n s t i n c t i v e female knowledge. For George, women are "wonder fu l and f r i g h t e n i n g " by d e f i n i t i o n , but s i n c e awe and fea r u s u a l l y demand responses o ther than aggres s ive potency , i t i s no wonder tha t the house moves more than George. Hi s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s would be w h o l l y acceptab le as the f e a r f u l and immature f a n t a s i e s of a f r i g h t e n e d boy , but when t h i r t y years l a t e r he s t i l l t a l k s the same way, and more i m p o r t a n t l y so do C a t h e r i n e , Jerome, C a r o l i n e and even the M a r t e l l s , then these c a s t r a t -i n g n o t i o n s about s t r o n g e r females p o i n t to MacLennan as the u n i f y i n g source and thus take on a d i f f e r e n t s i g n i f i c a n c e . The o v e r t l y d e s t r u c t i v e dominant women are f r a n k l y hated and f r e q u e n t l y k i l l e d o f f , but the supposedly c o n s t r u c t i v e ones present MacLennan w i t h a d i f f e r e n t problem. When they ask n o t h i n g of t h e i r men, l i k e M r s . M a r t e l l , they are a l l owed to escape w i t h a min ima l of s u f f e r i n g , but when they demand l i k e C a t h e r i n e , then they are uncon-s c i o u s l y made to s u f f e r p a i n and a r e d u c t i o n of t h e i r power. A l l the w h i l e , however, MacLennan seems o b l i v i o u s to the c a s t r a t i n g q u a l i t i e s of the good woman and i n s i s t s upon p r e s e n t i n g her as an a d m i r a b l e , even awesome c h a r a c t e r . Thus George never knows what C a t h e r i n e i s do ing to him i n the course of t h e i r love-making and remains f o r e v e r i n bondage to h e r . For a f u l l f i v e minutes a f t e r h i s s e x u a l f a i l u r e , there i s s i l e n c e , then C a t h e r i n e , " l o o k i n g c a l m . . . a s though n o t h i n g u n u s u a l " has happened, speaks , "George I wanted i t to be y o u . You G e o r g e . " 8 5 . Then she smi le s " w i t h g e n t l e n e s s " and e x p l a i n s , "George who ever t o l d you that women are g e n t l e and d e l i c a t e ? I ' d have been good f o r you dear . I ' d have p r o t e c t e d y o u . Don ' t l e t some other woman s p o i l . . . . " Then she shrugs , smi le s another l i t t l e s m i l e , and asks f o r a c i g a r e t t e . Thus George i s d i smis sed " l e s s of a man" than he has been f o r months (76) . D e s p i t e the f a c t tha t C a t h e r i n e i s supposed to repre sent " the mys ter ious power and beauty " of l o v i n g c r e a t i v e s e x u a l i t y , w h i l e Jerome's mother c h a r a c t e r i z e s h o s t i l e , d e s t r u c t i v e s e x u a l power, the two women are c r u c i a l l y a l i k e (63) . They, and not t h e i r men, d i c t a t e the s e x u a l course of a c t i o n ; t h e i r s e x u a l urges and t h e i r w i l l s are s t r o n g e r ; they are d i s a p p o i n t e d i n the performance of t h e i r p a r t n e r s ; and they subse-q u e n t l y l e t the men know tha t they are boys and not men a f t e r a l l . The d i f f e r e n c e , of c o u r s e , i s tha t C a t h e r i n e smi l e s g e n t l y and unmans w i t h mate rna l concern and condescens ion , w h i l e Jerome's mother a t t a c k s l o u d l y and a n g r i l y . In terms of t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s , however, i t c o u l d w e l l be argued t h a t Jerome's mother i s l e s s c a s t r a t i n g than C a t h e r i n e . Her v i c t i m s at l e a s t know they are under a t t a c k and can o c c a s i o n a l l y f i g h t back . Whereas, George remains f o r e v e r " g r a t e f u l " f o r C a t h e r i n e ' s " g e n t l e n e s s " (76 ) . As a young woman d u r i n g the t h i r t i e s , C a t h e r i n e i s even l e s s s e x u a l l y c r e a t i v e and c o n s t r u c t i v e than she was e a r l i e r . P a r a d o x i -c a l l y , t h i s i s supposed to be the time of her s e x u a l f u l f i l m e n t , what Woodcock c a l l s the time of " a c t i o n . " ^ B u t , i n f a c t , the events of the Depres s ion a c t u a l l y s tep up the s p i r i t u a l quest w h i l e p l a y i n g down 86. the p h y s i c a l . C a t h e r i n e would l i k e to b e l i e v e i n God b u t , because of her d i seased h e a r t , cannot . When she meets Jerome her r e l i g i o u s problems seem s o l v e d . She s imply turns the o l d e r and a p p a r e n t l y a l l - p o w e r f u l male i n t o her "whole l i f e " (224) . She might be f o r g i v e n her mis take s i n c e w i t h h i s "mys ter ious powers" to h e a l , h i s " o d d l y p u r e " s t a l l i o n -l i k e s e x u a l i t y , and h i s " s i n g u l a r c a p a c i t y to set a room on f i r e " j u s t by w a l k i n g i n t o i t , he does seem more Olympian than human. We are r e p e a t e d l y t o l d how s e x u a l l y v i r i l e Jerome i s and how w e l l - l o v e d C a t h e r i n e l o o k s , but the o n l y scene of dramat ized s e x u a l encounter occurs when C a t h e r i n e smi l e s q u i e t l y and s l i p s out of Jerome's " o b v i o u s " grasp on "one of her bad days" (217) . D e s p i t e the f a c t tha t the n o v e l i s o s t e n s i b l y about the a f f i r m a t i o n of l i f e , i t c o n t a i n s not one scene of e i t h e r p a s s i o n a t e , or j o y f u l sex . Indeed the o n l y consu-mated ac t i n the whole book i s tha t which r e s u l t s i n murder. I f f o r no o ther reason than i t s absence, we might s a f e l y conclude tha t sex p l a y s no great r o l e i n t h i s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d . F o r t u n a t e l y the c h a r a c t e r s d i s c u s s t h e i r a t t i t u d e s so tha t surmise becomes unnecessary . C a t h e r i n e s h a r p l y separates l o v e and sex , v i r t u a l l y d i s m i s s i n g the l a t t e r as un impor tant . When she l e a r n s that Jerome i s hav ing an a f f a i r , she sounds more l i k e h i s somewhat -concerned-but -ba s i ca l ly -unders tanding mother than h i s h u r t w i f e : " I know the d i f f e r e n c e between love and sex , George. And I know that what he f e e l s f o r Norah B l a c k w e l l — a p a r t from a normal d e s i r e — i s p i t y and not l o v e " (237) . She c l a ims to hate Norah o n l y f o r what she has done to her " d i g n i t y " 87. (237) . Moreover , as her marr iage cont inues to d i s i n t e g r a t e , she e x p l a i n s , "The more we've l i v e d t o g e t h e r , the g r e a t e r m y s t e r i e s we've become to each o t h e r . He knows me p e r f e c t l y as a woman, and I know him p e r f e c t l y as a man. But what ' s t h a t ? " (247) . " S e x , " t h e o r i z e s C a t h e r i n e , " i s so d i r e c t and s i m p l e , " "so e a s y . . . s o very v e r y easy" (266 ,295) . One i s tempted to wonder why, i f i t ' s so easy , MacLennan re fuses to d e a l w i t h i t except i n grand d i s m i s s i n g g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s and why the M a r t e l l marr iage d i s s o l v e s a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y because of Jerome's s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e a f f a i r w i t h a s u i c i d a l l y n e u r o t i c woman. Indeed, C a t h e r i n e and MacLennan seem to p r o t e s t too much. Even Jerome o v e r - r e a c t s when George asks him the humanly important q u e s t i o n about whether he i s t a k i n g Norah w i t h him when he leaves f o r S p a i n : "My God, but you 've got a m i d d l e - c l a s s mind? Do you t h i n k t h i s t h i n g i s as v u l g a r as a l l t h a t ? " (254) . A p p a r e n t l y i t i s , f o r d e s p i t e C a t h e r i n e ' s j u s t i f i c a t i o n and acceptance of Jerome's need to go, when she suddenly sees Norah ' s head appear a l o n g s i d e h i s on the s h i p ' s deck, her c o n t r o l v a n i s h e s . She l u r c h e s , goes w h i t e , and stumbles away "as though u n c o n s c i o u s " (264) . Her p h y s i c a l r e a c t i o n s b e l i e her veneer of detachment and more than j u s t i f y George ' s q u e s t i o n . Never the le s s a few hours l a t e r she i s aga in g e n e r a l i z i n g about human l o v e , and i n her scheme of t h i n g s , i t f a res l i t t l e b e t t e r than d i d sex : I t ' s so awful f o r a woman to l e a r n that human love i s n ' t s u f -f i c i e n t . We need God and He d o e s n ' t c a r e . Perhaps because we d o n ' t l e t him c a r e . But where i s He? Where has He gone? (266) At the cos t of MacLennan's c h a r a c t e r s f r e q u e n t l y sounding more l i k e r h e t o r i c a l sophmores than angui sh ing a d u l t s , the m e t a p h y s i c a l i s s u e remains square ly i n the f o r e f r o n t . C a t h e r i n e comes to l e a r n a l e s s o n very n e a r l y a k i n to that taught the o r i g i n a l P u r i t a n s : that the ecs ta sy of r o m a n t i c , pa s s ionate love d e s t r u c t i v e l y usurps the proper order of t h i n g s . She admits that t h e i r l o v e f a i l e d because: We loved each o ther so much we exhausted each o t h e r . . . . W e both demanded more from each o ther than was p o s s i b l e . Do you know tha t l i n e of R i l k e , 'Love c o n s i s t s i n t h i s , tha t two s o l i t u d e s p r o t e c t and touch and greet each o t h e r ? ' A marr iage based on tha t k i n d of l ove c o u l d l a s t . (290) P a s s i o n becomes f o r a l l three of the p r o t a g o n i s t s " the most dangerous t h i n g i n the w o r l d , " f o r a l though i t c r e a t e s , i t a l s o , l i k e Jerome's mother, de s t roys (296) . The recommended rou te would t u r n l o v e r s i n t o s p i r i t s g r e e t i n g and touch ing each other i n the sa fe embrace of t h e i r s o u l s , w i t h the emot iona l emphasis s o l i d l y on p r o t e c t i o n . Jerome d e s c r i b e s marr iage s a y i n g , " I he lped her when she was younger , and you 've looked a f t e r her s i n c e . And she ' s looked a f t e r us b o t h . T h a t ' s a l l marr iage i s , I suppose" (344) . I t sounds more l i k e a n u r s i n g home than two s e x u a l a d u l t s l i v i n g and l o v i n g t o g e t h e r . In f a c t , Jerome's d e f i n i t i o n b r i n g s us p e r i l o u s l y c l o s e to h i s Good M o t h e r ' s n o t i o n of t e n d e r l y l o o k i n g a f t e r her son and her husband, h a r d l y ab le to d i s -t i n g u i s h between her f e e l i n g s f o r them. Al though Jerome and C a t h e r i n e r e a l i z e d u r i n g the t h i r t i e s that human love i s an i n s u f f i c i e n t b a s i s f o r a meaningful l i f e , George i s s lower to l e a r n . Woodcock has d e l i g h t f u l l y d e s c r i b e d him as Canada's "dolourous k n i g h t " ^ and indeed George i s always at h i s u n a t t a i n a b l e 89. Queen's s i d e s i n g i n g her p r a i s e s , seek ing her l o v e , and o c c a s i o n a l l y expre s s ing h i s resentment over h i s bondage and her d i s d a i n . O b s e s s i v e l y i n l o v e w i t h C a t h e r i n e , he becomes a " c e l i b a t e from n e c e s s i t y " because, as he says h i m s e l f , he l a c k s " t h e animal v i t a l i t y which makes i t n a t u r a l or even h e a l t h y f o r men to d e s i r e and make l u s t y l o v e to women they merely l i k e " (146) . Wi th Jerome r e p o r t e d l y dead and C a t h e r i n e exhausted by f u t i l e p a s s i o n , at l a s t the way i s c l e a r f o r George to marry h i s Queen and enter i n t o the k i n d of r e s t r a i n e d l o v e which promises l a s t i n g comfor t . Thus the f o r t i e s become the p e r i o d of p r o t e c t i v e tenderness and a sexua l i n t i m a c y . The r e a l focus of t h i s decade f a l l s not on love or sex at a l l , but on p a i n , death and m y s t i c i s m . In a sweeping condemnation of the promised p o l i t i c a l panaceas of the t h i r t i e s , MacLennan has the S p a n i s h , F r e n c h , Germans, R u s s i a n s , and Chinese take turns d u r i n g the f o r t i e s at abus ing Jerome. H i s " s p l e n d i d male b o d y , " never d e s c r i b e d i n a s e x u a l scene , i s now r e p o r t e d " l a s h e d , t w i s t e d , t o r n . . . b r o k e n and hung up on a meat hook" ( 3 5 , 1 1 ) . C a t h e r i n e ' s body, a b s t r a c t and l i f e l e s s i n sex , l eaps i n t o focus w i t h "her face t w i s t i n g up and her i n s i d e s w r i t h i n g " i n an embolism (18) . With the p h y s i c a l s u f f e r i n g comes a p r e d i c t a b l y corre sponding ref inement of s p i r i t . Jerome, " a f t e r v i r t u a l l y d y i n g " wakes to see Jesus s t and ing bes ide h i m . Not the Jesus of the organ ized churches or the Jesus who d i e s f o r man's s i n s , but " s i m p l y a man who had d i e d and r i s e n a g a i n . Who had d i e d outwardly as I had d i e d i n w a r d l y " (308) . Having s u f f e r e d 90. a l l t h i n g s , Jerome enter s i n t o a m y s t i c a l s t a t e of " a b s o l u t e s e r e n i t y and t o t a l surenes s " (338) . H i s p r e v i o u s l y Olympian powers become f r a n k l y d i v i n e : h i s " a l l - s e e i n g " eyes emmanate a C h r i s t - l i k e " c o o l , sweet l i g h t " which enter s i n t o the hear t s of men and m i r a c u l o u s l y vanquishes death and turns hate and f e a r i n t o peace and l o v e (338) . C a t h e r i n e a l s o undergoes the same k i n d of s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a -t i o n . Having crossed the f r o n t i e r i n t o death so o f t e n , her p e r s o n a l i t y has now "a lmost d i sappeared i n t o her s p i r i t " (304) . She becomes s i m p l y " the e s s e n t i a l C a t h e r i n e . . . the c o n t a i n e r of a l i f e - f o r c e r e s i s t i n g e x t i n c t i o n " (304) . Even i n t h i s s p i r i t u a l l y d i s t i l l e d s t a t e she i s s t i l l , c l a ims George, a l o v i n g , l o v a b l e w i f e and mother . He even f i n d s her " f u n to be w i t h " but s u r e l y no reader does (304) . When C a t h e r i n e and Jerome f i n a l l y come t o g e t h e r , i t i s " l i k e husband and w i f e meeting a f t e r death i n the next w o r l d " (306) . They u t t e r b a n a l i t i e s w h i l e " t h e i r s p i r i t s communicate behind the mask of t h e i r words" u n t i l C a t h e r i n e n o t i c e s Jerome's f i n g e r s which the N a z i s " a f t e r t e a r i n g out h i s n a i l s . . . h a d p o u n d e d . . . w i t h hammers" (305) . Only then are they aroused enough to admit to the f i e r c e n e s s of the s p i r i t u a l bond between them and to attempt the p h y s i c a l as w e l l : " I hoped I c o u l d make l o v e to y o u , " he s a i d s i m p l y , "and now y o u ' r e marr ied to G e o r g e . " She looked at h i m , nodded and s a i d n o t h i n g . " K a t e ! " he s a i d h o a r s e l y . " K a t e ! " Then he c o n t r o l l e d h i m s e l f , he looked f o r minutes at one of her p i c t u r e s , and at l a s t h i s face—so C a t h e r i n e t o l d me later—became as p e a c e f u l as she had never seen i t . A f t e r a long s i l e n c e he t o l d her a s i n g u l a r s t o r y [about h i s death and r e b i r t h ] . . . . A f t e r a time he s a i d : "And i n s p i t e of a l l t h a t — i n s p i t e 91. of t h a t — I ' m s t i l l a man, and I s t i l l l ong to make l o v e to you at l e a s t once a g a i n . " She r a i s e d her head: " I t ' s too l a t e f o r t h a t J e rome. " " K a t e ! " That power i n them both was exhaus t ing to them b o t h , even to Jerome. He became consc ious of h i s own e x h a u s t i o n , I suppose, f o r he suddenly remembered her h e a r t . He crossed to h e r , a doc tor now, and h e l d h i s ear aga in s t her b r e a s t . And t h e r e , w i t h a d o c t o r ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g , he heard what I had heard so o f t e n — f o r h i s ear was almost as s e n s i t i v e as a s tethescope—and then they looked i n t o each o t h e r ' s eyes and no words were neces sa ry , f o r he knew what she knew. "Oh K a t e , i f I h a d n ' t gone mad we might have had a l l those y e a r s . " "Or i f I h a d n ' t f a i l e d y o u . " Then she smi led s h y l y . Then not s m i l i n g but calm and n a t u r a l as I a l s o knew h e r , she opened her housecoat so t h a t h i s l i p s might touch her b r e a s t s . He k i s s e d her and she murmured h i s name, and he h e r s , and then she l a y on the c h e s t e r f i e l d s m a l l i n h i s arms, and he was so s t i l l she thought him a s l e e p . At l a s t he got up and then there was t w i l i g h t i n the room, f o r i t had a n o r t h l i g h t . (309) T h i s scene c o n t a i n s a l l the unhappy i n g r e d i e n t s of debased P u r i t a n i s m , i l l - c o n c e i v e d m y s t i c i s m , and perverse s e x u a l i t y . D e s p i t e h i s c l a i m of new w i n e , ^ MacLennan's content depends as h e a v i l y as Grove ' s upon the danger of p a s s i o n and the e f f i c a c y of s u f f e r i n g and d e n i a l . For when Jerome suppresses h i s emot iona l and s e x u a l f e e l i n g s , he a t t a i n s not merely the degree of s e l f - c o n t r o l n e c e s s i t a t e d by the c i rcumstances of C a t h e r i n e ' s f r a g i l e h e a l t h , but a unique peace which i n i t s e l f j u s t i f i e s the s u p p r e s s i o n . In the same way, the t o r t u r e s and embolisms become r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y acceptab le i n terms of the apparent ly f u l l e r wisdom to which they l e a d . But the t e s t of t h i s n o t i o n remains as i t d i d f o r Grove and C a l l a g h a n , the q u a l i t y of what i s a t t a i n e d . And d e s p i t e h i s i n t e n t i o n s , what MacLennan d r a m a t i c a l l y achieves i s the c e l e b r a t i o n of a s p i r i t u a l l i f e dependent upon 92. emot iona l and p h y s i c a l r e p r e s s i o n and the unconscious i n h e r i t a n c e of s ado-masochi s t i c p e r v e r s i o n s . L i f e l e s s to the p o i n t of n e c r o p h i l i a (another s p e c i a l i t y of V i c t o r i a n pornography) , Jerome and C a t h e r i n e f i n a l l y i n h a b i t bodies which c o n s i s t o n l y of h i s sp layed f i n g e r s and her d i sea sed h e a r t , and the ever-present materna l b r e a s t s . T h e i r d e s i r e i s aroused by evidence of t o r t u r e and takes the form of a power fu l woman p r o h i b i t i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of g e n i t a l contac t w h i l e she o f f e r s her b r e a s t f o r r i t u a l k i s s i n g . Thus the man i s both denied g e n i t a l potency and p r o t e c t e d from the p o s s i b i l i t y of f a i l u r e and danger. He gets to s l eep s a f e l y and i n n o c e n t l y on the mother ' s b r e a s t , w h i l e at the same time her power i s c o n v e n i e n t l y reduced to s i c k l y , g i r l i s h h e l p l e s s n e s s . C a t h e r i n e s m i l e s " s h y l y , " l i e s " s m a l l i n h i s arms" and houses of course her r a p i d l y f a i l i n g h e a r t . MacLennan's f i n a l t w i l i g h t , l i k e C a l l a g h a n ' s , o f f e r s as much perverse s e x u a l i t y as i t does s p i r i t u a l i l l u m i n a t i o n . But i f C a t h e r i n e ' s body i s dead d u r i n g sex , i t comes v e r y much a l i v e when a t t a c k e d by death whom MacLennan r e p e a t e d l y p e r s o n i f i e s as a F a u s t i a n d e v i l . In f a c t , i n t h i s n o v e l , death i s both an enemy and an aggres s ive and a p p a r e n t l y s u c c e s s f u l l o v e r . "Every minute of every day" he ho lds "a sword d a n g l i n g over [ C a t h e r i n e ' s ] head by a h o r s e h a i r " ( 8 , 3 0 2 ) . And seven times d u r i n g her l i f e he c a l l s "Come to me! " d e l i v e r i n g h i s blows "one a f t e r another i n combinat ion the way a t r a i n e d man s t r i k e s " so that C a t h e r i n e l i v e s p e r p e t u a l l y f e e l i n g h i s " p o i n t " (304 ,302) . At the onset of her abdominal embolism, she c a l l s 93. out "ve ry loud and c l e a r " and George knows by the tone of her v o i c e that she has heard aga in " the command Her zu m i r ! " (311) . Immediately her e x p r e s s i o n changes from tha t of f ea r to a " l o o k of s e r e n i t y " which George has come to " d r e a d " (311) . He f e e l s "a lmost a n n i h i l a t e d " by the way i n which she vani shes i n t o " c a l m n e s s . . . h e r beauty suddenly that of an a n g e l " (311) . No wonder, when i t i s the c l o s e s t C a t h e r i n e ever gets i n the n o v e l to an orgasm and a l l George can do i s to s tand by h e l p l e s s l y w a t c h i n g . Not o n l y George ' s responses but a l s o the way i n which MacLennan s h i f t s from romant ic metaphors to the r e a l i s t i c language of p a i n , i n d i c a t e s something of the na ture of the unconscious power s t r u g g l e going on between George and C a t h e r i n e and even MacLennan and C a t h e r i n e : Back i n the bedroom t h a t a c c e p t i n g face s t a r e d w h i t e from the p i l l o w s , and I sa t be s ide h e r . I needed her more than she needed me t h e n . I r e a l i z e d tha t i n her p r e v i o u s two i l l n e s s e s the same t h i n g had happened: she had been s t r i c k e n and I had needed her more than she had needed me. "You d o n ' t know what i t ' s l i k e , " I heard her w h i s p e r . " P l e a s e God y o u ' l l never know what i t ' s l i k e . " I d i d not know what she meant by t h i s and I d o n ' t know now; I merely r e c o r d what she s a i d , and my b e l i e f i s tha t she meant I d i d not know what i t i s l i k e to be chained by her own body. Suddenly she gasped, sat up and c l u t c h e d her abdomen. " I t ' s come. I t ' s another e m b o l i s m . " " N o ! " I c r i e d . "No! Your eyes and face are the same." " T h i s t ime i t ' s not i n the b r a i n , " she w h i s p e r e d . " I t ' s h e r e . " I saw her hands c l u t c h i n g her abdomen, her face tense w i t h f e a r and p a i n . Then the C a t h e r i n e I knew, the woman I l o v e d , d i sappeared i n t o a f o r c e I knew to be n o t h i n g but an impersona l s p i r i t f i g h t i n g f o r e x i s t e n c e . I saw her l i p s move, her head nod , and I knew what she needed. An embolism i s always f o l l o w e d by nausea. I rushed f o r a b a s i n , brought i t , h e l d i t w h i l e her body h u m i l i a t e d h e r , wiped the sweat from her f a c e , r e s t ed her head back on the p i l l o w s , sat and wa i t ed f o r what seemed to be hours u n t i l the door b e l l r a n g . (312) 94. George s t a r t s out f e e l i n g a f r a i d , e x c l u d e d , dependent and inadequate . E x a c t l y as Jerome f e l t as a young boy . C a t h e r i n e speaks i n her c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y s u p e r i o r way: k i n d - m o t h e r - c o n c e r n e d - t o -p r o t e c t - s m a l l - b o y . George s h i f t s immediate ly to the v o i c e of de tached , u n f e e l i n g r e c o r d e r . Suddenly C a t h e r i n e i s wrenched out of s u p e r i o r i t y and s e r e n i t y and h u r l e d i n t o p a i n , h e l p l e s s n e s s , and p h y s i c a l h u m i l -i a t i o n . P r e c i s e l y the exper ience of the Engineer a f t e r h i s orgasm. I t seems too improbable to d i s m i s s as c o i n c i d e n c e the f a c t t h a t i n her o n l y moment of s u c c e s s f u l l y r e a l i z e d p h y s i c a l i t y , C a t h e r i n e too doubles over and c l u t c h e s her abdomen. Only when she i s s u f f i c i e n t l y punished and reduced can George f e e l at a l l adequate and u s e f u l . J u s t as i t i s o n l y a f t e r h i s mother ' s d e a t h , tha t Jerome ga ins new s t r e n g t h . The p a t t e r n of m a t r i c i d e - b y - p r o x y repeat s i t s e l f . The Engineer s t r i k e s f o r Jerome, w h i l e a rheumatic hear t ac t s f o r George, and by i m p l i c a t i o n , MacLennan. Warrenn Ta l lman i n "Wolf i n the Snow" d e f i n e s s e l f as " the source of our most v i t a l i m p u l s e s " and m a i n t a i n s that "when those f i c t i o n a l persons who enact the a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n of l i f e are not d i r -e c t l y r e l a t e d to the a r t i s t ' s s e l f , they w i l l i n e v i t a b l y speak and ac t m e c h a n i c a l l y , w i thout t rue a n i m a t i o n . " I f we apply t h i s c r i t e r i o n to MacLennan's w r i t i n g , i t becomes apparent tha t more of h i s v i t a l s e l f r e l a t e s to C a t h e r i n e i n the g r i p of an embolism than i n the throes of e i t h e r sexua l pa s s ion or s p i r i t u a l i l l u m i n a t i o n . George argues that a l though j o y i s " the supreme emot ion" i t remains one of the hardes t t h i n g s to w r i t e about (299) . U n f o r t u n a t e l y f o r h i s arguments, h i s 95. language b e l i e s h i s p o i n t : You can remember tha t you f e l t p a i n and you can dread i t s r e t u r n , but p a i n i t s e l f , the surgeon' s saw across the u n -a e s t h e t i z e d bone—that you cannot remember. But the moments of j o y you can , even the f e e l i n g s of i t . The f e e l i n g of making love i n peace and exci tement can r e t u r n years l a t e r and l i v e . (300) Without doubt , MacLennan makes the p a i n sound more e x c i t i n g and i n f i n -i t e l y more memorable than the sex . In f a c t , every time MacLennan approaches p a i n , even g r a t u i t o u s l y l i k e t h i s , the e v o c a t i v e power of h i s language t r i p l e s . The c o n t r a s t between Jerome's dead mother w i t h her " w e t l y t h i c k h a i r " and her " c h a l k w h i t e b a l l o o n s " and C a t h e r i n e " a l i v e and s t i r r i n g " w i t h her "two h o l y cups" l i f t i n g and f a l l i n g makes i t c l e a r tha t MacLennan can render p a i n and death more s e n s u a l l y e x c i t i n g than sex (171 ,70 ,64 ) . The bludgeoned body, f u l l of t a c t i l e and v i s u a l power, l i v e s i m a g i n a t i v e l y , w h i l e the supposedly v i b r a n t C a t h e r i n e l i e s c o l d on the page. Even the n o v e l ' s f i n a l m y s t i c a l wisdom feeds r i g h t i n t o the sado-masochism. Jerome t e l l s George: You must l e a r n to b u i l d a s h e l l around y o u r s e l f l i k e a s n a i l and every now and then you must creep i n s i d e i t . . . . D e a t h . The s h e l l i s d e a t h . You must c r a w l i n s i d e of death and d i e y o u r s e l f . (342) Jerome's v e r s i o n of C h r i s t ' s "He who would save h i s l i f e must d i e " does not f a re w e l l i n compar i son. I t s language r e v e a l s i t to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y more dehumanized, a b j e c t , d e a t h - o r i e n t e d and c o m p u l s i v e l y r e p e t i t i v e than the o r i g i n a l . The r e p t i l i o n , cowed, and e s c a p i s t a s s o c i a t i o n s of " s h e l l , " " s n a i l , " " c r e e p , " and " c r a w l " combined w i t h the i n s i s t e n c e four t imes on death s imply does not convey the same 96. p e r s o n a l , a c t i v e energy of C h r i s t ' s message. Nor does Jerome's v e r s i o n i n any way capture the p a r a d o x i c a l sense of s i m p l i c i t y and ambiguous p r o f u n d i t y which C h r i s t ' s words convey. In f a c t , Jerome's fo rmulae , both i n i t s e x p l i c i t n e s s and i t s compuls iveness , sounds more l i k e the o f f e r i n g of a m a s o c h i s t i c s o c i a l worker than a g u r u . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t apparent ly appeals to George who g ive s up r e s e n t i n g C a t h e r i n e ' s wi thdrawa l s i n t o death and c o n t e n t e d l y s e t t l e s down to l e t t i n g her " l i v e her own d e a t h " (348) . T h e i r l a s t summer together f i n d s her a l i g h t - f i l l e d , " t r a n s -parent . . . s p i r i t " a l r e a d y seeming "somewhere e l s e most of the t i m e " (348) . For George a l s o the w o r l d i s f a s t becoming a "shadow" (350) . Yet he says t h a t t h i s p e r i o d i s " the r i c h e s t we ever had t o g e t h e r , " some comment s u r e l y on the q u a l i t y of t h e i r o ther twenty years (348) . When one compares the s p i r i t u a l fade-out w i t h the n o v e l ' s i m p r e s s i v e l i s t of v i o l e n t a s s a u l t s there can be no doubt where the r e a l energy l i e s . From the moi s t beefy arms and warm heavy b r e a s t s of the k n i f e -w i e l d i n g mother and the s a t i s f y i n g " c r a c k — c r a c k — c r a c k of hard f i s t s d r i v e n e x p e r t l y home," to the a d u l t Jerome f o n d l y admir ing the " l i v i d s p l a s h and p u c k e r " of h i s o l d war wound and C a t h e r i n e " e n j o y i n g h e r s e l f . . . o n the verge of e x t i n c t i o n , " the u n d e r l y i n g message i s c l e a r : p a i n i s s a t i s f y i n g (168 ,149 ,327) . The assumption that women are more power fu l than men leads to a s t a t e i n which the men p r o t e c t themselves from c a s t r a t i o n by abandoning the p o s s i b i l i t y of g e n i t a l s ex , by seeking the p r o t e c t i o n of the materna l b r e a s t , by u n c o n s c i o u s l y l e a r n i n g to enjoy the p lea sure s of 97. p a i n and h u m i l i a t i o n , and by e i t h e r f r a n k l y d e s t r o y i n g or c o v e r t l y l i m i t i n g the power of the dominant women. George however escapes p h y s i c a l punishment by never a d m i t t i n g the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s of h i s queen-mother and t h e r e f o r e never o v e r t l y a t t a c k i n g h e r . The one time he edges c l o s e to open anger , she " i n f i n i t e l y t e n d e r , i n f i n i t e l y w i s e " t e l l s h i m , "P lea se d e a r — f o r your own sake—please keep on be ing k i n d " (328) . George immediate ly f a l l s on h i s knees be fore her i n c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s u b m i s s i o n , and Jerome he lp s keep him there w i t h m a s o c h i s t i c adv i ce masking as m y s t i c i s m . D e s p i t e the p l ea sure i n v o l v e d i n sub-m i t t i n g to the dominant woman, the men, i n c l u d i n g MacLennan, s t i l l work at r e d u c i n g her power and g i v i n g vent to t h e i r own s a d i s t i c impulses by r e p e a t e d l y t u r n i n g her i n t o a d e s p e r a t e l y i l l , p a i n - r i d d e n l i t t l e g i r l . Jerome b r i n g s on a t t a c k s by l e a v i n g her and then years l a t e r r e t u r n i n g from the dead; George l i k e s bes t to t h i n k of her as s i c k ; and MacLennan of course c rea te s the whole dominant mother as h e l p l e s s l i t t l e g i r l syndrome. I t i s Jerome who i r o n i c a l l y b e t r a y s the n o v e l ' s s ado-masoch i s t i c cen t re when he says , " C r u e l t y to me i s the u l t i m a t e e v i l . S e x — t h a t ' s n o t h i n g one way or the o ther un le s s i t ' s connected w i t h c r u e l t y " (151) . O b v i o u s l y MacLennan in tends the remark to i n d i c a t e h i s h e r o ' s h e a l t h y r e f u s a l to equate sex w i t h s i n , but what Jerome a c t u a l l y says s t ands , i n f a c t , as the n o v e l ' s u n i n t e n t i o n a l message: " S e x — t h a t ' s n o t h i n g one way or the o ther un le s s i t ' s connected w i t h c r u e l t y . " 98. CHAPTER V  SHEILA WATSON In the three nove l s d i s c u s s e d so f a r i t has become obvious tha t i n the t r a d i t i o n a l mainstream of the E n g l i s h Canadian n o v e l , b o d i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y female b o d i e s , are s y s t e m a t i c a l l y abused i n the name of i d e a l i z e d l o v e . F o r , as t h i s t h e s i s has attempted to e s t a b l i s h , Grove ' s tender V i c t o r i a n i d e a l , C a l l a g h a n ' s Song-of-Soloman f u s i o n of the s p i r i t and the body, and MacLennan's v e r s i o n of C h r i s t ' s d i e - i n -o r d e r - t o - l i v e are a l l roo ted i n unconscious s ado-masoch i s t i c urges to t u r n sex , l o v e and l i f e i n t o the p u r s u i t of p a i n and d e a t h . Not o n l y do these nove l s resemble each other i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s towards s e x u a l i t y but a l s o i n t h e i r s o l i d l y c o n s e r v a t i v e forms . A l l are d i d a c t i c , s e r i o u s i n tone , and f r a n k l y m o r a l i s t i c . They a l s o a l l operate w i t h i n the d i c t a t e s of t r a d i t i o n a l r e a l i s m , r e l y i n g on c o n -v e n t i o n a l use of t i m e , cause and e f f e c t l o g i c , p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y w e l l -rounded c h a r a c t e r s , and the f i x e d p o i n t of v i e w . Grove ' s n o v e l d i f f e r s from the n a t u r a l i s t i c t r a d i t i o n o n l y by a c c i d e n t i n that i t s i n o r d i n a t e number of e l i p s e s stem from whole sa l e condensing and not from any attempt at i n n o v a t i v e s t ructure . " ' " About the s t y l e of They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h , l i t t l e need be s a i d except that i t i n d u b i t a b l y t r e f l e c t s C a l l a g h a n ' s i n t e n t i o n " t o get i t down so d i r e c t l y tha t i t 2 w o u l d n ' t f e e l or look l i k e l i t e r a t u r e . " In The Watch that Ends the  N i g h t , MacLennan does i n t e r r u p t the s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d n a r r a t i v e w i t h l engthy f l a shbacks as w e l l as a s w i t c h from the omni sc i ent p o i n t of view to tha t of a l i m i t e d n a r r a t o r . But n e i t h e r of these dev i ce s r e a l l y a l t e r s the b a s i c a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e na ture of the form. Except f o r Jerome's i n t e r p o l a t e d t a l e , the p o i n t of v iew remains f i x e d , and the t a l e , l i k e a l l the f l a s h b a c k s , i s e x p l i c i t l y and c a r e f u l l y i n t r o -duced so as to prevent any c o n f u s i o n . In f a c t , s t r u c t u r a l l y s p e a k i n g , MacLennan's n o v e l would be as much at home i n the n i n e t e e n t h century as the t w e n t i e t h . However, i n the same year tha t The Watch t h a t Ends the N i g h t was p u b l i s h e d , so too were The Double Hook and The A p p r e n t i c e s h i p of  Duddy K r a v i t z . T h i s chapter and the next w i l l d e a l w i t h the way i n which bo th of these nove l s r a d i c a l l y a l t e r the course of Canadian f i c t i o n , both i n terms of t h e i r a t t i t u d e s to sex and t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l i n n o v a t i o n s . The most obvious d i f f e r e n c e between S h e i l a Watson's n o v e l and those of her predecessors l i e s i n the use of form to d i r e c t l y embody c o n t e n t . The n o v e l ' s d i v i s i o n i n t o f i v e s e c t i o n s p a r a l l e l s the three days and two n i g h t s of C h r i s t ' s c r u c i f i x i o n and r e s u r r e c t i o n and thus he lp s e s t a b l i s h the m y t h i c a l context i n which the p l o t movement from murder to b i r t h i s s e t . In the same way that the theme i s r e f l e c t e d i n the l a r g e s t r u c t u r a l p a t t e r n , so too are the fragmented l i v e s of the c h a r a c t e r s and the fundamental ly hard nature of l i f e i t s e l f reproduced i n the d e l i b e r a t e l y f l a t t e n e d d i c t i o n ; har sh images, sentence fragments ; innumerable , shor t choppy sentences ; one-sentence paragraphs ; and one-paragraph c h a p t e r s . A l s o , s i n c e the c h a r a c t e r s have to work out t h e i r d e s t i n i e s i n 100. an incongruous and i n d e t e r m i n a t e u n i v e r s e w i t h no recourse to any s u p e r n a t u r a l redemptive agents , there e x i s t s no s i n g l e redemptive c h a r a c t e r . The focus of i n t e r e s t s h i f t s c o n t i n u o u s l y back and f o r t h from one person to ano ther , emphasizing both t h e i r i s o l a t e d , fragmented responses and the u n d e r l y i n g interdependence and s i m i l a r i t y of shared e x p e r i e n c e . The Double-Hook i s a l s o the f i r s t Canadian n o v e l to make use of the i r r a t i o n a l and the i l l o g i c a l as b a s i c s t r u c t u r a l e lements . F o r , w h i l e Grove , C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan acknowledge the c o m p e l l i n g and i r r a t i o n a l na ture of the unconsc ious , n e v e r t h e l e s s t h e i r manner of p r e s e n t i n g human a c t i o n remains eminent ly l o g i c a l and r a t i o n a l . In Watson's w o r l d , the reader i s f o r c e d to exper ience the i n e x p l i c a b l e as an ine scapab le c o n d i t i o n of bo th the book and l i f e . We never know e x a c t l y how or why James comes to k i l l h i s mother , nor why she f i s h e s so r e l e n t l e s s l y , nor why her f i s h i n g so oppresses the community. I t i s a w o r l d i n which people know t h i n g s they have not been t o l d , see t h i n g s which cannot l o g i c a l l y be t h e r e , and o v e r l o o k t h i n g s which o b v i o u s l y a r e . The u n i t y of t h i s n o v e l depends not upon the r u l e s of r e a l i s m nor even upon the d i c t a t e s of n a t u r a l law but upon the k i n d of r i c h l y sugges t ive and dense ly s t r u c t u r e d language p a t t e r n s more t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h poet ry than w i t h p r o s e . D e s p i t e the t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s , however, The Double Hook shares much i n common w i t h The Watch that Ends the N i g h t . I t i s not v e r y f a r from MacLennan's attempted s y n t h e s i s of death and l i f e to Watson's c e n t r a l c o n v i c t i o n "That when you f i s h f o r the g l o r y you 1 ca tch the darkness t o o . That i f you hook twice the g l o r y you hook t w i c e the f e a r . " Margaret M o r r i s s has p o i n t e d out how Watson uses the p r i m i t i v e e lements , w a t e r , a i r , e a r t h , and f i r e , so as to convey 4 the e s s e n t i a l l y double-edged na ture of l i f e . But d e s p i t e the c a r e -f u l l y c r a f t e d d u a l i t y of the a r c h e t y p a l symbols and the repeated emphasizing of t h e i r c a p a c i t y to both s u s t a i n and des t roy l i f e , Watson's f i n a l t h r u s t , l i k e MacLennan' s , i s to the s i d e of f e a r , dark ness and s u f f e r i n g . T h e o r e t i c a l l y the hook may have two prongs , but one remains c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s f e l t than the o t h e r . By the end of the n o v e l , men share i n the l i g h t - f i l l e d n a t u r a l o r d e r , but even there the darkness does not e n t i r e l y d i s a p p e a r . I t j u s t s h r i n k s " i n t o the long shadows of the t r e e s " as the morning sun h a r s h l y d e f i n e s the new w o r l d (126) . And when A r a takes the n o v e l ' s l a s t l ook at the sky she sees i t : . . . s t r e t c h e d l i k e a t e n t pegged to the broken r o c k . And from the c l e f t of the rock she heard the v o i c e of Coyote c r y i n g down the b o u l d e r s : I have set h i s f ee t on s o f t ground; I have se t h i s feet on the s l o p i n g shou lder s of the w o r l d . (134) Thus the n o v e l ends w i t h the t e n t a t i v e t r a n s i e n t image of a t e n t . No tr iumphant tower r i s e s above the redeemed w o r l d : the rock remains " s h a t t e r e d , " the bones l i e "b leached and p i t t e d , " Coyote s t i l l c r i e s and man's f o o t h o l d i n l i f e , a l though somewhat s o f t e n e d , i s no l e s s sure (126) . The i n f a n t s i g n a l s f o r t h a redeemed w o r l d , but l i f e remains , by d e f i n i t i o n , hard and f u l l of s u f f e r i n g . P h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , Watson d i f f e r s from her predecessors i n that she e x p l i c i t l y removes s u f f e r i n g from the context of s i n and 102. punishment. She i n s i s t s upon i t as the b a s i c c o n d i t i o n from l i f e but she a t taches to i t no c a u s a l or e n n o b l i n g s t r i n g s . When Lenchen ' s mother c l i n g s to the o l d n o t i o n of deserved s u f f e r i n g , A n g e l e x p l a i n s : R i g h t and wrong d o n ' t make much d i f f e r e n c e . . . W e d o n ' t choose what we w i l l s u f f e r . We c a n ' t even see how s u f f e r i n g w i l l c o m e . . . . I never see baby c l o t h e s , she s a i d , t h a t I d o n ' t t h i n k how a c h i l d puts on s u f f e r i n g w i t h them. (119) And when the grandmother admires the i n f a n t ' s s t r a i g h t back , Ange l g r i m l y comments, " H e ' l l need i t . . . t o c a r r y around what the w o r l d w i l l l oad on h i s s h o u l d e r s " (133) . I t i s a b l e a k a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n , but nonetheles s one which avoids the f a l s e sent iment and unconscious sado-masochism which u n d e r l i e s the promised wor lds i n the nove l s of Grove , Ca l l aghan and MacLennan. Watson avoids the b l i n d l y perverse at l e a s t i n p a r t because of her treatment of women. In f a c t , The Double Hook stands at a c r u c i a l t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the r e n d e r i n g of s exua l r o l e s and i n the e x p l o r a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women. I t shares i n common w i t h i t s predecessors not on ly the v iew of women as e s s e n t i a l l y s t ronger than men, but a l s o the c e n t r a l metaphor of the dominat ing mother and the impotent son . But i t breaks away from the o l d p a t t e r n by d r a m a t i z i n g the perverse power of the martyr female and by e n t e r -t a i n i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of o v e r t aggres s ion as a c r e a t i v e energy f o r both men and women. However there i s no denying tha t Watson's f i c t i o n a l w o r l d r e v o l v e s around the c a s t r a t i n g mother . Indeed, i n t h i s n o v e l the o l d mother i s made r e s p o n s i b l e f o r not o n l y her son ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y p a r a l y z e d s t a t e but a l s o f o r the e n t i r e community's impotence and 103. barrennes s . I n e x p l i c a b l y but unden iab ly her " f i s h i n g the f i s h of o t h e r s , " " sneak ing up and down the creek day i n and day o u t , " and " f i s h i n g i n the brown water f o r f i s h she 'd never e a t " cut the young people o f f from each o ther and from the waters of l i f e ( 2 5 , 3 9 ) . James knows that so long as the o l d woman l i v e s they a l l remain "suspended i n s i l e n c e . . . w a i t i n g to come toge ther at the same l a k e " (43 ) . James has to f r e e h i m s e l f from the d e s t r u c t i v e h o l d of h i s mother i n order to f u l f i l h i m s e l f and to r e l e a s e h i s community from the a n t i - l i f e i n f l u e n c e of the o l d woman. Thus once aga in the redemptive movement r e s t s upon m a t r i c i d e . Indeed the n o v e l opens w i t h James r a i s i n g h i s arm to s t r i k e down h i s mother . But Watson, u n l i k e MacLennan, d e l i b e r a t e l y avoids psycho-l o g i c a l r e a l i s m and renders t h i s k i l l i n g e n t i r e l y i n s i d e the form of the f a i r y - t a l e and the dream. I t s impact i s , t h e r e f o r e , always one-step removed. The n o v e l ' s v e r y f i r s t words prevent the reader from i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s by immediate ly s e t t i n g up the age-o ld s i g n a l s of the c h i l d r e n ' s f o l k s t o r y : " I n the f o l d of the h i l l s under Coyote ' s eye l i v e d the o l d l a d y , mother of W i l l i a m of James and of G r e t a " (19 ) . The p a t t e r n of the words and the s ing- song rhythm promise the s i n i s t e r e x c i t e m e n t , the s i m p l i c i t y , and the s a f e l y c o n -t a i n e d form of the f a i r y - t a l e . I t becomes as i m p o s s i b l e to sympathize w i t h James' " o l d l a d y " as i t i s to care about Hanse l and G r e t e l ' s s tepmother . Moreover , the d r e a m - l i k e r e n d e r i n g of a c t i o n and the ommission of the a c t u a l blow a l s o work towards suspending the r e a d e r ' s immediacy of response. James was at the top of the stairs. His hand half raised. His voice in the rafters. James walking away. The old lady f a l l i n g . There under the jaw of the roof. In the vault of the bed l o f t . Into the shadow of death. Pushed by James's w i l l . By James's hand. By James's words: This is my day. You'll not fish today. (19) There exists almost no similarity between this ritualized, slow-motion scene and MacLennan's violently r e a l i s t i c version. For while both operate inside mythical contexts which predispose the reader to respond sympathetically to the fact of murder, MacLennan's version is both more emotionally compelling and less carefully crafted than Watson's. His reader has to shift uneasily from the intensely personal responses aroused by the psychological realism to the abruptly symbolic aftermath of the k i l l i n g in such a way that the questions raised by the rendering of the murder never get answered. Watson's version, however, never lets the questions be asked. The reader participates no more intensely or r e a l i s t i c a l l y than he would when listening to a parable or to someone else's dream. Even James in the moment of k i l l i n g his mother ritualizes the act by verbally transferring the fishing power from his mother to himself. Thus, although Watson's rendering of this scene lacks the emotionally evocative power of MacLennan's, by insisting on containing the murder inside the realm of the symbolic, she cannot be faulted for turning matricide into therapy. Ironically, the aftermath of Watson's matricide also makes better psychological sense than does MacLennan's. For James' 105. redemption i s made to depend i n p a r t upon h i s i n c r e a s e d awareness of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s ac t and an acceptance of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t , two stages of emot iona l exper ience which Jerome M a r t e l l never goes through. However, i t i s Watson's e x p l o r a t i o n of a g g r e s s i o n , even more than her i n n o v a t i o n s of form, which c r u c i a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s her n o v e l from those of her p redece s sor s . For the f i r s t time i n Canadian f i c t i o n aggres s ion f u n c t i o n s as a n a t u r a l and p o t e n t i a l l y c r e a t i v e mode of behaviour f o r both men and women, w h i l e the good women, as w e l l as the bad , are a l lowed a c t i v e l y and openly to a s s e r t t h e i r power. J u s t as i t i s James' a c t s of aggres s ion ag a in s t h i s mother and h i s s i s t e r which b r i n g about the movement out of the a r i d was te land i n t o a redeemed w o r l d , so too i s i t Lenchen' s aggre s s ion a g a i n s t James, A r a ' s a g a i n s t W i l l i a m , and A n g e l ' s a g a i n s t bo th T h e o p h i l and F e l i x , which f u r t h e r the movement away from i s o l a t i o n and s t e r i l i t y towards l i f e - g i v i n g u n i t y . F o r , a l though the o l d l a d y f u n c t i o n s as a t r a d i t i o n a l l y aggres s ive and d e s t r u c t i v e m a t r i a r c h , aggre s s ion as such remains m o r a l l y n e u t r a l . Thus f o r the f i r s t t ime s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g female p a s s i v i t y i s not presented as a mora l i d e a l . In The Double Hook, i n f a c t , the con-v e n t i o n a l martyr mother e x i s t s , not as a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e to des-t r u c t i v e materna l power, but as s imply another v e r s i o n of i t . When the o l d l ady i s k i l l e d , i t i s the v i r g i n .Greta who, d e s p i t e her c l a ims to s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g martyrdom, immediate ly assumes d e s t r u c t i v e a u t h o r i t y . Poor James. He k i l l s h i s mother o n l y to s tand p a r a l y z e d i n f r o n t of h i s s i s t e r . He knows he must a s s e r t h i m s e l f and c l a i m h i s r i g h t to h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Lenchen, but he can not move: He c o u l d hear the c h a i r g r a t i n g back on the boards . He cou ld hear her v o i c e dry i n h i s ea r : I ' v e wa i t ed to be m i s t r e s s i n my own house. I never expected a n y t h i n g . He c o u l d hear G r e t a l i s t e n i n g at door s . He c o u l d see her count ing the e x t r a wash. Re fus ing to eat at t a b l e . He f e l t on h i s shoulder a weight of c l a y s h e e t s . He smelt the s tench of Coyote ' s bedho le . (44) In G r e t a , the v i r g i n martyr becomes an o v e r t l y oppre s s ive f o r c e whose facade of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e everyone sees through . Ange l t h i n k s to h e r s e l f , "What sympathy c o u l d one have f o r G r e t a . . . S i n c e G r e t a never thought of anyone. Not even h e r s e l f . Only what had been done to h e r " (54). I t i s t y p i c a l of Watson's s u b t l e t y that she r ever se s the expected compla int and makes G r e t a ' s f a i l u r e stem i n p a r t from her i n a b i l i t y to t h i n k of h e r s e l f i n any but the most g r o s s l y s e l f -p i t y i n g way. Moreover , f o r the f i r s t t i m e , the martyr becomes an o b v i o u s l y s e x u a l l y d i s t u r b e d i n d i v i d u a l . When she throws pregnant Lenchen from her home and h y s t e r i c a l l y re fuses to g i v e up her b r o t h e r , the c o n t r a s t between Lenchen's f e r t i l e s e x u a l i t y and G r e t a ' s b i t t e r barrenness i s made e x p l i c i t : A woman can stand so much . . .To be scorned by o t h e r s . P i t i e d . Scr imped. Put upon. Laughed at when no one has come f o r h e r . She can s tand i t when she knows she s t i l l has the power. When the a i r ' s s t r e t c h e d t i g h t l i k e a rope between her and someone e l s e . I t ' s emptiness tha t c a n ' t be borne . The p o t -h o l e s are f i l l e d w i t h r a i n from time to t i m e . I ' v e seen them w i t h t h i r s t . Ashed w h i t e and b i t t e r at the edge. But the r a i n or the r u n - o f f f i l l s them at l a s t . The b i t t e r n e s s l i c k e d up. I t e l l you there was o n l y James. I was never l e t run l o o s e . I never had two to waste and s p i l l , l i k e Ange l P r o s p e r . (66) 107. Watson uses the v i r g i n ' s t r a d i t i o n a l f l ower symbols to drama-t i z e G r e t a ' s p e r v e r s i t y . The honeysuckle d r i e s neg lec ted at her door . But when Lenchen comes to c l a i m James, the p r i n t e d f lower s on G r e t a ' s overcoat rampantly and u n n a t u r a l l y b l o c k the way: . . . G r e t a stood almost f u l l i n the doorway l i k e a t a n g l e of w i l d f l ower s grown up between them. A l l green and g o l d and p u r p l e i n the l a m p l i g h t . Fat c l i n g i n g clumps of p u r p l e f l o w e r s . Honey tongued. B u r s t i n g from t h e i r green stems. Crowding aga i n s t green l e a v e s . Her face above. F i e r c e . S h a r p . . . . Lenchen shrank away from the r i o t of the f a l l i n g s k i r t . Shut her eyes aga i n s t the tumult of the branch and l e a f . (63) Re jec ted and abandoned by James who t ea r s " through the f l o w e r s of her housecoat " w i t h h i s whip " l e a v i n g a l i n e on her f l e s h , " G r e t a f i n a l l y l o c k s h e r s e l f f o r e v e r i n the t ang led p e r v e r s i t y of her denied and d i s t o r t e d s e x u a l i t y (67 ) . B a r r i n g her d o o r , she peers out from behind the honeysuckle a t those who have come to h e l p . They t r y the doorknob, and i n a parano id d e l u s i o n G r e t a f e e l s "hands t w i s t i n g her r i b s . P l u c k i n g the f l o w e r s on her housecoat and b r u i s i n g them. S t r i p p i n g o f f the leaves u n t i l her branch l a y naked as a bone on the dusty f l o o r " (84 ) . For the l a s t t i m e , she confuses what she i s do ing to h e r s e l f w i t h what she deludes h e r s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g o ther s are do ing to h e r . D e s i r i n g " t o cram the empty space w i t h h a t e " and " t o s c a t t e r a l l memory of the g i r l who had s tayed too l o n g , then gone o f f perhaps to d i e i n the h i l l s , " G r e t a crams the housecoat i n t o the s tove and soaks i t w i t h kerosene . T h i s parody of the v i r g i n ' s f r u i t f u l promise i s G r e t a ' s o n l y b lo s soming : 108. The f lower s i n the s tove box were b r e a t h i n g out a f r ag rance which f i l l e d the whole room. They were r a i s i n g p u r p l e faces and l i f t i n g green arms i n t o the a i r above the s t o v e . (85) In an i n s a n e , but i r o n i c a l l y a c c u r a t e , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of h e r s e l f w i t h James' l o v e r , G r e t a wants to " D i e s u f f e r i n g so tha t James would remember the p a i n of h e r " (85) . The o l d l ady appears to t e l l her not to p l a y w i t h matches and G r e t a , too l a t e and too d e l u d e d l y , d e f i e s her mother. She l i g h t s a match and so immolates h e r s e l f , the f lowered housecoat , and the honeysuck le s . J u s t as the aggre s s ion of the o l d l a d y and of Gre ta f u n c t i o n s d e s t r u c t i v e l y , so too does t h a t of K i p . He turns h i s g i f t f o r s ee ing and t e l l i n g i n t o ah e x p l o i t i v e t a l e n t f o r e n t e r t a i n i n g and manipu-l a t i n g the members of the community. I t i s K i p who can s t ay out i n the storm r e a c h i n g up f o r the g l o r y and K i p who knows t h a t " i f you hook t w i c e the g l o r y you hook twice the f e a r " but h i s mind gets " s w i r l e d i n a p o o l . Caught i n the f o r k of a t a n g l e . D i v e r t e d from i t s c o u r s e . Swept i n t o the mainstream" (61) . He p l a y s w i t h the b o y ' s a n x i e t i e s about h i s s i s t e r , re fuses to d e l i v e r James' message, accos t s the g i r l on her way to James, and then t r i e s to i n t e r f e r e between James and Lenchen. T h i s k i n d of a g g r e s s i o n , l i k e that of the o l d l ady and G r e t a , works d e s t r u c t i v e l y i n t h a t i t cuts people o f f from t h e i r own sources of c r e a t i v e energy and from each o ther and so f r u s t r a t e s the development of both i n d i v i d u a l and community i n t e g r a t i o n . D e s p i t e the nega t ive ac t s of aggre s s ion and d e f i a n c e , i t i s a mis take to assume, as M o r r i s s does , tha t " d e f i a n c e i s a d e n i a l that leads u l t i m a t e l y to d e a t h " and tha t o n l y " a f f i r m a t i o n and b e l i e f , 109. awareness and s u b m i s s i o n , . . . u n i t e i n a t ranscendent compromise . " Unless the v i s i o n i n The Double Hook be regarded as s u f f i c i e n t l y i n c l u s i v e to embrace d e f i a n c e , i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to account f o r the p o s i t i v e aggres s ion represented by A n g e l , A r a , Lenchen and James. Indeed, i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p and c o n t r a s t between F e l i x and Ange l a l o n e , there e x i s t s enough comment on the i n s u f f i c i e n c y of p a s s i v i t y and the n e c e s s i t y of aggres s ion to r u l e out the p o s s i b i l i t y of a submiss ive r e s o l u t i o n . F e l i x begins the n o v e l as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the p a s s i v e , m e d i t a t i v e mode, w i t h h i s " f l e s h mountainous c o n t e m p l a t i o n " and " h i s mind f l o a t i n g i n content of b e i n g " (25,38). The h i s t o r y of h i s r e l a -t i o n s h i p w i t h Ange l i s s u c c i n c t l y summarized as f o l l o w s : He 'd l i v e d w i t h her as h e ' d l i v e d i n h i s f a t h e r ' s c a b i n . By chance. By n e c e s s i t y . By i n d i f f e r e n c e . He 'd thought of n o t h i n g but the d r i f t of s u n l i g h t , the f i n - f l i c k of t r o u t , the mournful b r i s k music made sweet by r e p e t i t i o n . Ange l had borne h i s c h i l d r e n . She 'd hoed h i s p o t a t o e s . One day she 'd walked out of h i s gate and T h e o p h i l had taken her away i n h i s w a g o n . . . . T h i n g s came. Things went . A c o l t was dropped i n the p a s t u r e . A h e n ' s nes t was robbed . A v i n e grew or i t was blown down. (41) But Watson seems to be s a y i n g tha t detachment and i n d i f f e r e n c e are not enough. F e l i x has not earned the r i g h t to h i s contentment: " the cup which Ange l had put i n t o h i s hand, her b i t t e r g o i n g , h e ' d l e f t untouched. L e f t s t a n d i n g . A something se t d o w n . . . . C l a i m i n g be fore death a share of h i s i n h e r i t a n c e " (38). Unexamined and t h e r e f o r e not f u l l y r e a l i z e d , F e l i x ' l o n g i n g f o r Ange l and h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h i s premature and i l l - f i t t i n g p r i e s t ' s r o l e r e v e a l themselves i n h i s dream of the t o o - t i g h t s u r p l i c e and A n g e l ' s r e t u r n on the s l e e k a s s . F e l i x can no 110. more don the p r i e s t ' s robe , than Gre ta can s imply put on the v i r g i n ' s g l o r y . The too-narrow, r o l e s cramp, and F e l i x wakes from h i s dream m i s e r a b l e ; he s i t s on h i s s t e p , a loose bundle of inadequate f l e s h and c l o t h e s : The edge of the s tep cut i n t o h i s f l e s h . He had brought h i s f i d d l e out w i t h h i m , but i t l a y be s ide h i m . H i s eyes looked out on an empty w o r l d . H i s f l e s h was heavy on h i s bone, a cumbersome coat f o l d e d and creased and sagging at the seams. H i s hands dropped empty between h i s knees . So one grew o l d . Haunted by an image of A n g e l come back f i l l e d l i k e a cup w i t h another man's p a s s i o n . (72) As he reaches f o r h i s f i d d l e to escape a g a i n , h i s dogs c u r l i n g " t i g h t e r aga ins t the s o u n d , " K i p comes c r a w l i n g onto h i s l a n d d e s p e r a t e l y i n j u r e d and needing h e l p . The n e c e s s i t y of h a v i n g to a d m i n i s t e r to K i p r e l e a s e s F e l i x from the p a s s i v i t y of s e l f - i m p o s e d i n d i f f e r e n c e and f rees him to go and seek, and thus f i n d , h i s A n g e l . I n the course of the n o v e l , F e l i x comes a long way from a p a t h e t i c a l l y f i d d l i n g through h i s w i f e ' s l abour pa ins to r e a l i z i n g " the p a i n of a growing r o o t " and d e l i v e r i n g Lenchen' s baby (126) . And h i s movement from the p a s s i v e l y i n d i f f e r e n t to the f e e l i n g l y a c t i v e comes about not o n l y through h i s own i n c r e a s e d se l f -awarenes s but a l s o through A n g e l ' s a g g r e s s i v e n e s s . Ange l f u n c t i o n s as an a l t e r n a t i v e to F e l i x . And i n s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t she n u r t u r e s s m a l l c h i l d r e n , waters parched f l o w e r s , sees and knows t h i n g s that the o thers are b l i n d t o , defends her husband, nurses K i p , and b r i n g s about the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of Lenchen and her mother, she i s no o r d i n a r y redemptive female . F i r s t of a l l , she i s a f a i t h l e s s w i f e who a s s e r t s that no one can say "where a woman s h a l l l i e except tha t woman h e r s e l f , " and tha t o p i n i o n a lone makes her 111. something of a watermark among Canadian h e r o i n e s (60) . Second ly , even as a mother , Angel i s u t t e r l y w i t h o u t s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and i s twice l i k e n e d to s m a l l , aggres s ive animals as f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e l f - s e e k i n g s e n s u a l i t y as they are w i t h p r o t e c t i v e motherhood. When she leaves F e l i x she walks away " l i k e a mink t r a i l i n g her young behind h e r " (34) . And when she answers F e l i x ' h u m b l e p l e a t h a t she r e t u r n w i t h a sharp r e t o r t , he t h i n k s of her as a " s m a l l c a t . . . . F i g h t i n g the dogs . Mousing f o r her young" ( 7 9 ) . D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t Ange l knows t h a t l o n e l i n e s s i s s i m p l y the ine scapab le c o n d i t i o n of " b e i n g i n one ' s own s k i n and f l e s h , " her i n s t i n c t i v e urge i s to r e l a t e to those around her and forge as c l o s e a bond as p o s s i b l e (86) . Almost as soon as she and F e l i x are " r e -u n i t e d " and w a l k i n g home, Ange l beg ins to f r e t aga in s t h i s impass ive s i l e n c e . She ends up f a l l i n g b e h i n d , t a l k i n g to h e r s e l f about t h e i r e s s e n t i a l s epara tenes s . But suddenly she h u r r i e s up to F e l i x and beats "her hands a g a i n s t the f l e s h o f h i s s h o u l d e r " t r y i n g to f o r c e him to l i s t e n to her thoughts and f e e l i n g s (86) . I t i s not enough f o r Ange l to t a l k to h e r s e l f and walk a l o n e , f o r u n l i k e the o l d woman who remained s t e a d f a s t l y i n d i f f e r e n t to the needs of o ther s and G r e t a who would deny both her own and the o t h e r ' s f e e l i n g s , Ange l seeks to c l o s e the gap between h e r s e l f and F e l i x by e x p r e s s i n g her emotions and seek ing h i s . Whether she i s nagging or pummel l ing , A n g e l ' s movement i s outward and her energy focused on the human exchange. A n g e l ' s toughness s p r i n g s i n p a r t from her sense of n e c e s s i t y , tha t s i n c e a woman "can be t r o d on l i k e an egg, she grows h e r s e l f to 112. s tone " (123) . But she h e r s e l f i s f a r from s t o n e - l i k e . Her s e n s i t i v i t y and gent leness are obvious when she nurses K i p and g r i e v e s f o r h i s l o s s of s i g h t ; w h i l e , her spar t an wryness prevents not o n l y h e r s e l f but a l s o those around her from g i v i n g way to s e l f - p i t y or s e l f -d r a m a t i z a t i o n . When Lenchen w a i l s tha t she has wrecked the w o r l d , Ange l comments,"The whole w o r l d i s a b i g l o t f o r one g i r l to w r e c k . . . Go back i n t o the k i t c h e n . . . T h e r e ' s s t i l l some ground to walk o n " (117) . And when the g i r l whimpers tha t James h i t her and went away and l e f t h e r , Ange l s h a r p l y r e t o r t s , "And w e l l he m i g h t . . . i f you were s n i v e l l i n g the way y o u ' r e s n i v e l l i n g now" (117) . But when the g i r l en ter s i n t o l abour and g e n u i n e l y needs c o m f o r t i n g , i t i s Ange l who says " I f you were one of m i n e . . . I ' d want to come no matter what I ' d s a i d or done" (123) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s o n l y A n g e l , the most s u s t a i n e d l y aggre s s ive of a l l the c h a r a c t e r s , who can conf ront G r e t a and a f f o r d to defend the o l d l a d y . When G r e t a complains about her mother ' s f u t i l e s ea rches , d i r t y i n g up lamps which o ther people have to c l e a n , Ange l immediate ly cuts o f f the s e l f - p i t y w i t h , "Maybe she d o n ' t ask you to c l e a n those g l o b e s , " and j u s t i f i e s the o l d l a d y ' s obses s ion s a y i n g "One p e r s o n ' s got as much r i g h t as a n o t h e r . . . . T h e r e ' s t h i n g s people want to s e e . . . t h e r e ' s th ings get l o s t " (31) . Moreover , Ange l i s the o n l y one who can t e l l G r e t a that her dangerous ly narrow l i f e i s of her own making and suggest a way o u t : "Why d i d n ' t you take your own lamp and go l o o k i n g f o r something?" ( 3 2 ) . G r e t a , of c o u r s e , a n g r i l y denies A n g e l ' s i n s i g h t and even her r i g h t to speak. I t i s a c o n f r o n t a t i o n of two 113. d i f f e r e n t modes of a g g r e s s i o n , the c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s l y i n g i n m o t i v e , awareness and e f f e c t . Not o n l y A n g e l , however, represent s the p o s i t i v e power of a g g r e s s i o n . Even s t o i c a l l y endur ing A r a knows t h a t : There are t h i n g s . . . that c a n ' t be s t r a i g h t e n e d o u t . They have to be p u l l e d and wrenched and t o r n . And maybe j u s t s t ay muddled up . Or pushed out of s i g h t and l e f t where they a r e . (74) The t r i c k , Watson seems to be s a y i n g , i n a v a r i a b l e and i n d e t e r -minate u n i v e r s e , i s to be ab le to respond to complex human s i t u a t i o n s w i t h s u i t a b l y v a r i a b l e re sponses . Thus n e i t h e r the a c t i v e nor the p a s s i v e modes can be denied by d e f i n i t i o n . When A r a hears Gre ta m a l i c i o u s l y i n t i m a t i n g tha t W i l l i a m f l i r t s w i t h o ther women, she chooses not to remain s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g l y s i l e n t or p a s s i v e l y a c c e p t i n g . She goes to W i l l i a m and f o r c e s him to l i s t e n to her f ear s and resentments . As a r e s u l t of the i n t e n s i t y of her f e e l i n g s and her aggress iveness i n c o n f r o n t i n g h i m , both she and W i l l i a m come to new r e a l i z a t i o n s about themselves and a new c l o s e n e s s . L i k e horses " s t a n d i n g t a l k to head and head to rump f l i c k i n g o f f each o t h e r ' s f l i e s . And b i t i n g one another from time to t i m e , " they e s t a b l i s h a v a r y i n g rhythm of pa s s ive and a c t i v e responses to each other and so e n r i c h and s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r bond (76 ) . The n o v e l ' s treatment of aggres s ion i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to that of s e x u a l i t y . A l l three of the c h a r a c t e r s who represent d e s t r u c t i v e aggres s ion a l s o abuse t h e i r s e x u a l i t y . A r a says of the o l d l ady that the cows would " t u r n t h e i r t a i l s to her and s t r e t c h t h e i r h i d e s t i g h t . 114. They 'd t u r n t h e i r l i v i n g f l e s h from her as she 'd turned hers from o t h e r s " (21) . G r e t a ' s s e x u a l i t y mani fe s t s i t s e l f i n t ang led inces tuous j e a l o u s y and s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e b i t t e r n e s s u n t i l a l l t h a t remains of her o r i g i n a l promise and power are " t h e charred r o o t s of the honey-s u c k l e " (113) . And K i p uses h i s s e x u a l i t y to t e r r i f y the a l r e a d y desperate Lenchen by sugges t ing t h a t she " o i l u p " h i s memory w i t h her s e x u a l favours (62) . C o n t r a s t i n g l y , the redemptive c h a r a c t e r s are a l l s e x u a l l y c r e a t i v e . Lenchen i n f a c t i s another Canadian m i l e s t o n e : the s e x u a l l y aggres s ive n o n - c a s t r a t i n g woman. A l though she l a c k s A n g e l ' s tough m a t u r i t y and has not ye t come f u l l y i n t o the use of her own powers, she makes her c la ims o v e r t l y . Her p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n a lone a t t e s t s to her aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y : She turned and went o u t . Shaking her h a i r back from her eyes . Walking i n her hee led boots as a man might w a l k . R o l l i n g . L u r c h i n g . As i f l eg s had taken shape from the beast clamped between them. Beast turned to muscle t w i s t . Beast answering movement of shank and t h i g h . Walked i n j e r k y d e f i a n c e , F e l i x thought . L i k e a c o l t too q u i c k l y b r o k e n . She's been r i d on the c u r b , F e l i x thought . And she ' s f e l t the p r i c k of s t e e l . (40) When Lenchen and James f i r s t become aware of the s e x u a l p u l l between them, the scene bears no r e l a t i o n s h i p whatsoever to the s e n t i -m e n t a l , r o m a n t i c , and s p i r i t u a l sex dramat ized by Grove , C a l l a g h a n , and MacLennan. Watson's d e s c r i p t i o n reaches back to Martha Ostenso ' s f i e r c e farm scenes f o r i t s r o o t s , but i t surpasses Os tenso ' s a c h i e v e -ment i n that i t d e l i b e r a t e l y embraces and so d i s p e l s the c a s t r a t i o n bogey which haunts Canadian n o v e l s . She remembered him on h i s knees i n the c o r r a l . H o l d i n g a h e i f e r down. The sweat beading the h a i r s of h i s ches t where h i s s h i r t d i v i d e d . She smelt smoke, and f l e s h seared w i t h the branding i r o n . She saw him on h i s knees w i t h a b u l l c a l f under h i m , the g e l d i n g k n i f e b r i g h t i n h i s hand. She heard h i s v o i c e a g a i n : T h i s i s no p l ace f o r h e r . And H e i n r i c h ' s v o i c e : She's been at i t from a k i d , l i k e me. You 've j u s t not n o t i c e d i t b e f o r e . She's been around here a lways , l i k e the r e s t of u s . She remembered James' face above h i s p l a i d s h i r t , and how she 'd s l i p p e d down from the fence where she 'd been s i t t i n g w i t h K i p and had begun r o p i n g one of t h e i r own c a l v e s so tha t James c o u l d see what h e ' d n o t i c e d f o r the f i r s t t i m e . (30) Not o n l y does Watson r e s t content w i t h the s e x u a l as p r i m i t i v e and r e s i s t t u r n i n g i t i n t o something " b i g g e r " or " f i n e r , " she a l s o i n c l u d e s the a r c h e t y p a l f e a r as p a r t of the f a s c i n a t i o n . And by g r a n t -i n g c a s t r a t i o n the s exua l power which i t o n l y c o v e r t l y w i e l d s i n the p rev ious n o v e l s , she manages to comple te ly r e - s h u f f l e the t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e s of men and women. Gone are the matched se t s of k n i f e - w i e l d i n g mothers and t h e i r s e n s i t i v e sons and the tower ing men a l t e r n a t e l y t e r r i f y i n g and p r o t e c t i n g h e l p l e s s l i t t l e g i r l s . In The Double Hook, both the male and female assume f i e r c e l y aggre s s ive r o l e s i n sex . James commands and Lenchen f l a u n t s her d e f i a n c e of h i s a u t h o r i t y ; both share a c t i v e l y i n the r i t u a l of s e x u a l a g g r e s s i o n ; and b o t h , moreover, e x h i b i t an unprecedented awareness of the s e x u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r a c t i o n s and the power of t h e i r own b o d i e s . But Lenchen' s aggre s s ivenes s , f o r the moment, remains l i m i t e d to the s e x u a l . When she f i n d s h e r s e l f pregnant and r e a l i z e s that James i s i g n o r i n g h e r , she begins to t a l k d e s p e r a t e l y about l e a v i n g the v a l l e y c l a i m i n g she has " l e a r n e d a l l there i s to l e a r n " i n i t ( 25 ) . But l i k e A r a , what Lenchen has ye t to d i s c o v e r i s the courage and 116. s t r e n g t h to a s se r t her own emot iona l needs . Only a f t e r her b r o t h e r re fuses to h e l p her escape and her mother r i g h t e o u s l y f o r c e s her out of the house, does Lenchen summon up the s t r e n g t h to act on her own b e h a l f . But when her mother c a l l s her "a f a t p i g of a g i r l " and r h e t o r i c a l l y asks " A l m i g h t y F a t h e r . Who would want such a g i r l ? " Lenchen's n a t u r a l aggre s s ion and p r i d e i n her s e x u a l i t y come to her a i d and enable her to r e t o r t d e f i a n t l y " I c o u l d t e l l y o u " (29) . She re fuses to acede to the o l d woman's g r i m l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c c o n t e n t i o n t h a t "Men d o n ' t ask f o r what t h e y ' v e a l r e a d y t a k e n , " j u s t as she l a t e r r e j e c t s K i p ' s u g l y p r o p o s i t i o n tha t she t rade her body f o r h i s message (29) . When f o r c e d to s tand a l o n e , Lenchen chooses not to f l e e but to face her f r i e n d s , ask f o r h e l p , and a s s e r t her c l a i m upon James. Even a f t e r she has been f r i g h t e n e d by G r e t a , h u m i l i a t e d by K i p , and denied by James, Lenchen p e r s i s t s i n t r y i n g to f o r c e James to acknowledge h e r : Say something , she s a i d . Haven ' t you a n y t h i n g to say? I t o l d you not to come h e r e , he s a i d . And you come t o n i g h t of a l l n i g h t s . I had nowhere e l s e to go, the g i r l s a i d . I thought you might open the door w i t h your own hands. I d i d n ' t want any-body to make you open the d o o r , she s a i d . No one but m y s e l f . What do you want- me to do now? she a sked . (65) The perverse s exua l i n t e r e s t s of K i p and Gre ta c o n s p i r e w i t h James' f ea r to be t ray Lenchen. Not ye t s t r o n g enough to s tand up to G r e t a ' s a s s a u l t , she c o l l a p s e s , as Ange l h a r s h l y s ay s , s n i v e l l i n g . K i p smugly watches Gre ta r e a s s e r t her h o l d over James and t h i n k s to h i m s e l f "He ' s o n l y to loose the f o r c e i n h i s own musc le s . But a horse 117. s tays under the c i n c h because i t ' s used to i t from a c o l t " ( 6 5 ) . I r o n i c a l l y , when James does loose h i s own f o r c e , the range of h i s whip i n c l u d e s K i p . The f i r s t step i n James' r e g e n e r a t i o n i s i n s t i n c t i v e , s e l f -a s s e r t i v e , a g g r e s s i o n : he k i l l s h i s mother , b l i n d s K i p , and s l a shes at Gre ta and Lenchen w i t h h i s rawhide w h i p . He ac t s w i t h o u t thought , throwing " f e a r as a horse b a l k s " — i m p u l s i v e l y , i r r a t i o n a l l y , and v i o l e n t l y (43) . But tha t i s not to deny e i t h e r the n e c e s s i t y or the e f f i c a c y of such a c t i o n , on ly to say tha t a lone i t remains i n s u f f i c i e n t . For a f t e r the c r i s e s pas s , James stands " f r o z e n on the t r a i l " unable to make sense of what has happened, and t h e r e f o r e , l i k e a power fu l but dumb a n i m a l , unable to take a p p r o p r i a t e a c t i o n (43) . When he does move, i t i s o n l y to " b o l t n o i s i l y and v i o l e n t l y " (91 ) , l e t t i n g h i s horse c a r r y him " w i t h o u t any s o r t of d i r e c t i o n " to the nearby town ( 9 3 ) . On the way he looks i n t o the r i v e r and i t s " s inuous c u r v e " and the p l a y of l i g h t on i t s " s i l v e r s k i n " reminds him of Lenchen' s t h r o a t when they had l a i n together under the t r ee s (98) . He longs to throw h i m s e l f i n t o the r i v e r but he i s too a f r a i d even to k i l l h i m s e l f . For the f i r s t t ime he i s f o r c e d to ask h i m s e l f "what h e ' d r e a l l y intended to do when h e ' d d e f i e d h i s mother at the head of the s t a i r s " (98 ) . In answer to h i s q u e s t i o n Coyote s ings that peace l i e s i n s u f f e r i n g and d e a t h . But James c r i e s out aga ins t the thought and refuses the o f f e r , s a y i n g that death i s "a bed too s h o r t f o r a man to s t r e t c h h i m s e l f i n " (99) . He turns to the town f o r the l i f e of "a d i f f e r e n t rhythm" which 118. he hopes to f i n d (91) . But except f o r the p a r r o t which gets i t s own way more o f t e n than most men because i t has " the r i g h t s of a dumb beast and a speaking man at the same t i m e , " James meets o n l y f a l s e n e s s , ava-r i c e , and c o r r u p t i o n (103) . In r e j e c t i n g the town's a l t e r n a t i v e s and , most e s p e c i a l l y , i n be ing ab le to d i s t a n c e h i m s e l f and laugh at the f a l s e p a s s i o n which serves o n l y to p i c k h i s p o c k e t , James e x e r c i s e s the consc ious awareness and r e s p o n s i b l e c h o i c e which d i s t i n g u i s h e s the speak-i n g man from the dumb b e a s t . He d e l i b e r a t e l y turns towards the " s i m p l e hope" represented by Lenchen and the coming c h i l d , even though do ing so means a c c e p t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s a c t i o n s and w i l f u l l y r e t u r n i n g to the p l ace where perhaps o n l y a " c r y of h a t e " w i l l g reet him (121 ,127) . A l t h o u g h Watson i s concerned to show the movement from dumb animal to speaking man, the two are never w h o l l y s epara te . A man i s always both a man and an a n i m a l . Thus F e l i x , even at h i s most p a s s i v e , " l y i n g around l i k e a dog i n a s t r i p of s u n l i g h t " s t i l l brews h i m s e l f a pot of c o f f e e ; " the t h i n g about a dog l y i n g around i n the s u n l i g h t i s tha t i t j u s t l i e s i n the s u n l i g h t . Perhaps no man can do j u s t t h a t " (130) . In the same way, even when James ac t s most l i k e an aggre s s ive a n i m a l , t h a t i s when he r a i s e s h i s arm i n s t i n c t i v e l y ag a in s t h i s mother , he speaks and so a s s e r t s h i s humanity . C o n v e r s e l y , even when he comes to a f u l l e r unders tanding of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s a c t , he o n l y sees " c l e a r l y f o r a moment" and then has to t r u s t to the unconscious rhythm of h i s body and the animal i n s t i n c t s of h i s horse to c a r r y him i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n (127) . The f u s i o n of James and h i s horse i n s i d e the m y t h i c a l descent 119. and r i s e make i t c l e a r tha t Watson has come a long way from Grove ' s n o t i o n of " a n i m a l t rammels , "^ C a l l a g h a n ' s f ea r of the w o l f i n man, and MacLennan's o b l i t e r a t i o n of the s t a l l i o n i n Jerome. Watson's hero c l imbs out of darkness i n t o the l i g h t of h i s bes t s e l f w i t h o u t s a c r i -f i c i n g h i s aggres s ive and s e x u a l i n s t i n c t s . For a l though James progresses s t e a d i l y towards an i n c r e a s e d human awareness, he remains p r i m a r i l y an animal whose spontaneous impulses are h e l d to be n a t u r a l and t h e r e f o r e b a s i c a l l y good. In the o ther nove l s d i s c u s s e d so f a r , the r e s o l u t i o n s of human problems have come about i n terms of r a t i o n a l and s p i r i t u a l i l l u m i n a -t i o n s bought at the cos t of emot iona l and s e x u a l f u l l n e s s . In Watson's v i s i o n , however, man remains l i m i t e d to but a l s o redeemed by h i s body. He can see no f u r t h e r than the range of h i s senses , but he does not need t o . He can move c r e a t i v e l y and p u r p o s e f u l l y w i t h o u t s ee ing or knowing e v e r y t h i n g v e r y c l e a r l y : D a y l i g h t c a l l e d on him to l o o k . To say what he had done. Yet he c o u l d see , he t o l d h i m s e l f , o n l y as f a r as h i s eyes l o o k e d . Only as f a r as the l a n d l a y f l a t be fore h i m . Only up to the e a r t h - t e t h e r e d c l o u d s . He c o u l d , t o o , he knew, look i n t o h i s own hear t as he c o u l d look i n t o the guts of a deer when he s l i t the w h i t e u n d e r b e l l y . He h e l d memory l i k e a k n i f e i n h i s hand. But he c l a sped i t shut and rode o n . He cou ld not t h i n k of what h e ' d done. He c o u l d n ' t t h i n k of what h e ' d do . He would s i m p l y come back as h e ' d gone. He 'd stand s i l e n t i n t h e i r c r y of h a t e . Whatever the w o r l d s a i d , whatever the g i r l s a i d , h e ' d f i n d h e r . (127) For the moment, James has n e i t h e r the courage nor m a t u r i t y to l ook as f a r as he p o t e n t i a l l y and humanly can . But he knows the p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h e r e , and what i s more i m p o r t a n t , h i s p a r t i a l g l impses of i l l u m i n a t i o n , combined w i t h h i s n a t u r a l impulse to a s s e r t h i m s e l f , 120. to l i v e , and to c h e r i s h l i f e , c a r r y him p u r p o s e f u l l y home. A t the very moment he i s r e t u r n i n g , A r a i s i r o n i c a l l y e x p l a i n i n g h i s depar ture s a y i n g , "He never i n a l l h i s l i f e had s t r e n g t h enough to set h i m s e l f aga in s t t h i n g s " (123) . The t r u t h i s , of c o u r s e , that he has done j u s t t h a t . In Watson's f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , i t i s n a t u r a l an imal a g g r e s s i o n , as much as awareness, s u b m i s s i o n , or any "generous g e s t u r e , " tha t turns man "once more i n t o the f i r s t pas ture of t h i n g s " (131) . 1 2 1 . CHAPTER V I  MORDECAI RICHLER A l l the nove l s d i s c u s s e d so f a r i n t h i s t h e s i s have based t h e i r a f f i r m a t i o n s of l i f e on an embracing of s u f f e r i n g and d e a t h , what D . G . Jones c a l l e s " t h e s a c r i f i c i a l embrace."''' They have c o n s i s t a n t l y emphasized p a i n and f e a r a t the expense of any d r a m a t i c a l l y r e a l i z e d p lea sures o r e c s t a s i e s . The A p p r e n t i c e s h i p of Duddy K r a v i t z moves s h a r p l y away from t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l a f f i n i t y f o r s u f f e r i n g by r e j e c t i n g the n o t i o n of i t s e f f i c a c y , by r e f r a i n i n g from any k i n d of m o r a l l y or m y t h i c a l l y meaningfu l r e s o l u t i o n , and by s u c c e s s f u l l y c r e a t i n g a r e a l sense of i r r e p r e s s i b l e , j o y f u l l i f e . Thus Mordeca i R i c h l e r des igns a f i c t i o n a l w o r l d more t h e m a t i c a l l y p e s s i m i s t i c than i t s predecessors but a l s o , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , more exuberant ly a l i v e . He achieves h i s more genu ine ly double hook by t u r n i n g away from the r e a l i s t i c t r a d i t i o n i n t o the p i c a r e s q u e , where i r r e c o n c i l a b l e and 2 confus ing exper iences become both the medium and the message. Duddy i s a p i care sque hero who gets educated out of innocence i n a s e r i e s o f adventures which o v e r t u r n c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y . The t r a d i t i o n a l p i c a r o ' s t r a v e l s become i n t e r n a l i z e d and transformed i n t o Duddy's i n c r e d i b l e p h y s i c a l energy. The p l o t , l i k e the l a s t v iew of Duddy s p i n n i n g around, moves outward through a s e r i e s of c o n c e n t r i c c i r c l e s as Duddy exper iences f i r s t h i s immediate f a m i l y ; then h i s extended f a m i l y , neighbourhood, and s c h o o l ; and f i n a l l y the i n t e r -3 dependent wor lds of b i g bus ines s c r i m e , and the " f i n e r t h i n g s " i n l i f e , 122. t h a t i s , a r t , p o l i t i c s , e t h n i c i t y , c u l t u r e , and moral a b s t r a c t i o n s . The e p i s o d i c and i n t e r r u p t e d f l o w of the n a r r a t i v e , combined w i t h the s h i f t i n g p o i n t o f v i e w , the i r o n i c u n d e r c u t t i n g o f e x p e c t a t i o n s , and a p l o t which depends f r e q u e n t l y on chance, a l l work toward r e c r e a t i n g i n the reader the sense of mora l c o n f u s i o n and d i s o r i e n t a t i o n which be leaguers both Duddy and h i s w o r l d . A measure of the moral chaos which governs i s the worship of J e r r y Dingleman, the Boy Wonder who p a r l a y e d second-hand s t r e e t c a r t r a n s f e r s i n t o a f o r t u n e and now " s i t s l i k e a God" r e c e i v i n g the " s u p p l i c a n t s " on S c h n o r r e r ' s Day (135, 1 4 ) . Dingleman s e l l s h e r o i n and buys the t r u t h f o r f i f t e e n hundred d o l l a r s a day, but he a l s o reads E v e l y n Waugh, understands the s e n t i m e n t a l i t y of Y i d d i s h p o e t r y , and a p p r e c i a t e s Death o f a Salesman. H i s i n t e l l e c t u a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and p s y c h o l o g i c a l a s tuteness are no guarantee aga i n s t mora l d e g e n e r a t i o n . In f a c t , h i s c o r r u p t i o n i s o b j e c t i f i e d i n a body so g r o t e s q u e l y deformed i t l eaves no room f o r doubt: " t h e f l e s h of h i s f a c e . . . r e d and wet and s h i n y , " h i s "g rey i n q u i s i t o r ' s e y e s . . . h i d d e n behind dark g l a s s e s , " and the sudden nightmare l o l l i n g of h i s head o b v i o u s l y s i g n i f y " p e r s o n a l t r o u b l e " more i n c l u s i v e and more deeply r e p e l l a n t than i n f a n t i l e p a r a l y s i s (133, 131 ) . I n f a c t one o f the n o v e l ' s major s a t i r i c techniques i s the c l o s e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the body w i t h the m i n d . R i c h l e r endows h i s m o r a l l y d i sea sed c h a r a c t e r s w i t h a corresponding p l e t h o r a of p a r a l y s i s , f e v e r s , headaches, n e r v e s , h e a r t d i s e a s e , cancer , o b e s i t y , s t e r i l i t y , impotency, and e p i l e p s y . Indeed, he seems to be making the same psycho-sexua l p o i n t tha t t h i s t h e s i s has been working towards w i t h regard to the 123. Canadian n o v e l : tha t when s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n h ides behind a mask of i n t e l l e c t u a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , e t h i c a l i d e a l i s m , or c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y , the g r a t i f i c a t i o n takes on d e s t r u c t i v e and d i sea sed forms. Thus Dingleman t y p i f i e s R i c h l e r ' s s y n t h e s i s of i l l u s i o n and perver se s e x u a l i t y . H i s f o l l o w e r s s i n g h i s p r a i s e s , s tand i n awe of h i s anger , ape h i s example, and whisper about the r i d d l e of h i s sex l i f e : "He was s t i l l capab le . But some i n s i s t e d he was now i n d e f a t i g a b l e and o ther s s a i d tha t he had p i c k e d up some d i r t y s p e c i a l i t i e s . Nobody r e a l l y knew" (135) . And nobody r e a l l y wants to know, f o r Dingleman dominates the ambi t ions and i m a g i n a t i o n s of Duddy's neighbourhood p r e c i s e l y because h i s f o l l o w e r s a re mot iva ted by the c o l l e c t i v e urge to e n r i c h t h e i r own impover i shed l i v e s by s e l f - d e c e i v i n g i l l u s i o n s . P a r t of Duddy's educa t ion c o n s i s t s of l e a r n i n g tha t the " i n d e f a t i g a b l e " Wonder i s n o t h i n g more than a " t w o - b i t , dope smuggling c r i p p l e " (315) . Much of the n o v e l ' s s a t i r e c o n s i s t s of a t t a c k s on the m a t e r i a l i s t i c way of l i f e . Cohen's success s t o r y , f o r i n s t a n c e , goes a long way towards condemning m a t e r i a l i s m : h i s bus ines s p r a c t i s e s k i l l one man and f a l s e l y j a i l another w h i l e a l l they earn him i s a house he hates and " s t i n k y n e w - s t y l e Chinese f o o d " (269) . But i n terms o f p h y s i c a l and even p s y c h o l o g i c a l s u r v i v a l , the f r a n k m a t e r i a l i s t seems to stand a much b e t t e r chance of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n t h a t the supposedly s u p e r i o r mentors . Cohen may not l e a d a f u l f i l l e d or happy l i f e , but at l e a s t he does not l i v e i t i n a w h e e l c h a i r l i k e V i r g i l nor d i e of cancer l i k e U n c l e B e n j y , two of the n o v e l ' s more " s e n s i t i v e " s o u l s . The f i r s t i n the n o v e l ' s s e r i e s of gentleman models i s M r . 124. MacPherson, the h i g h - s c h o o l teacher whose i d e a l i s m - c u m - d e a t h - d e a l i n g i l l u s i o n not o n l y e s t a b l i s h e s the n o v e l ' s major themat ic p a t t e r n , but a l s o p rov ide s the means whereby Duddy becomes p e r s o n a l l y i m p l i c a t e d i n h i s s o c i e t y ' s moral d i s o r d e r . MacPherson, a d ra ined and embi t tered i d e a l i s t , spends h i s a f t e r - s c h o o l hours d r i n k i n g s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y , h i s evenings n u r s i n g h i s i n v a l i d w i f e and marking s c h o o l papers , and h i s n i g h t s s i t t i n g up watching over " h e r d i f f i c u l t s l e e p , squeezing h i s hands toge ther every t ime she coughed" ( 2 0 ) . D e s p i t e the mounting chaos i n h i s c l a s s rooms , MacPherson re fuses to s t r a p not because he s t i l l b e l i e v e s i n h i s p r o g r e s s i v e pedagog ica l i d e a l s , but because he c l i n g s d e s p e r a t e l y to the remnant o f h i s i l l u s o r y hopes and t o h i s meagre s t a t u s as " t h e o n l y teacher i n FFHS who has never s t rapped a boy" ( 1 8 ) . The h a r d - l i n e a l t e r n a t i v e t o MacPherson' s "humanism" i s represented by M r . C o l d w e l l who makes o n l y the most t r ansparent e f f o r t to d i s g u i s e h i s f r ank enjoyment of s t r a p p i n g . The boys r e c o g n i z e and , of n e c e s s i t y , " r e s p e c t " the o v e r t l y s a d i s t i c C o l d w e l l ; whereas, they bese ige MacPherson m e r c i l e s s l y . The i n d i c t m e n t of l i b e r a l i d e a l i s m does not end w i t h MacPherson, however. Another one of Duddy's teachers d e m o c r a t i c a l l y i n t r u d e s on the boys i n t h e i r p o o l h a l l and i n v i t e s them to h i s p l a c e f o r m u s i c a l evenings . R i c h l e r b r i l l i a n t l y exposes the s e x u a l l y t i t i l l a t i n g na ture of t h i s k i n d of condescens ion when he d e s c r i b e s Cox dancing w i t h the g i r l s a t s c h o o l p a r t i e s and h i s w i f e t o y i n g w i t h the boys a t the m u s i c a l s . When Duddy specu la te s to h i s f r i e n d s about Jane C o x ' s i n t e n t i o n s 125. d e c l a r i n g tha t "a broad who wears a b l a c k b r a s s i e r e means b u s i n e s s . " Her sh , the k i n d l y t i m i d p a t s y , accuses Duddy of making " e v e r y t h i n g d i r t y (22) . I t i s an a c c u s a t i o n t h a t i s to be r e p e a t e d l y l e v e l l e d a t Duddy. Yet i t becomes c l e a r t h a t R i c h l e r se t s up Duddy's crudeness i n o p p o s i t i o n to a p p a r e n t l y g e n t l e r modes o n l y to demonstrate t h a t , i n f a c t the g e n t i l i t y masks s e x u a l urges c o n s i d e r a b l y more preda tory and l e s s h e a l t h y than Duddy ' s . The encounter w i t h Jane Cox i s t y p i c a l of the n o v e l ' s p a t t e r n : That n i g h t w h i l e the o ther s were p r e t e n d i n g to l i s t e n to a symphony, Duddy s l i p p e d out i n t o the h a l l to examine the bookcases . He d i d not n o t i c e Jane Cox hover ing over h i s shoulder u n t i l she coughed. B l u s h i n g , he shut the book q u i c k l y and r e t r e a t e d . ' I was r ead ing a book, t h a t ' s a l l . I wasn ' t s t e a l i n g a n y t h i n g . ' 'But nobody accused you o f . s t e a l i n g a n y t h i n g . ' She p i c k e d up the book. U . S . A . by Dos Passos . *Do you u s u a l l y read such heavy s t u f f ? ' she asked w i t h a f a i n t s m i l e . 'Why n o t , eh? You t h i n k I have to be a moron j u s t because my o l d man i s a t a x i d r i v e r ? My b r o t h e r ' s s t u d y i n g to be a d o c t o r . I read l o t s o f b o o k s . ' ' A r e you s u r e , ' Jane asked s t i l l s m i l i n g ' t h a t you d i d n ' t p i c k up t h i s book s i m p l y because you were l o o k i n g f o r . . . s e x y passages? ' ' L o o k , I 'm not the k i n d of shmo who has to get h i s sex second-hand . ' Jane brought her hand t o her mouth, suppres s ing a g i g g l e . ' D o n ' t be a larmed. When I was your age I used to f l i p through modern nove l s f o r the same rea son . I t ' s normal . Y o u ' r e j u s t at the age when a boy becomes aware of a l l the s ec re t powers of h i s b o d y . ' 'Oh w i l l you l eave me alone? W i l l you p lea se l e a v e me a l o n e ? ' Duddy rushed i n t o the bedroom, grabbed h i s c o a t , and ran down the s t a i r s . (23) F l e e i n g from the a l t e r n a t i v e s represented by the Cox ' s cover t s exua l p e r v e r s i t i e s , MacPherson's s e l f - d e c e p t i o n and g u i l t , and C o l d w e l l 126. over t sadism, Duddy runs to h i s f a t h e r and the p a t t e r n repeat s i t s e l f . Max a r b i t r a r i l y and h y p o c r i t i c a l l y e x e r c i s e s h i s p a r e n t a l " c o n c e r n " by r e f u s i n g to l e t Duddy l o o k at the pornographic p i c t u r e s Macdonald had been showing around f o r everyone ' s amusement. I n the a l t e r c a t i o n which f o l l o w s , Macdonald suddenly t e l l s Duddy that h i s f a t h e r i s a pimp: Max f l u s h e d . He took a deep b r e a t h . . . M a c D o n a l d s l i p p e d behind a c h a i r . . . a n d Max s t a r t e d f o r h i m . He was stopped by the e x p r e s s i o n on Duddy's f a c e . Duddy s m i l e d ; he laughed. " J e e z , " he s a i d p r o u d l y . " T h a t ' s something. J e e z . " Max s lapped h i s f ace so hard tha t Duddy l o s t h i s ba lance and f e l l a ga i n s t the c o u n t e r . "Get out of h e r e . Go home." F i n g e r marks had been burnt red i n t o the b o y ' s cheeks . Max b u r i e d h i s hands i n h i s p o c k e t s . " Y o u ' r e a p i m p . " "Get out Duddy. " Duddy got up and r a n . (29) Thus Duddy comes face to face w i t h s e x u a l h y p o c r i s y even i n h i s most i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s and begins to l e a r n t h a t i t i s bo th f u t i l e and dangerous to t r y and c l o s e the s c h i z o p h r e n i c gap between what people say and what they s e x u a l l y do , or l o n g to do . At each c r u c i a l s tep i n h i s a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , Duddy's i n s t i n c t i v e l y a f f e c t i o n a t e , honest s e x u a l i t y c o l l i d e s w i t h h o s t i l i t y , g u i l t , and perver se s e x u a l i t y masking as a s u p e r i o r way of l i f e . When he moves outward i n t o the work w o r l d he runs up a g a i n s t h i s Unc le B e n j y . F a t , i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s n e e r i n g , and h o p e l e s s l y i n l o v e w i t h h i s b e a u t i f u l but s i l l y I d a , Benjy " n o b l y " l e t s everyone b e l i e v e that t h e i r c h i l d l e s s n e s s i s due to h i s impotency r a t h e r than to her bar rennes s . Yet he re fuses e i t h e r to adopt c h i l d r e n or to l e a v e I d a , 127. and i n s i s t s on sending her from one doc tor to another u n t i l she ends up spending her t ime i n F l o r i d a w i t h young men. The one b r i e f d r a m a t i z a t i o n of t h e i r sexua l r e l a t i o n s h i p r e v e a l s the by now f a m i l i a r p a t t e r n of the r e s e n t f u l , dependent, impotent son and h i s m o t h e r - w i f e . Benjy and Ida d r i n k a l o t be fore g e t t i n g i n t o bed and once t h e r e he t o r t u r e s her w i t h news of y e t another d o c t o r and w i t h ques t ions about her " b l o n d e x e r c i s o r " i n Miami (58) . A f t e r Ida f i n a l l y passes o u t , Benjy gets out of bed and gathers up " h e r dress and g i r d l e and s t o c k i n g s " and then s i t s a lone e a t i n g (58 ) . Always be fore going to s l e e p , he k i s s e d Ida on the fo rehead . Sometimes, more drunken t i m e s , he would h o l d her c l o s e , h i s head squeezed aga ins t her b r e a s t s , and she would waken d i z z y and a f r a i d . He never knew t h a t . She made sure he never r e a l i z e d t h a t her s l eep had been d i s t u r b e d . But come morning Ida would be gone a g a i n . F i n a l l y B e n j y ' s f a t h e r c a l l e d him to the house. "Why are t h e r e no c h i l d r e n ? " he a sked . " I ' m i m p o t e n t . " (59) Years l a t e r , i n one of the n o v e l ' s f u n n i e s t scenes , Ida e x p l a i n s B e n j y ' s behav iour to Duddy who has come to f e t c h her home to her d y i n g husband. Her f a c i l e F r e u d i a n te rmino logy d i s p l a y s her f o o l i s h n e s s and s u p e r f i c i a l i t y w h i l e , i r o n i c a l l y , r e v e a l i n g the t r u t h about B e n j y ' s d e s t r u c t i v e martyrdom. She g l i b l y suggests tha t h i s c o n d i t i o n i s o n l y psychosomat ic , tha t he has always been dominated by h i s f a t h e r , tha t he re sented h i s dependency and so chose to hur t h i s f a t h e r i n " t h e worst way he c o u l d , " tha t he sought s a f e t y as her o n l y c h i l d , and wanted to b i n d her to him out of g u i l t and g r a t i t u d e (239) . I t i s t y p i c a l of R i c h l e r ' s i r o n y that the t r u t h comes couched i n a jumble of j a r g o n and 128. t h a t , g i v e n the s i t u a t i o n , i t i s Duddy's s i m p l i c i t y which m a n i f e s t s deep and a p p r o p r i a t e f e e l i n g s , and not I d a ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r i e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the n o v e l supports I d a ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Not o n l y i s B e n j y ' s lovemaking i n f a n t i l e and impotent , but a l s o when under emot iona l pres sure he r e t r e a t s i n t o l i q u o r and maudl in memories of h i s f a t h e r . B e s i d e s , un le s s the r e a l f u n c t i o n of h i s c o n f e s s i o n i s to hur t h i s f a t h e r , i t would serve no purpose , s i n c e c l a i m i n g that he was s t e r i l e would " p r o t e c t " Ida j u s t as w e l l . C e r t a i n l y h i s i n t e n s e and u n j u s t d i s l i k e of Duddy makes more sense i n the l i g h t of h i s s exua l inadequac ies than f o r any o ther reason . When Duddy rushes i n to t e l l h i s u n c l e t h a t an employee i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y s t e a l i n g from the f a c t o r y , B e n j y ' s angry response r e v e a l s the u n d e r l y i n g sexua l na ture of t h e i r c o m p e t i t i o n : " Y o u ' r e o n l y here a week and a l r e a d y you may have got a g i r l i n t r o u b l e . Two weeks i n the c u t t i n g room and you come to me w i t h t h i s s t o r y about Laroche . Manny t e l l s me y o u ' v e been s e l l i n g the g i r l s underwear and s t u f f you get from some m a i l order house. Is that t rue? "How d i d you make a l l your money U n c l e Benjy? T e l l me t h a t . " "Some k i d . " "Why n o t ? " " I don ' t l i k e s q u e a l e r s . Try to remember t h a t . " "Why don ' t you f i r e me, Unc le B e n j y . " " I ' m not go ing to f i r e you because i t would h u r t your g r a n d f a t h e r . " " Y o u ' r e some k i d , Duddy, some k i d , but t h i s much you ought to know. I f you ever do a n y t h i n g to hur t your grandfa ther I ' l l break every bone i n your body b e g i n n i n g w i t h the l i t t l e f i n g e r s . " "How come you care so much? You never even go t o v i s i t him any m o r e . " (62) H i s r o l e s of m u n i f i c e n t employer, devoted son , and s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g 129. husband are a l l i n e x t r i c a b l y bound i n w i t h h i s inadequacy and f e a r s . Duddy, as the new f a v o u r i t e of B e n j y ' s f a t h e r and the s e x u a l l y aggre s s ive and a p p r e c i a t e d s e l l e r - o f - u n d e r w e a r poses a d e e p - l e v e l t h r e a t to the o u t - o f - f a v o u r , impotent son , who pays f o r h i s w i f e ' s l o v e r s , gathers up her s trewn underwear, and l i e s h e l p l e s s l y squeezing h i s head aga i n s t her b r e a s t s as she f e i g n s s l e e p . As Duddy moves from the i n n e r c i r c l e s of h i s f a m i l y and s c h o o l i n t o the wider c i r c l e s of the w o r l d , the c e n t r e of s exua l h y p o c r i s y and greed s t i l l h o l d s . Working as a summer w a i t e r at the S te . Agathe r e s o r t , he earns the enmity o f I r w i n because he recogn ize s tha t the i l l u s t r a t e d m e d i c a l volumes which I r w i n f e i g n s to approach w i t h " s c i e n t i f i c i n t e r e s t " a re "a c r e e p ' s e q u i v a l e n t " of h i s own pornographic l i b r a r y (68 ) . When Duddy c h e e r f u l l y and h o n e s t l y recommends God's  L i t t l e A c r e as " t h e h o r n i e s t " of them a l l , he arouses and focusses I r w i n ' s t h i n l y v e i l e d sadism. D e s p i t e I r w i n ' s i n c r e a s i n g h o s t i l i t y , Duddy cont inues to be f a s c i n a t e d by him and to t r e a t him w i t h easy g o o d w i l l : Around three o ' c l o c k one morn ing , when a l l the o ther boys were a s l e e p , Duddy woke to see I r w i n s i t t i n g up i n bed w i t h the f l a s h l i g h t and the enormous m e d i c a l book. He took one l o o k a t I r w i n ' s agonzied f a c e , saw the book and the o ther hand under the c o v e r s , and q u i c k l y guessed what was happening. " J e e z . " I r w i n looked up , s t a r t l e d and p a l e . Duddy g r i n n e d , he winked , and g e s t u r i n g e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , he s a i d , " A t t a boy, I r w i n . Whew! P u l l ! " I r w i n dropped h i s f l a s h l i g h t , he t r e m b l e d . I t seemed that he had begun to c r y , but Duddy was not s u r e . The next morning , however, I r w i n would not t a l k to him and the t r o u b l e s that were to l a s t a l l summer began. (69) 130. Duddy's c o l l i s i o n w i t h I r w i n ' s c o v e r t s e x u a l i t y e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t s i n L i n d a ' s b e t r a y a l and the p a i n f u l l o s s of h i s earnings on I r w i n ' s crooked r o u l e t t e whee l . And as such , i t t y p i f i e s the i n c r e a s i n g l y ma levo lent r e a l i t y u n d e r l y i n g the mora l pretences and the i n c r e a s i n g l y dangerous consequences of honest s exua l responses . When Duddy enter s the Bar M i t z v a h f i l m - m a k i n g b u s i n e s s , he h i r e s a d i r e c t o r who e x p l a i n s h i s l a c k of employment by c o n f e s s i n g that he i s not on ly an a r t i s t who brooks no commercial i n t e r f e r e n c e but a l s o a persecuted c a r d - c a r r y i n g member of the Communist P a r t y . Thus , w h i l e Duddy w o r r i e s about g e t t i n g as many f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s i n t o the p i c t u r e as p o s s i b l e , F r i a r soars drunkenly on about the " symbol i sm i n h e r e n t i n the ceremony" and "a s low d i s s o l v e i n t o the b o y ' s r a c i a l memory . . . the p a i n of the baby ' s c i r c u m c i s i o n " (116, 117 ) . Duddy n e r v o u s l y p r o t e s t s the i n c l u s i o n of a " k i d ' s p e c k e r " i n t h i s k i n d o f f a m i l y f i l m , but he need not have w o r r i e d (110) . Once aga in the w o r l d ' s p r o f a n i t y outdoes Duddy ' s . For d e s p i t e the r i d i c u l o u s l y obscene montages, F r i a r ' s f i l m i s an enormous succes s . The r a b b i h i m s e l f l eads the way i n p r o c l a i m i n g i t "A most e d i f y i n g e x p e r i e n c e . . . . A work o f a r t " (159) . D e s p i t e the mounting bar b i l l s and the absurd montages, Duddy admires and l i k e s h i s d i r e c t o r . When F r i a r ques t ions him about hav ing the l a n d deeds i n Y v e t t e ' s name, Duddy answers " A f r i e n d i s a f r i e n d . You 've got to t r u s t somebody" and then adds, " I ' d t r u s t you t o o " (181) . But h i s t r u s t i s m i s p l a c e d . Behind h i s back, F r i a r sneers at Duddy's crudeness , r e p e a t e d l y reminds Y v e t t e of Duddy's l a c k of i n t e r e s t i n marry ing h e r , and bese iges her w i t h l o v e 131. poems, promises of marr iage and l i n e s l i k e "You have a Rennaissance p r o f i l e " (149) . A f t e r t r y i n g u n s u c c e s s f u l l y to seduce both Y v e t t e and a c l i e n t ' s young daughter , the man of c o m p e l l i n g a r t i s t i c and p o l i t i c a l i n t e g r i t y content s h i m s e l f w i t h r u n n i n g o f f w i t h the cameras i n the m i d d l e of a j o b . Duddy's o l d e r b r o t h e r Lenn ie bounces back and f o r t h between the r o l e s of s c h o l a r , s o c i a l i s t , Zionist, a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t and a b o r t i o n i s t w i t h equal s u p e r f i c i a l i t y . When Duddy t r i e s to t a l k him i n t o t e l l i n g the t r u t h about the a b o r t i o n i n order to p r o t e c t h i m s e l f , L e n n i e re fuses on the grounds that he i s a "gent leman" (184) . As the s o r d i d s t o r y o f L e n n i e ' s desperate d e s i r e f o r non-Jewish p o p u l a r i t y and h i s m a n i p u l a t i o n by I r w i n and the o ther s comes o u t , Duddy t e l l s him t h a t i f he keeps s i l e n t i t i s because he i s a " c h i c k e n , " and " a n t i - s e m i t e , " and " t h e Number 1 Sucker of A l l - T i m e " (186) . L e n n i e pompously r e t o r t s that Duddy has "no code of honour" (186) . But the r e l a t i v e m e r i t s o f t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e codes become obvious i n the scene which f o l l o w s . L e n n i e p r a t t l e s on about be ing a gentleman and an i n t i m a t e of " a s w e l l bunch of c h a r a c t e r s , " w h i l e Duddy w o r r i e s about not o n l y the emot iona l and f i n a n c i a l investment which Max and Benjy have i n L e n n i e ' s succes s , but a l s o whether o r not L e n n i e r e a l l y wants to be a doc tor (185) . As soon as he can get Lenn ie t o s top g e n e r a l i z i n g and s e l f - d r a m a t i z i n g l o n g enough to admit that he wants to s t ay i n s c h o o l , Duddy d i s m i s s e s the e t h i c a l a b s t r a c t i o n s , jumps i n t o bed and f a l l s a s l eep c u r l i n g h i m s e l f around h i s b r o t h e r f o r warmth and comfor t . Lennie l i e s awake "embarassed and uncomfor tab le " and when Duddy suddenly j e r k s out o f a 132. nightmare needing to t a l k about the a n x i e t y which haunts h im, the gentleman b r o t h e r has no deeper response than an i m p a t i e n t d e n i a l : " L e n n i e ? " I t was f i v e a.m. maybe. "What i s i t ? " " T a l k to me about Maw. T e l l me about h e r . " " I n the m o r n i n g . " " D i d s h e . . . w e l l , l i k e me?" "You were her k i d . " " T h a t ' s not what I meant . " "Tomorrow. OK? And w i l l you s top hugging me, p l e a s e . " I ' m f r e e z i n g you j e r k . What are you so scared of? I 'm no homo." (189) In the morning when Duddy announces h i s i n t e n t i o n to go to the g i r l ' s f a t h e r on L e n n i e ' s b e h a l f , L e n n i e ' s response r e v e a l s the r e a l b a s i s of h i s sense of honour : "When I r w i n f i n d s o u t — W e l l t h e r e goes my summer i n M a i n e " (189) . O b l i v i o u s to the demands of f a m i l y l o y a l t y , m e d i c a l e t h i c s , p e r s o n a l d i g n i t y , and even s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , L e n n i e i s prepared to de s t roy h i m s e l f r a t h e r than j e o p a r d i z e the most s u p e r f i c i a l k i n d of s o c i a l a p p r o v a l . The g i r l ' s f a t h e r t u r n s out t o be another i n the s e r i e s of the n o v e l ' s gentlemen. Hugh C a l d e r repre sent s the s t a t u s which Cohen hopes to ach ieve f o r h i s s o n — second-genera t ion w e a l t h u n t a i n t e d by a c t i v e money g r u b b i n g . But C a l d e r ' s power i s as c o r r u p t and deadening as Cohen ' s . I n f a c t , bored and u n c a r i n g even about h i s daughter , C a l d e r has l e s s to l i v e f o r than Cohen. He e n t e r t a i n s h i m s e l f by "shameful l i t t l e experiments w i t h money" dropping one hundred d o l l a r b i l l s i n t o u r i n a l s at posh r e s o r t s and then p o s i t i o n i n g h i m s e l f where he can see everyone coming out of the t o i l e t . H i s p l ea sure l i e s i n s a d i s t i c 133. f a n t a s i e s about "announcing h i s l o s s . . . /_wanting/ bad ly to h u m i l i a t e " whoever has stooped f o r h i s money (194) . C a l d e r i s s o p h i s t i c a t e d enough to a p p r e c i a t e Duddy but too c o l d to care about h im. When Duddy takes C a l d e r ' s o f f e r of f r i e n d s h i p at face v a l u e and seeks to t u r n i t openly to mutual p r o f i t , C a l d e r r e c o i l s i n offended r e f i n e d s e n s i b i l i t y , s ay ing " I had hoped we were f r i e n d s " (228) . H u r t , Duddy r e p l i e s "Sure we a r e . . . b u t f r i e n d s h e l p each o t h e r " (228) . Too a s t u t e to l o s e the o p p o r t u n i t y of a f i n a n c i a l p r o f i t , Duddy s h i f t s c r a f t i l y i n t o a p i t c h about g o o d w i l l , p u b l i c o p i n i o n and race r e l a t i o n s . C a l d e r buys the so f tened d e a l and Duddy a n g r i l y t h i n k s : White m e n . . . V e r ge rharge t . Wi th them you j u s t d i d n ' t make d e a l . You had to d i d d l e . They were l i k e those g i r l s you had to d i s c u s s God or the Book-o f - t h e - M o n t h w i t h so a l l the t ime they c o u l d pre tend not t o know you had a hand up t h e i r s k i r t , but j u s t t r y to take i t away. J u s t t r y , b u s t e r . He ' s o f fended , Duddy thought , but he made the d e a l a l l the same. Two-f i f t y more a t o n , s u r e . I suppose he wanted me to p l a y g o l f w i t h him f o r e i g h t e e n years f i r s t or something. I haven ' t got t h a t much time to waste , he thought . (229) Duddy's sexua l analogy i s w e l l chosen, f o r MacPherson, the Coxes , Max, I r w i n , Ben jy , F r i a r , L e n n i e and C a l d e r a l l ac t on v a r i o u s n o t i o n s of i d e a l i s t i c i n t e g r i t y and c u l t u r a l re f inement but reduce to e x c a t l y the same s e l f - s e e k i n g dominator as Cohen and Dingleman. The o n l y d i f f e r e n c e between t h i s group of mentors and Cohen's gross m a t e r i a l i s m l i e s i n the s t y l e and degree of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n . Thus Duddy's c h o i c e g r a d u a l l y narrows to that of cover t or o v e r t s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n . But the n o v e l seems to o f f e r another moral p o s s i b i l i t y i n the 134. c h a r a c t e r s of V i r g i l and Y v e t t e , both of whom s u b s c r i b e to n o t i o n s o f s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and n e i t h e r o f whom can be accused of d e l i b e r a t e o r even consc ious h y p o c r i s y . V i r g i l i s more e a s i l y d i s m i s s e d than Y v e t t e . Indeed, R i c h l e r i s at h i s bes t mocking the p r e t e n s i o n s of a parano id member of a m i n o r i t y group. Long be fore V i r g i l ever meets Duddy, he dreams of b e i n g the c ru sad ing p ioneer o r g a n i z e r of e p i l e p t i c s the w o r l d o v e r . J u s t as Cohen t r i e s to j u s t i f y h i s a c t i o n s s a y i n g , " I t ' s not easy to earn a l i v i n g , " w h i l e L e n n i e h ides behind the d i f f i c u l t y of be ing a Jew, and Benjy p leads the "hard w o r l d " f a c i n g a gentleman, so too does V i r g i l c l a i m , " I t ' s not easy to be an e p i l e p t i c " (266, 280, 207) . Duddy e x p l i c i t l y denies the v a l i d i t y of a l l these r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s when he d e c l a r e s , " I t ' s hard to be a gentleman—a Jew, I m e a n — i t ' s hard to be . P e r i o d " (296) . C l e a r l y , i t i s r i d i c u l o u s and s e l f - p i t y i n g f o r V i r g i l to p e r c e i v e p e r s e c u t i o n i n the commonsense r e l u c t a n c e of people t o h i r e an e p i l e p t i c w i t h a c t i v e and f requent s e i z u r e s as a w a i t e r or t r u c k d r i v e r . H i s pa rano ia goes hand i n hand w i t h h i s compuls ive i n s e n s i t i v i t y to the needs of the o ther and r u l e s out any f a i t h i n h i s k i n d o f a l t r u i s t i c d e n i a l of s e l f . A f t e r d r i v i n g u n t i l he i s exhausted , Duddy f a l l s g r a t e f u l l y i n t o bed on ly to be shaken awake by V i r g i l eager to confess h i s inadequacy. As the S i s t e r Kenny of the e p i l e p t i c s warms to h i s t o p i c , Duddy g r i m l y a sk s , "Why d o n ' t we get some s l e e p ? " but V i r g i l remains r e s o l u t e l y i n d i f f e r e n t to Duddy's f e e l i n g s : " I l i k e y o u , M r . K r a v i t z . Do you l i k e me?" " Y e a h , sure t h i n g , V i r g i l . " "Why?" " C o u l d n ' t I t e l l you i n the morning?" 135. " Y o u ' r e not j u s t s ay ing i t are you? You do l i k e me." " I t h i n k y o u ' r e a p r i n c e of a f e l l a . " "Thanks . So many people are p r e j u d i c e d aga ins t u s , you know." "Good n i g h t , V i r g i e . " "We're going to be budd ie s . R e a l b u d d i e s . 1 can t e l l . " Sure , Duddy thought . You b e t . He got up and turned out the l i g h t . "What does Y v e t t e t h i n k o f me? Be f r a n k . " " J e e z , V i r g i e . She d i d n ' t s a y . " " I l i k e h e r . She's got q u a l i t i e s . " Duddy pretended to be s n o r i n g . " I ' v e got a theory about women, you know, M r . K r a v i t z ? " "Mm?" " I ' v e got a theory about women. I t a lways works t o o . There a re three types of women. The B e r t h a -t y p e , the M a t i l d e - t y p e , and t h e — " " V i r g i l ? " "Yeah?" "1 would l i k e to s l eep now. I am v e r y t i r e d . 1 must be up i n four h o u r s . I_ am say ing goodnight . Good n i g h t . " V i r g i l leaped out of bed. " I t ' s a lmost l i g h t , " he s a i d . " I t ' s snowing. I l o v e snow." (210) I t i s a comic scene, but one which i s important to an a p p r e c i a t i o n of R i c h l e r ' s a t t i t u d e to V i r g i l ' s mora l s t ance . Here we see V i r g i l not o n l y s e l f i s h l y p u r s u i n g h i s own compuls ive need to be a p p r e c i a t e d , but a l s o e a g e r l y d e f i n i n g h i m s e l f i n terms o f h i s d i s e a s e . I n f a c t , l a t e r i t becomes apparent t h a t h i s s e i z u r e s a r e , i f not psychosomat ic , a t l e a s t e m o t i o n a l l y induced . They remain minimal o n l y so l o n g as Duddy l e t s V i r g i l l i v e w i t h him, but as soon as he asks him to move out so t h a t he and Y v e t t e can be a lone t o g e t h e r , the a t t a c k s beg in a g a i n . Morepver , d e s p i t e the i n c r e a s i n g frequency of the s e i z u r e s , V i r g i l c l i n g s to h i s job w i t h Duddy. A l t h o u g h i t i s d i f f i c u l t to say e x a c t l y where Duddy's mora l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y l i e s i n 136. e x p l o i t i n g V i r g i l , i t i s c l e a r that R i c h l e r u l t i m a t e l y ho lds V i r g i l as r e s p o n s i b l e as any man f o r h i s own c h o i c e s . C e r t a i n l y , V i r g i l u n h e s i t a t i n g l y accepts Y v e t t e ' s o f f e r to l i v e w i t h him and almost immediate ly regards h i s c r i p p l i n g a c c i d e n t as a " b l e s s i n g i n d i s g u i s e " (275) . Duddy's f e v e r i s h f anta sy of Aunt Ida e x p l a i n i n g tha t V i r g i l i s "no c r i p p l e . I t ' s the o n l y way he c o u l d get Y v e t t e from you" c o n t a i n s more than a measure of t r u t h (258) . Moreover , d e s p i t e a l l h i s romant ic p r o t e s t a t i o n s of e t e r n a l l o v e , when Duddy d e s p e r a t e l y needs twenty-two hundred d o l l a r s more to purchase h i s l a n d , V i r g i l j o i n s i n the chorus o f d e n i a l s and r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s by which a l l of Duddy's " f r i e n d s " keep t h e i r money out o f h i s hands. Thus w h i l e the r e a d e r ' s sympathy f o r Duddy's a c t i o n s decreases , i t a l s o becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y c l e a r that V i r g i l ' s v i r t u e and v i c t i m i z a t i o n repre sent s o n l y another v e r s i o n o f cover t s e l f - g r a t i f i c a t i o n and s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . He i s l e s s p reda tory than Dingleman but no l e s s c r i p p l e d . Woodcock sees Y v e t t e as r e p r e s e n t i n g " t h e c l e a r image o f . . . d e c e n c y " but s u r e l y such a v i e w o f her o v e r l o o k s the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the n o v e l ' s s exua l themes. For what Y v e t t e c h a r a c t e r i z e s i s not s imple decency but the t r a d i t i o n a l l y c a s t r a t i n g i n f l u e n c e o f the good mother . In f a c t , i n her eager s e x u a l i t y , her emot ional i n s e c u r i t y , her s u b t l y undermining m o t h e r i n g , and her c a p a c i t y f o r i n f i n i t e s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , Y v e t t e v e r y much resembles C a l l a g h a n ' s Anna. T h e i r f i r s t love-making se t s the p a t t e r n f o r t h e i r whole r e l a t i o n s h i p : 137. H i s body a c h e d . . . h e longed f o r h i s bed, but Y v e t t e l e d him deeper i n t o the f i e l d . Down a bumpy h i l l and up the o ther s i d e on to a f l a t t a b l e of a r o c k . There she made him r e s t . " I t ' s so n i c e to see you l i e s t i l l f o r o n c e , " she s a i d . "Wha ' ? " " Y o u ' r e always running o r jumping or s c r a t c h i n g . . . " Duddy was s u r p r i s e d and f l a t t e r e d to d i s c o v e r tha t anyone cared enough to watch him so c l o s e l y . " I l i k e y o u , " he s a i d . "Do you t h i n k I ' m p r e t t y ? " " S u r e . Sure t h i n g . " He edged c l o s e r to her and , to h i s s u r p r i s e she d i d n ' t wi thdraw. Duddy f o n d l e d a b r e a s t t e n t a t i v e l y . She k i s s e d him f o r c i n g h i s mouth open. " L i s t e n , Y v e t t e , I haven ' t got a . . . " But she d i d n ' t c a r e . J e e z , he thought , i f the guys c o u l d see me now. " Y o u ' r e my speed, Y v e t t e . Y o u ' r e f o r me . " Duddy and Y v e t t e r e turned to Ste Agathe by another r o u t e , s e p a r a t i n g be fore they reached the l a k e s h o r e . Y v e t t e k i s s e d him on the cheek. "You work too h a r d , " she s a i d . " T h e r e ' s n o t h i n g but b o n e s . . . ! ' (91) Once aga in the woman can be seen seen seeking emot iona l reas surance w h i l e she dominates by means o f " s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g " mother ing and aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y . Y v e t t e i s f o r e v e r t r y i n g to w r i n g out of Duddy evidence of j e a l o u s y or p r o t e s t a t i o n s of l o v e , w h i l e she bus i e s h e r s e l f d r y i n g him o f f , warming him up, and bedding him down. She e s t a b l i s h e s h e r s e l f i n h i s l i f e by her l o y a l G i r l F r i d a y s e r v i c e s and by p e r s i s t e n t l y t e l l i n g him to s low down, work l e s s , eat more, s l e e p l o n g e r , and stop b i t i n g h i s f i n g e r n a i l s . W h i l e she s u f f e r s s i l e n t l y over Duddy's r e f u s a l to acknowledge her r o m a n t i c a l l y and s y m b o l i c a l l y as h i s chosen woman, Duddy remains r e l e n t l e s s l y f r a n k and gauche about the nature of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p : He was too young to marry , he e x p l a i n e d c a l m l y , and i n any event he might have to marry a r i c h woman i f he c o u l d get one, but i f she he lped him he would 138. always l o o k a f t e r her and she would get a share o f the p r o f i t s . (100) T h e i r s exua l r e l a t i o n s h i p begins to s t r a i n when Duddy's i n c r e a s i n g conf idence and exuberance f a i l s to take i n t o account her need f o r romant ic rea s surances : "Come here a m i n u t e , " he s a i d , t a k i n g her hand and g u i d i n g i t . "Some f l a g - p o l e , eh? A r e g u l a r Rock of G i b r a l t e r . " Y v e t t e wanted to w a i t , but Duddy i n s i s t e d , and they made l o v e on the c a r p e t . " I d o n ' t get i t , " Duddy s a i d . "Imagine guys g e t t i n g m a r r i e d and t y i n g themselves down to one s i n g l e broad f o r a whole l i f e t i m e when t h e r e ' s j u s t so much s t u f f a r o u n d . " "Peop le f a l l i n l o v e , " Y v e t t e s a i d . " I t happens . " • " P l a n e s c ra sh t o o , " Duddy s a i d . " L i s t e n , I ' v e got an important l e t t e r to w r i t e . W e ' l l eat soon. OK?" She d i d n ' t answer and Duddy began to w r i t e . (191) Y v e t t e i s at her most u n a t t r a c t i v e when she t r i e s to needle Duddy i n t o responses he w i l l n o t , and indeed cannot make. Because she cannot express her resentments i n any open way and remains too i n s e c u r e to demand what she wants , she c o v e r t l y badgers : Y v e t t e ' s one room apartment was i n the basement of the same b u i l d i n g . " I can come up and cook f o r y o u , " she s a i d . " T h a t ' s my g i r l F r i d a y , " Duddy s a i d , goos ing h e r . "Stop t h a t . " " J e e z . Have you got the cur se a g a i n ? " "Maybe I 'm not going to have my p e r i o d t h i s month. Maybe I 'm p r e g n a n t . " "Congra t s . Come o n . We'd b e t t e r s t a r t check ing through the bars f o r F r i a r a g a i n . " "One minute . What would you do i f I was pregnant? " " I ' v e got j u s t the guy to f i x you . A r e a l p r o . My b r o t h e r L e n n i e . " (200) She i s most a t t r a c t i v e when she openly p i t s her sense of t h i n g s a g a i n s t Duddy ' s , such as when she re fuses to come to work u n t i l Duddy 139. o f f e r s V i r g i l a f a i r e r dea l on the s a l a r y and car arrangements . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t when Y v e t t e does choose to w i e l d her power o p e n l y , Duddy c a p i t u l a t e s , whereas he remains r e l a t i v e l y immune to the demands which she makes i n the form of anxious nagg ing . D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t she approves the f i n a l h i r i n g arrangements and r e t u r n s to work, as soon as the a c c i d e n t occurs she p r o j e c t s a l l of her g u i l t onto Duddy and accuses him of b e i n g w h o l l y and s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the a c c i d e n t . She r e v e a l s how she i d e n t i f i e d w i t h V i r g i l ' s be ing used by Duddy as a " p e r s o n a l message boy" and how deep ly she resented Duddy's a l s o a c t i n g l i k e he "owned" her (249) . The a g g r e s s i v e l y s a d i s t i c way i n which she i n s i s t s on enumerating the d e t a i l s of V i r g i l ' s c o n d i t i o n i n d i c a t e s the i n t e n s i t y of her v i n d i c t i v e f e e l i n g s and her eagerness to make her man s u f f e r d e s p i t e her pose of d e v o t i o n . But a t the v e r y moment when she i s g i v i n g vent to her resentment of Duddy's treatment of her as a p o s s e s s i o n , she p e r s i s t s i n d e f i n i n g h e r s e l f as the s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g woman. S u r e l y , t r a d i n g i n a G i r l F r i d a y r o l e f o r tha t of nurse-mother to a p a r a p l e g i c i s a r e g r e s s i v e s tep i n d e f i n i t i o n of s e l f . Y v e t t e re fuses Duddy's o f f e r to h e l p and d e c l a r e s w i t h some s a t i s f a c t i o n tha t " L o o k i n g a f t e r V i r g i l w i l l be a f u l l t ime j o b " (251) . Indeed, her d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s p h y s i c a l h e l p l e s s n e s s i s the l o n g e s t and most e n t h u s i a s t i c speech she makes i n the n o v e l : . . . V i r g i l w i l l never walk a g a i n . H i s sp ine was s m a s h e d . . . . I t has something t o do w i t h t o r n nerves and the s p i n a l f l u i d s . . . . I t ' 1 1 be months and months be fore he gets out o f bed. Then i t ' s a w h e e l c h a i r f o r the r e s t o f h i s l i f e . I f he p u l l s through , that i s . . . . T h e y l o s e a l l sense of f e e l i n g below the 140. h i p s . They c a n ' t c o n t r o l t h e i r bowels and they d o n ' t know when t h e y ' r e u r i n a t i n g . . . . T h e i r l eg s get t h i n n e r and t h i n n e r . L i k e dry s t i c k s . They c o u l d break them twenty t imes and they w o u l d n ' t h e a l . The c i r c u l a t i o n i s p r a c t i c a l l y dead. (248) I t i s obvious tha t Y v e t t e has found a more c o - o p e r a t i v e l y h e l p l e s s male-c h i l d f o r m o t h e r i n g . Duddy screams at her tha t she has a " m a r t y r -complex" and c o n t r a d i c t s h i m s e l f i n the next b r e a t h y e l l i n g : I 'm a r e a l i s t but I know you i n s i d e ou t . Y o u ' r e gonna l o o k a f t e r a c r i p p l e f o r the r e s t of your l i f e ? Y o u ' r e no nun l e t ' s f ace i t . You l i k e i t as much as I do. (251) Of course he i s r i g h t on both c o u n t s . Y v e t t e ' s own p l e a s u r e -seek ing urge i s s t r o n g , but Duddy f a i l s to unders tand t h a t martyrdom can be g r a t i f y i n g . I n accus ing her o f see ing i n him "a young guy who was going to make i t " and o f j o i n i n g up w i t h him to escape her poor background, Duddy l o s e s the argument. She e ludes h im, p o s t u r i n g behind d i g n i f i e d c l i c h e s : "We had some good times t o g e t h e r , Duddy. D o n ' t s p o i l i t . I p r e f e r to remember t h a t " (251) . When Y v e t t e r i s e s above Duddy she begins to sound l i k e MacLennan's C a t h e r i n e , but a l t h o u g h Duddy i s no George, l i k e h i m , he never f u l l y understands what the wi fe-mother wants from h i m . A f t e r Y v e t t e l e a v e s , he c o l l a p s e s i n t o a g u i l t r i d d e n nightmare i n which " A l e e r i n g MacPherson w a i t e d around every c o r n e r . He t r i e d to r u n , he wept f o r t r y i n g but h i s l e g s w o u l d n ' t work" (258) . Overwhelmed w i t h g u i l t , e x h a u s t i o n , and i s o l a t i o n Duddy t e m p o r a r i l y c a p i t u l a t e s , but he can on ly r e u n i t e w i t h Y v e t t e by becoming one of her c a s t r a t e d dependent sons . He s l eeps u n t i l noon, enjoys s i t t i n g and s t a r i n g at the r a i n , p l a y s s c r a b b l e , and rouses h i m s e l f on ly to wheel V i r g i l out 141. to meet Y v e t t e on her way home from work. For the f i r s t t ime i n h i s l i f e Duddy i s r e l ea sed from compuls ive mot ion and a m b i t i o n , but he i s a l s o u t t e r l y b e r e f t of s exua l potency . Y v e t t e ' s response i s p r e d i c t a b l y a m b i v a l e n t . At f i r s t she i s p leased w i t h the new Duddy and then l a t e r begins to worry about h i s p a s s i v i t y . But when he f e e l s a resurgence of energy i n the news about h i s l a n d coming up f o r s a l e , she immediate ly r e s i s t s h i s r e c o v e r y : " I d o n ' t want you t o s t a r t running a g a i n . I c o u l d n ' t s tand i t . . . . I f you s t a r t running a g a i n I ' l l l e a v e you . Y o u ' l l r u i n your h e a l t h " (284) . Duddy makes h i s c h o i c e when he snaps back, "Running doesn ' t g i v e you c a n c e r " (284) . The mora l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the n o v e l ' s ending remain ambiguous. In throwing the c r i p p l e s o f f h i s l a n d , Duddy f r e e s h i m s e l f of the c o r r u p t i n g i l l u s i o n s and s e d u c t i v e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y and i d e a l i s m . He remains f r e e to the extent t h a t he can manoeuvre i m a g i n a t i v e l y and e a s i l y throgh the mora l morass around h i m , adopt ing whatever p s e u d o - i d e a l seems momentar i ly exped ien t , but r e s i s t i n g the i n v i t a t i o n of p a r a l y z i n g g u i l t and s e l f - d e l u s i o n . However, g i v e n the p e r v a s i v e l y c o r r u p t na ture of h i s w o r l d , i t i s i n e v i t a b l e t h a t h i s a p p r e n t i c e s h i p deforms as much as i t i n f o r m s . He can never escape h i s s o c i e t y ' s m a t e r i a l i s t i c p r o f a n i t y s u f f i c i e n t l y to do a n y t h i n g except t u r n h i s promised l a n d i n t o another commerc ia l i zed was te l and . Moreover , he l e a r n s that he must do e v e r y t h i n g a l o n e , t h a t he can t r u s t no one, a l e s s o n which denies h i s o r d i n a r y human need and c a p a c i t y f o r l o v e . But i n a preda tory and c o n s i s t e n t l y immoral w o r l d , 142. such learning equals survival and wisdom. Undoubtedly, Richler's novel shares more in common with the anti-bourgeois American tradition than with i t s i d e a l i s t i c Canadian predecessors. In fact, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz f i t s Fiedler's description in almost every way. It is firmly male-centered, anti-sentimental, and analytical. Moral responsibility i s denied as a viable possibility; the hero i s typically alienated from a repressive society; and a crucial part of his alienation l i e s in his repudiation of the female as a representative of society's crippling i l l s . Thus, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz i s anti-feminist in i t s thematic implications. Duddy's mother i s dead at the beginning of the novel and a l l the other women are either foolish, bitchy, or destructive. Although part of Duddy's restless energy arises out of his frustrated search for evidence of his mother's love, his coming of age entails having to l i v e with the impossibility of any kind of reconciliation with her. In fact, his ultimate choice i s rendered in terms of death with the mother-figure or l i f e without her. Richler's novel distinguishes i t s e l f from the homosexual pattern which Fiedler discerns in American f i c t i o n precisely in terms of Duddy's sexual energy. For despite the fact that the novel ends with Duddy hugging his father, i t would be an interpretation born of literary over-ingenuity to see in this any kind of homosexual choice. Granted, Duddy suffers from the Victorian disassociation of tender feelings from aggressive sexuality, but when looked at in relation to his world he appears more sexually and emotionally integrated than anyone else. 143. Insofar as his apprenticeship consists of painful collisions with conventional hypocrisy, i t is negative. Yet his experience confirms his intuitive sense of the sexual reality underlying idealism without either curbing his capacity for exuberant affection or destroying his candid aggressive energy. Duddy lights out for no Eden, nor does he inhabit a world of Gothic unreality. He stays in his society because there i s no place else to go. Although a long way from the love he has been looking for, in a world which limits sexual choice to compulsive blind perversion, guilt-ridden castration, or aggressive genital potency, the only p o s s i b i l i t i e s for l i f e l i e in the latter. Thus Duddy's future looks i n f i n i t e l y more robust than Neils', Michael's, Jerome's or George's. 144. CHAPTER V I I : CONCLUSION  LEONARD COHEN, MARGARET LAURENCE, ROBERT KROETSCH Leonard Cohen's B e a u t i f u l Loser s belongs much l e s s to the V i c t o r i a n - C a n a d i a n t r a d i t i o n than to the A m e r i c a n - G o t h i c . I t f l i r t s w i t h dea th ; a s s e r t s the w o r l d of dreams; r e s t s on the a e s t h e t i c of exces s ; p r o t e s t s r e a l i s m by hav ing c h a r a c t e r s , s e t t i n g , and i n c i d e n t s t rue on ly i n so f a r as they symbol i se i n n e r r e a l i t i e s ; engages i n r a d i c a l p o l i t i c s ; c r e a t e s a sense of the past as i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from the p r e s e n t ; and p l ace s the s e x u a l emphasis on the s a d i s t i c and the mastabatory . As to i t s f l i g h t from mora l judgement, what F i e d l e r says i n d i s c u s s i n g Hawthorne c o u l d j u s t as e a s i l y be a p p l i e d to Cohen: He g ive s us the c h o i c e of many r e a d i n g s : m a g i c a l , m e c h a n i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l ; and even a l l o w s us not to make any c h o i c e at a l l , but l i k e him to endure them a l l , to emerge from h i s s t o r y , not w i t h some assured i n s i g h t i n t o the causes o f human d e p r a v i t y but o n l y w i t h a conf irmed sense of the ambigu i ty of l i f e . l Fur thermore , i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of contemporary n e o - G o t h i c , F i e d l e r draws a t t e n t i o n to c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are pure Cohen—the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s i n t e r p l a y of h o r r o r and comedy; the e x p l i c i t l i n k i n g of sex , v i o l e n c e and d e a t h ; and the merger of commercial e n t e r t a i n m e n t , s c i e n c e - f i c t i o n , and a r t i n a k i n d of a p o c a l y p t i c ga l lows humour. F i e d l e r ' s tone i s one of dismay over a t r a d i t i o n " b e w i l d e r i n g l y and e m b a r r a s s i n g l y . . n o n r e a l i s t i c and n e g a t i v e , s a d i s t i c and melodramat ic— 2 a l i t e r a t u r e of darkness and the g r o t e s q u e . " However, i t i s important to see i n B e a u t i f u l Loser s beyond the 145. nightmare of f ragmentat ion and incoherence . F o r , u n l i k e a n ightmare , which by d e f i n i t i o n t e r r i f i e s , Cohen's n o v e l above a l l amuses and r e c o n c i l e s . I t enter s i n t o the w o r l d of the daemonic and the i r r a t i o n a l , but i t s camp s e n s i b i l i t y , as Susan Sontag p o i n t s o u t , b l o c k s out c o n t e n t , n e u t r a l i z e s moral i n d i g n a t i o n , and sponsors 3 p l a y f u l n e s s . L i k e pop a r t and n o s t a l g i a , i t both observes i r o n i c a l l y and c e l e b r a t e s i n one s y n t h e s i z e d f l o u r i s h . And l i k e the movies , i t aims at d i s s o l v i n g the b a r r i e r between viewed and v i e w e r , and f anta sy and r e a l i t y . Sontag sees the contemporary f l i g h t from r e a l i s m not as a r e j e c t i o n of m a t u r i t y or moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y but as a " f l i g h t from i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " an attempt to s o l v e " t h e c l a s s i c a l dilemma of our s o c i e t y , that of the hyper t rophy of the i n t e l l e c t a t the expense 4 of energy and sensua l c a p a c i t y . " Cohen might o b j e c t to Sontag ' s s t y l e but he would probably agree w i t h her c o n t e n t . For B e a u t i f u l Lose r s c l e a r l y engages i n d r a m a t i z i n g an i n c l u s i v e s y n t h e s i s of body and s p i r i t , the k i n d C a l l a g h a n c o u l d o n l y t e n t a t i v e l y approach. Thus, a l though i t i s a n o v e l about s a i n t s and s u b l i m i t y , i t i s a l s o a n o v e l about f a r t i n g and f u c k i n g . In f a c t , Cohen's double hook i s c a l l e d the " s h i t g l o r y t r e e , " and the o n l y way to heavenly ecs ta sy i s through p h y s i c a l experience.~* E d i t h and F . a t t a i n t h e i r s a in thood through emot iona l and s e x u a l extravagance ; C a t h e r i n achieves i t by means of s e l f - imposed c h a s t i t y , h u m i l i a t i o n , and t o r t u r e ; w h i l e the n a r r a t o r gets there through the o r d i n a r y agony and " b r u t a l s o l i t u d e of c o n s t i p a t i o n , " as he s t r u g g l e s to r i d h i m s e l f of i n h i b i t i o n s , f e a r s , ego demands, and p e t t y t y r a n n i e s of the b locked 146. Anglo-Saxon t r a d i t i o n (47 ) . Cohen's s exua l l i t a n y sounds throughout the n o v e l : "Love cannot be hoarded" (6 ) ; " f u c k i n g i s h o l y , d i r t y , and b e a u t i f u l " (74) ; " f i n d one of the qua int i m p o s s i b l e cunts and fuck her f o r your l i f e " (15) ; " l e a d the f u c k i n g away from mutual d i a l i n g " (226) ; " A l l p a r t s of the body are e r o t o g e n i c . . . . D o w n w i t h g e n i t a l i m p e r i a l i s m (40) . To reach orgasm i s to "be f r e e d from the unbearable c o i l s of s e c u l a r p l e a s u r e , and soar i n t o t h a t b l i n d r e a l m , so l i k e s l e e p , so l i k e d e a t h , that journey o f p l ea sure beyond p l e a s u r e " (218) . The I n d i a n Fuck Cure remains the " p e r f e c t c u r r e n c y , " the entrance fee both i n t o t h i s l i f e and i n t o a sense of cosmic u n i t y . Under the magic of the c o p u l a t i n g young c o u p l e s , Old Unc le not on ly recover s h i s e a r t h l y v i t a l i t y but a l s o an i n s i g h t i n t o the " g r e a t e s t p rayer he had ever l e a r n e d . . . ' I change I am the same I change I am the^same" (166) . Cohen's treatment o f s e x u a l i t y however does not end w i t h the g e n e r a l and the s u b l i m e . I n f a c t , i n one of the most r e a l i s t i c passages i n the n o v e l , he r e c r e a t e s i n microcosm the t r a d i t i o n of sex i n Canadian f i c t i o n . The n a r r a t o r cannot accept and enjoy E d i t h ' s C a t h o l i c tongue skimming over h i s body. He l i e s s i l e n t l y p l e a d i n g " E d i t h E d i t h l e t some t h i n g s happen i n h e a v e n , " w i l l i n g her to " f a s t e n somewhere p e r f e c t " ( 3 0 ) . When he goes to F . w i t h h i s compla int about E d i t h ' s " i n f u r i a t i n g waste of t o n g u e , " F , t e l l s him that he i s be ing i n v i t e d i n t o a great l o v e and tha t he must l e a r n to respond to i t ( 29 ) . When the n a r r a t o r s t u b b o r n l y i n s i s t s upon h i s d e s i r e f o r f e l l a t i o , F . adv i se s him to ask o p e n l y , " P l e a s e make me come w i t h your mouth, E d i t h " (30 ) . 147. The n a r r a t o r r e a c t s w i t h such p r u d i s h and s e l f - r i g h t e o u s i n d i g n a t i o n tha t F . w i c k e d l y suggests he t r y a s k i n g E d i t h i n s t e a d " W i t h w h i p s , w i t h i m p e r i a l commands, w i t h a l eap i n t o the mouth and a l e s s o n i n c h o k i n g " (31) . The n a r r a t o r , l i k e the male p r o t a g o n i s t s and male authors of the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s t h e s i s , h i d e s h i s s e x u a l l ong ings behind the mask of romant ic i d e a l i s i n g . H i s e x c l u s i v e i d e a l s b i n d him d o u b l y : f i r s t to g e n i t a l p r imacy , and secondly to s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and h y p o c r i s y . He can n e i t h e r enjoy what i s happening nor admit to what he would r a t h e r happen f o r f e a r of t r a n s g r e s s i n g a g a i n s t the e t h i c s i m p l i c i t i n the i d e a l . Thus he chooses to l e t h i s " s i l e n t commands l i e b u r i e d i n h i s b r a i n " and so condemns h i m s e l f to the "dream museum of s e l f - p i t y " (32 ) . F . ' s framework of polymorphous s e x u a l i t y , however, would a l l o w the n a r r a t o r not o n l y a w i d e r range o f s e x u a l p l e a s u r e , but a l s o the freedom to adopt whatever p a s s i v e or a c t i v e r o l e seemed momentar i ly a p p r o p r i a t e . G iven the nature of n a r r a t o r ' s s exua l f i x a t i o n , the o n l y p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r a more f r u i t f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d exper ience l i e i n e i t h e r honest v e r b a l aggre s s ion or d i r e c t p h y s i c a l a s s a u l t . Thus Cohen manages to dramat ize both a s exua l i d e a l new to Canadian f i c t i o n and the means whereby i t might be a c h i e v e d : the courage to admit one ' s s e x u a l needs and to r i s k a c t i n g them out—a k i n d of contemporary Fuck C u r e . There can be l i t t l e doubt t h a t Cohen has had the courage to w r i t e out h i s . Indeed, a t one p o i n t Old Uncle l ooks more l i k e Cohen w r i t i n g 148. a n o v e l than l i k e an o l d man a t an o rgy : . . . s t o p p i n g here and t h e r e to r e s t h i s head on a f r e e b u t t o c k o r l e a v e h i s f i n g e r s i n a d r i p p i n g h o l e , t a k i n g chances w i t h h i s nose between "bouncer s " f o r the sake of the m i c r o s c o p i c p e r s p e c t i v e s , always w i t h an eye f o r the unusual o r a j o k e f o r the gro te sque . (165) O b v i o u s l y , Cohen's f a n t a s i e s run to a u t o - e r o t i c i s m , and o r a l , a n a l , and s ado-masoch i s t i c sex. For a l l the t a l k about the mystery and beauty of o r d i n a r y , everyday s e x u a l machinery , the one ac t g l a r i n g l y m i s s i n g i s that of o r d i n a r y everyday h e t e r o s e x u a l u n i o n . I t i s a s i g n i f i c a n t o m i s s i o n i n a g a l l e r y polymorphous and perver se enough to i n c l u d e r ape , v o y e u r i s m , group sex , f e l l a t i o , c u n n i l i n g u s , a n a l i n g u s , t o e - l i n g u s , c o u n t l e s s combinat ions and permutat ions o f m a s t u r b a t i o n and a consummating b inge w i t h an e l e c t r i c v i b r a t o r . F i e d l e r has d e s c r i b e d such neo-Goth ic n o v e l s as the product s of the "homosexual s e n s i b i l i t y " ^ . C e r t a i n l y Cohen cont inues to dream h i s women dead and f i n d s a m y s t i c a l way of l e t t i n g h i s two men l i v e permanently fused i n t o each o t h e r ' s b o d i e s . Moreover , amidst a l l the s i n g i n g pro se , there l i e s a queasy and i n a p p r o p r i a t e r a t i o n a l i s a t i o n o f homosexua l i ty : Our l o v e cannot d i e . . . . O u r queer l o v e keeps the l i n e s of our manhood hard and c l e a n , so t h a t we b r i n g nobody but our own s e l f to our separate marr iage beds , and our women f i n a l l y know u s . . . . A l l t h a t women know of the male w o r l d has been r e v e a l e d to them by l o n e l y exce s s ive refugees from i t . Raging f a i r i e s they cannot r e s i s t because o f t h e i r h i g h l y s p e c i a l i z e d i n t e l l i g e n c e . (195) Why i s F . , the advance-man f o r polymorphous s e x u a l i t y , suddenly s i n g l i n g 149. out homosexual i ty f o r j u s t i f i c a t i o n ? And why would men genu ine ly C a t h o l i c i n t h e i r s exua l t a s t e s be coming to t h e i r marr iage beds c l e a n of the contami n a t i o n of women? And to whom would t h a t matter anyway? And who f a n t a s i e s that the o n l y men a b l e to communicate w i t h women are r a g i n g f a i r i e s ? And i n an i n c l u s i v e s exua l w o r l d , what h i g h l y s p e c i a l i z e d i n t e l l i g e n c e can there be? The passage i s a s i g n i f i c a n t l a p s e from the polymorphous i d e a l and one which would not doubt add f u e l t o F i e d l e r ' s f i r e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , Cohen cannot be w h o l l y lumped i n t o the female-d e n y i n g t r a d i t i o n . Presumably one t e s t of an a u t h o r ' s a t t i t u d e towards a c h a r a c t e r l i e s i n h i s a b i l i t y to s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y r e v e a l complex and c o n t r a d i c t o r y impulses a t work i n a s i n g l e psyche. And c e r t a i n l y both C a t h e r i n e and E d i t h are endowed w i t h a f a i r share o f s u b t l e t i e s . But more i m p o r t a n t , a t l e a s t f o r t h i s t h e s i s , i s the way i n which Cohen d e s c r i b e s h i s f i c t i o n a l women i n s exua l terms . That they a re a l l o w e d a r i c h and i n t e r e s t i n g range of r o l e s goes wi thout s a y i n g . Even C a t h e r i n e ' s d e c i s i o n to remain chas te i s rendered i n terms more c o n v i n c i n g l y sexua l than a n y t h i n g her predecessors ever e x p e r i e n c e d . E d i t h , o f cour se , i s s e x u a l l y omnipotent : i n the V i c t o r i a n p a s s i v e order o f t h i n g s , she i s rape v i c t i m , materna l b r e a s t , p e r f e c t nur se , p l a t o n i c I d e a l , C h r i s t i a n s a i n t , and s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g w i f e ; w h i l e i n the polymorphous w o r l d , she i s c o - i n v e n t o r of the Telephone Dance, r i t u a l decora tor o f her body, i n i t i a t o r of new e x p e r i e n c e s , o r g a n i z e r of o r g i e s , c r e a t o r of torment ing C a t h o l i c k i s s e s , f r e n z i e d seeker o f v i c a r i o u s l y s a d i s t i c f o r e p l a y ; and eager user of 150. e l e c t r i c a l v i b r a t o r . In Cohen's f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , e v e r y t h i n g comes i r o n i c a l l y , m y s t i c a l l y , and s e x u a l l y f u l l c i r c l e when excess l eads to the e c s t a t i c d i s s o l v i n g of s e l f i n union w i t h the o t h e r : whether the o ther be human, m e c h a n i c a l , or d i v i n e . Thus there i s l i t t l e to d i s t i n g u i s h between the squashed mess of s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g E d i t h at the bottom o f the e l e v a t o r shaf t and her s e x u a l t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n i n t o a " b u f f e t of j u i c e , f l e s h , excrement and musc le " (226) . But s i n c e F . d i e s i n a padded c e l l w i p i n g h i m s e l f on a c u r t a i n , h i s b r a i n and pen i s r o t t e d from s y p h i l i s , and the n a r r a t o r d i s s o l v e s i n t o a p u t r i f y i n g m i x t u r e of h i s own s a l i v a , sweat, semen, b l o o d , u r i n e and foeces , i t makes no sense to s i n g l e out E d i t h ' s f a t e as evidence o f Cohen's r e j e c t i o n of the female body. One might want to q u i b b l e w i t h h i s a n a l - s a d i s t i c v iew of l i f e , but even tha t i s c o n s i d e r a b l y m i t i g a t e d by h i s o r a l l y r i c i s m . I n f a c t , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to t h i n k o f a l i t e r a r y apostrophe to the female p e l v i c f l o o r which r i v a l s Cohen's e i t h e r i n l e n g t h or l o v i n g d e t a i l (81-84) . To p r o t e s t tha t the woman e x i s t s o n l y as the s e x u a l o b j e c t o f a mas turbatory f anta sy and i s , moreover, the v i c t i m of pornographic synecdoche, s i m p l y f a i l s to take i n t o account the scene ' s s u c c e s s f u l l y c rea ted sense o f p r i m i t i v e awe, e r o t i c p l e a s u r e , i r o n i c p l a y f u l n e s s , and tender d e v o t i o n . T r u e , the n a r r a t o r h e s i t a t e s f e a r f u l l y at the door to the " c l o s e t va s t as M r s . God" and, l i k e Norman M a i l e r , ^ stands i n more than a l i t t l e f e a r and h o r r o r o f the "seaweed n e t s . . . i n the spongy j u n g l e ' s p a s s i v e womb." But he n e i t h e r r e a c t s w i t h d i s g u s t e d a v e r s i o n , nor o v e r - r e a c t s w i t h aggre s s ive sadism, nor seeks refuge i n s a f e l y d i s t a n c e d rhapsod i e s . 1 5 1 . Indeed, w i t h that p a r t of the woman that at l e a s t h i s tongue can r e a c h , he remains m a r v e l l o u s l y ent ranced . I f i n f i n i t y l i e s f o r B l ake i n a g r a i n of sand, Cohen seems to f i n d i t i n the " f a r t r i s k " p o s i t i o n f a c i n g the perineum. He e l a b o r a t e l y and s e p a r a t e l y e u l o g i e s i t s p a r t s , a l l the way from t h i r t e e n charming synonyms f o r the c l i t o r i s , through the "sweet soup-pea" of the l e u k o r r h e a , past the "octopus complex ion" of the l a b i a , over the "aquarium moss" of the " r i d g e tender and y i e l d i n g " to the " r o s y sphinx h o l e " of the anus. The n a r r a t o r never denies that he i s p l a y i n g " i n f a n t s h i t games," he h o n e s t l y r e v e l s i n them. H i s c l i m a c t i c f i x a t i o n on the anus and h i s c l e a r l y ambiva lent f e e l i n g s towards the female cannot be d e n i e d . But f o r the f i r s t t ime , i n Canadian f i c t i o n , s e x u a l l o v e h o l d s i t s own a g a i n s t the ma le ' s f e a r of the female . The male s e n s i b i l i t y which can r o m a n t i c a l l y v i e w a w i f e ' s haemorrhoids as " s t u n t e d p e t a l s " and p l a y f u l l y beckon her to a r o u s a l w i t h "here c l i t y c l i t y c l i t y " cannot , i n any f a i r n e s s , be s a i d to deny or f l e e the female . The m a n i f e s t a t i o n of l o v e takes n o n - g e n i t a l forms but i t remains both l o v i n g and p a s s i o n a t e . Thus a l though Cohen's dramat ized sex scenes f a l l shor t of h i s polymorphous i d e a l and h i s a t t i t u d e to women r e v e a l s some of the same ambivalence tha t u n d e r l i e s the works of Grove, C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan, n e v e r t h e l e s s h i s treatment o f sex he lp s redres s the o l d a n t i - b o d y ambalance and suggests new and r i c h e r ways of responding to the archetype of the dominant woman. W hi l e i t i s i m p o s s i b l e to do more than touch upon a few of the n o v e l s w r i t t e n i n the s i x years s i n c e B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s , even a c u r s o r y 1 5 2 . l o o k i n d i c a t e s not o n l y the cont inued dominance of the o l d s exua l archetypes but a l so a r e a l t u r n i n g away from V i c t o r i a n e t h i c s to more s e x u a l l y i n t e g r a t e d v i s i o n s . Perhaps Margaret L a u r e n c e ' s The F i r e  D w e l l e r s most c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s the s t r u g g l e to d e a l i n f i c t i o n w i t h the r e p r e s s i v e l y r e s t r i c t i n g i n f l u e n c e o f the V i c t o r i a n n o t i o n s about women. Stacey and her husband Mac are caught i n the t r a d i t i o n a l l y s c h i z o p h r e n i c s p l i t between t h e i r a u t h e n t i c s e l v e s and t h e i r c u l t u r a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d r o l e s . Mac s tays g r i m l y s i l e n t behind h i s mask o f a g g r e s s i v e male a u t h o r i t y , w h i l e S t a c e y ' s v i o l e n t l y ambivalent f e e l i n g s p i l e up behind the p a s s i v e r o l e of the ange l i n the home. Honest and p e r c e p t i v e enough to know t h a t her f e e l i n g s are i n c r e a s i n g l y separated from her b e h a v i o u r , Stacey i s too h e l p l e s s l y emeshed i n f e a r , l o n e l i n e s s , c o n f u s i o n , g u i l t , s e l f - p i t y and h o s t i l i t y to c l o s e the gap wi thout h e l p . And Mac has none to g i v e h e r . Having narrowed h e r s e l f to f i t the c o n f i n i n g r o l e s of good mother and good w i f e , Stacey i s haunted by the s p e c t r e of her own d e s t r u c t i v e powers run rampant. The Devour ing Mother becomes her bete n o i r as she c o m p u l s i v e l y seeks out newspaper s t o r i e s about ber se rk mums k i l l i n g t h e i r h e l p l e s s bab ies and pop psychology a r t i c l e s which accuse her of c a s t r a t i n g her husband and sons. She o b s e s s i v e l y f a n t a s i e s and dreams h e r s e l f and her c h i l d r e n des t royed by the ravages of f i r e , a c c i d e n t , s t a r v a t i o n , war, d i s e a s e , p a i n and d e a t h . Mac i n c r e a s e s her f e a r s by p r o j e c t i n g h i s own inadequac ies onto h i s sons and blaming Stacey f o r any t e r r i f y i n g evidence of t h e i r i n s u f f i c i e n t m a s c u l i n i t y . Thus Stacey ends up c o n t i n u a l l y t o r n between wanting to reach out and touch her men and the g u i l t y i n h i b i t i n g f ea r tha t her touch may be d e a d l y . Seeing h e r s e l f as dumpy and da ted , she once humourously t h i n k s g "Under t h i s chapeau l u r k s a mermaid, a whore, a t i g r e s s . " Her process o f se l f -awareness and s e l f - a c c e p t a n c e comes about , i n p a r t , through g e t t i n g to know her a n t i - V i c t o r i a n s i d e . She has to face her own whore and devour ing animal when she goes w i t h B u c k l e to h i s apartment and meets h i s monster mother. The g i g a n t i c , o l d , b l i n d , p r o s t i t u t e s i t s "out spread l i k e r i s i n g dough gone amok," her "gaping body" covered by a " shroud-shaped" f l o w e r - p r i n t e d d r e s s , her " v a s t l y numbered c h i n s t r e m b l i n g e e l - l i k e separate but i n v o l v e d " (157) . Stacey watches f a s c i n a t e d by the m i r r o r image of her dark s i d e as the f i n e - f i n g e r e d hands grope b l i n d l y f o r the p o r t - f i l l e d t e a p o t , a pretence a t r e s p e c t a b i l i t y and g e n t i l i t y w i t h which Stacey p a i n f u l l y i d e n t i f i e s . A l though she does not even l i k e B u c k l e she i s s e x u a l l y a t t r a c t e d to h i m , and suddenly i n a r e c k l e s s mood, f i n d s h e r s e l f drawing toward h i s coarse m a s c u l i n i t y i n f r o n t of the b l i n d monster mother. B u c k l e ' s abrupt r e p u l s i o n and s a d i s t i c mas turba t ion send her f l e e i n g i n p a n i c , but not be fore she has stooped to p i c k up the bus f a r e he h u r l s a t h e r . . She gets to know her mermaid when, i n anger and l o n e l i n e s s , she f l e e s Mac and meets a r a t h e r cardboard bohemian on the beach. I t i s i n d i c a t i v e of L a u r e n c e ' s p reoccupa t ion w i t h the s u b t l e t i e s and t ens ions of m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t , a l though she des igns a l o v e a f f a i r f o r Stacey as therapy , she cannot r e a l l y i d e n t i f y w i t h 154. and v i v i f y the young groovy l o v e r who he lps Stacey accept her d e s i r e , her need f o r t a l k , and her middle-aged body. He conf i rms i n her the urge f o r u n i o n r a t h e r than a s s a u l t and he lps make i t p o s s i b l e f o r her to r e t u r n to Mac w i t h more c e r t a i n t y , honesty and tenderness . Nor throp Frye has commented upon the Canadian " p r e o c c u p a t i o n 9 w i t h the theme of s t r a n g l e d a r t i c u l a t e n e s s " and c e r t a i n l y no author i s more preoccupied w i t h i t than Laurence . I n t h i s n o v e l no one can say what they want to except Luke . In the MacAindra f a m i l y even three year o l d Jen re fuses to l e a r n to t a l k , w h i l e Matthew, Mac, and Ian represent three genera t ions of Scotch P r e s b y t e r i a n i n s i s t e n c e on manly s e l f - c o n t r o l . C o n d i t i o n e d to f i n d even words about f e e l i n g s i n d e c e n t , i t takes l i t e r a l l y l i f e - a n d - d e a t h c r i s e s f o r them to f i n d t h e i r emotions and t h e i r tongues. Thus both the men and women come to s t r a n g l e themselves out of f e a r o f be ing unable to l i v e up to t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e s . Laurence e x p l i c i t l y l i n k s t h i s emot iona l i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s w i t h l i m i t e d s e x u a l i t y . Max avo ids Stacey and seeks refuge i n t i r e d s i l e n c e ; Stacey cannot b r i n g h e r s e l f to broach the s u b j e c t of h i s w i t h d r a w a l or her resentment . E v e n t u a l l y they reach almost t o t a l s exua l i s o l a t i o n i n which Stacey h u r t s and then makes up to Mac who can on ly perform a f t e r a s h o r t , f i x e d r i t u a l of s a d i s t i c f o r e p l a y . But l i m i t e d and fragmented as i t i s , sex i s s t i l l t h e i r best way of t a l k i n g to each o t h e r . D e s p i t e her p a i n f u l awareness of the inter-dependence of the sexua l and emot iona l and her d e l i b e r a t e e x p l o r a t i o n of s exua l exper iences as a 155. way out o f dead-end r e p r e s s i o n , Laurence cannot w h o l l y shuck h e r c u l t u r a l i n h i b i t i o n s . Stacey i s c o n v i n c i n g l y s exua l o n l y when she t h i n k s r e s e n t f u l l y about her g e n e r a l f r u s t r a t i o n and l o n e l i n e s s . However when the prose moves e i t h e r i n t o e x p l i c i t mastabatory f anta sy or s exua l a c t u a l i t y i t becomes embarra s s ing ly s t i l t e d . D e s c r i p t i o n s df supposedly happy lovemaking read more l i k e the i n s t r u c t i o n s on a home-assembly k i t than the p a s s i o n a t e encounter of two p e o p l e : "He puts h i s hands on her b r e a s t s , then s l i d e s h i s f i n g e r s down to her w i l l i n g s e x ; " "Luke takes her hand and puts i t on h i s s e x ; " "She takes h i s sex i n her hands and guides i t i n t o h e r " (100, 202, 203) . The o n l y t ime Laurence r e f e r s to the g e n i t a l s i n any way o ther than " h i s sex" o r " h e r s e x , " she adopts the u n h a p p i l y burdensome " c r u x where they met and j o i n e d " (75) . F o r a s i d e from a somewhat p r u d i s h and p r u r i e n t o b s e s s i o n w i t h " t h e bulge where h i s sex i s " (41 ) , the r e a l focus of the n o v e l ' s s exua l energy remains i n a d v e r t e n t l y on the s a d i s t i c . The d e s c r i p t i o n s of Mac ' s f i n g e r s p r e s s i n g s t e a d i l y i n t o S t a c e y ' s c o l l a r b o n e and Tess F o l g e r p r e s s i n g down on l i t t l e J e n ' s shoulder s f o r c i n g her to watch the b i g g o l d f i s h eat the l i t t l e g o l d f i s h a re undoubtedly the most s u c c e s s f u l l y r e a l i z e d " s e x " scenes i n the book. Moreover , the n o v e l f a i l s to some extent over the b l u r r i n g o f S t a c e y ' s n e u r o t i c obse s s ion i n t o the r e a l i t i e s o f p l o t . The c o n s i s t e n c y and frequency w i t h which d i s a s t e r s t r i k e s the moment Stacey t u r n s her back on her c h i l d r e n to pay a t t e n t i o n t o her own needs seems t o stem more from L a u r e n c e ' s sense of p u n i t i v e judgement than S t a c e y ' s . Indeed, the p l o t d i s a s t e r s f u n c t i o n l e s s as a comment on an a r b i t r a r i l y 156. dangerous wor ld than as a c o n f i r m a t i o n of S t a c e y ' s n e u r o t i c f e a r s . Thus Laurence courageous ly but u n e a s i l y t r i e s to s t r a d d l e the gap between V i c t o r i a n and a n t i - V i c t o r i a n a t t i t u d e s . She e x p l o r e s marr iage both as a sanctuary a g a i n s t the t h r e a t e n i n g pres sures of a de-humanized, c o m m e r c i a l i z e d , a l i e n a t e d and aggre s s ive s o c i a l order and as an emot iona l p r i s o n i n which trapped men and women work through , i f they can , t h e i r own p e r s o n a l microcosm of r e p r e s s i o n and sadism. V i c t o r i a n i n her d e s i r e to see s tony mascu l ine h e a r t s open up to embrace so f t f emin ine t e a r s , n e v e r t h e l e s s she i s a l so f i r m l y a n t i - V i c t o r i a n i n her i n s i s t e n c e upon a corresponding " m a s c u l i n i z a t i o n " of the female . As Stacey l e a r n s to be more e m o t i o n a l l y aggre s s ive she he lp s r e l e a s e Mac from h i s p r i s o n of mascu l ine inadequacy. By the end of the n o v e l , when he c rawl s i n t o bed once aga in murmuring h i s g u i l t y s e l f -j u s t i f i c a t i o n and apology " C h r i s t , am I ever b e a t , " Stacey i s f i n a l l y a b l e to break the v i c i o u s c i r c l e of h i s w i t h d r a w a l and her i s o l a t i o n : "Mac, i t ' s okay . I t ' s okay i f you want t o , and i t ' s okay i f you d o n ' t want t o . O n l y — j u s t t a l k to me sometimes when you can , eh?" Defens ive a t f i r s t , Mac f i n a l l y " t u r n s to f ace h e r " and q u e s t i o n her about something he wants to know. T h e i r s imple but honest c o n v e r s a t i o n b r i n g s both of them to a d m i t t i n g some common f ea r s and "Then they make l o v e a f t e r a l l , but g e n t l y , as though c o n s o l i n g one another f o r e v e r y t h i n g n e i t h e r of them can h e l p nor a l t e r " (307) . For Stacey the l i b e r a t i n g movement e n t a i l s her c l a i m i n g some of her s t i f l e d a g g r e s s i o n , f o r Mac a d m i t t i n g to some of h i s denied v u l n e r a b i l i t y . L i k e Cohen, Laurence would widen the range of aggre s s ive and 157. p a s s i v e responses , doing away w i t h both the c r i p p l i n g i d e a l s of debased p u r i t a n i s m and the s h a r p l y d i v i d e d V i c t o r i a n sex r o l e s . U n l i k e Cohen, however, she cannot as y e t w h o l l y acknowledge the e r o t i c appeal of the s a d i s t i c nor r i d h e r s e l f of the p a i n f u l c o i l s of modesty. And the two, as t h i s t h e s i s has r e p e a t e d l y seen, go hand i n hand. I n Robert K r o e t s c h ' s The Studhorse Man, the hero and h e r o i n e know n o t h i n g o f e i t h e r f a l s e modesty o r cover t sado-masochism. They r e p r e s e n t , i n s t e a d , an easy f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the body and a f i e r c e a s s e r t i o n o f p r o c r e a t i v e s e x u a l energy. K r o e t s c h ' s n o v e l i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g f o r the ways i n which i t s t r a d d l e s three d i s t i n c t s exua l t r a d i t i o n s . F i r s t , i t c e l e b r a t e s the u n a d u l t e r a t e d l y s exua l and thus r e p u d i a t e s bo th the romant ic quest a f t e r s u b l i m i t y and the V i c t o r i a n i d e a l s of p u r i t y and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e . Secondly , i t r e j e c t s the i d e a l of polymorphous p e r v e r s i t y and i n s i s t s upon the primacy of g e n i t a l sex , most p a r t i c u l a r l y tha t of p h a l l u s power. L a s t l y , i t remains preoccupied w i t h the s t r u g g l e f o r supremacy between a dominant female and a threa tened male . Thus i t o f f e r s a r i c h work ing out of many o f the s e x u a l t e n s i o n s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s t h e s i s . As s exua l b e i n g s , Hazard and Martha are d i s t i n c t l y more developed than many of t h e i r p redeces sor s . Hazard i s a q u e s t i n g p h a l l i c superman who f o r t w e n t y - f o u r years has roamed the p l a i n s p r o v i d i n g a s tud s e r v i c e . But the advent o f the a u t o m o b i l e , the D e p r e s s i o n , and a r t i f i c i a l i n s e m i n a t i o n have a lmost des t royed h i s c a l l i n g . C l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h h i s s t a l l i o n , Hazard i s the embodiment of a g g r e s s i v e , c r e a t i v e , male s e x u a l i t y . When he s ad ly muses, "Who would have t h o u g h t . . . tha t screwing 158. would go out of s t y l e ? " h i s comment f u n c t i o n s not o n l y as a lament f o r a more n a t u r a l and now threa tened way o f l i f e , but a l so more e x p l i c i t l y as a d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m of the i n c r e a s i n g l y f a s h i o n a b l e adrogynous i d e a l . As " t h e o n l y remaining s tudhorse man, " Hazard i s on a s exua l quest which reduces s imply to " e x t i n c t i o n or s u r v i v a l " ( 7 ) . But Hazard i s more than a s t u d . I n f a c t , he i s the f i r s t Canadian hero to i n t e g r a t e e a s i l y h i s aggre s s ive and tender f e e l i n g s . Thus the s e x u a l superman i s a l s o an e a s y - g o i n g , k i n d - h e a r t e d p a c i f i s t , who s i n c e r e l y b e l i e v e s i n "Thou s h a l t not k i l l . " A compari son, f o r i n s t a n c e , of h i s c a r v i n g up of the dead p i g w i t h Dav id Canaan's overwhelmed r e a c t i o n s to the p i g - s t i c k i n g scene i n Ernes t B u c k l e r ' s The Mounta in and  the V a l l e y i n d i c a t e s a s i g n i f i c a n t s h i f t i n the h e r o ' s a t t i t u d e towards h i s own m a s c u l i n i t y . Hazard can carve w i t h o u t f a n f a r e , working e f f i c i e n t l y and e a s i l y to " c u t out the pen i s and s l i t the s k i n of the b e l l y back almost t o the a n u s . . . t y i n g a knot i n the u t h e r a " ( 7 7 ) . But so too does he know i n s t i n c t i v e l y and s u r e l y tha t he cannot k i l l a l i v e p i g . U n l i k e D a v i d , he never confuses h i s s e n s i t i v e f e e l i n g s w i t h f ea r s about h i s m a s c u l i n i t y . Thus when conf ronted w i t h the c h o i c e of e i t h e r s t i c k i n g the p i g o r s e r v i c i n g the desperate widow, Hazard chooses the " t e r r i b l e t a s k " w i t h " t h e l u s t i n g o l d sack of a woman" (83, 8 2 ) . When one t h i n k s of A d e l e Wiseman's hero i n The S a c r i f i c e com-p u l s i v e l y choos ing to s l i t another o l d woman's th roa t r a t h e r than hav ing to face the i m p l i c a t i o n s of her y e a r n i n g and empty womb, then K r o e t s c h ' s scene becomes doubly i m p o r t a n t . A t odds w i t h the n o t i o n of the s a c r i f i c i a l embrace, K r o e t s c h ' s treatment of t h i s i n c i d e n t s t r o n g l y and s imply i n s i s t s that l i f e i s l i f e , tha t i t can r e a s s e r t i t s e l f i n the s t r anges t p l a c e s , and t h a t you d o n ' t have to s a c r i f i c e i t to know i t . Thus, a l though Hazard beg ins h i s work " l i k e a s u l l e n b u f f a l o , " the p r o c r e a t i v e urge soon s e i z e s him t o o : As they threshed and bucked i n the musty hay i n the h a y l o f t , Hazard and M r s . Lank , he too asked h i m s e l f , How d i d I get here? I s t h i s then j u s t i c e ? Would i t not have been s i m p l e r to s t i c k the sow? As they bucked and t h r e s h e d , the hay p r o v i n g so dus ty t h a t both on o c c a s i o n sneezed, the widow c r i e d o u t , " O h , t h a t i t might be a s o n . " And as she c r i e d o u t , her s t r o n g hands c l u t c h i n g H a z a r d ' s bare b u t t o c k s ( h i s pants were t a n g l e d around h i s knees) he was f i l l e d w i t h a purpose t h a t t ranscended d e s p a i r . Hazard a g a i n s t h i s own w i l l , became obsessed w i t h the n o t i o n tha t she must be got pregnant . (82) M a r t h a , l i k e Hazard , i s a l s o a l a r g e r - t h e n - l i f e s e x u a l c r e a t u r e and a l s o e q u a l l y aggre s s ive and c r e a t i v e i n her s t a n c e . I n the n o v e l ' o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e of the Odysseus myth , Martha becomes not p a t i e n t , prudent Penelope , but A t h e n a , f i r s t among the female goddesses, the aggre s s ive d e i t y of v i r g i n i t y and wisdom and the domes t i ca tor of the w i l d h o r s e . L i k e A t h e n a , Mar tha b o t h opposes and b e f r i e n d s the hero of t h i s mock e p i c : She was t a l l e r than he , s t a n d i n g there m o t i o n l e s s ; her h i p s were broad even i n the b l u e smock she wore over her w h i t e d r e s s . She d i d not see him but r a t h e r the s t a l l i o n at h i s s i d e , the g rea t cock hanging l i k e the p i p e from an eaves t r o u g h . She shook her head, the nares of her h i g h nose gleaming tense and w h i t e . But she would not l o o k away, would not hear h i m . P r o u d l y she s t o o d , d e f y i n g the s tudhorse man h i m s e l f . There a re v i r g i n s and there are v i r g i n s . She i gnored him and he cou ld not t u r n from her b i g s o f t body, her great f u l l b r e a s t s s o f t as a h o r s e ' s nose . (21) Martha se t s h e r s e l f a g a i n s t Hazard i n s i s t i n g he g i v e up h i s 160. quest a f t e r the p e r f e c t h o r s e , admit t h a t he a l r e a d y has i t , and s e t t l e down to enjoy i t i n u n i o n w i t h h e r . Hazard sees her o f f e r as demanding h i s " s u b m i s s i o n , " and e n t a i l i n g h i s " s u r r e n d e r , " and perhaps even c o s t i n g h i s l i f e (20 ) . Yet r e p e a t e d l y M a r t h a ' s p r o c r e a t i v e energy i s p o s i t e d as the source of l i f e , and i n f a c t she e v e n t u a l l y even b r i n g s Hazard back from dead: Martha was champion a g a i n s t our promised end. Death was a nightmare presence bent on s n u f f i n g Hazard i n t o a l onger darkness ; i t was the crone and succubus, the a n c i e n t f i e n d turned female t h a t i n the n i g h t of dream has f a t a l i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h men. Yes , and the moon was a c o l d b r i g h t d i s c on the s k y : Mare F r i g o r i s , Mare H i e m i s , Mare I n c o g n i t o . But Martha s t r o v e a g a i n s t those seas of dust l i k e Hercu le s a g a i n s t the hate of Diomedes and h i s man-eating mares. Martha was a l l c u r i o s i t y to unders tand , to f e e l ; and the mystery took form i n her hand, became u n s h r i v e l e d and y e t more the mys tery , at once s i l k smooth and i r o n h a r d , bone le s s becoming o f bone of b l o o d . . . . f l i n g i n g o f f her c l o t h e s aga in s t the sawdust and the i c e , she took home her h e r o ' s body to her b o d y ' s j o y . Hazard c o u l d not so much as t u r n upon h i s s i d e , f o r exhaus t ion and c o l d , but Martha rode to her new g l o r y u n t i l the n i g h t must have burned f o r shame at her abandon. I t i s o n l y t r a v e l i n g takes us home. (153, 154) The s t r u g g l e between Martha and Hazard i s , i n the n o v e l ' s terms i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , f o r she i s by d e f i n i t i o n the source of both l i f e and dea th . K r o e t s c h ' s n o v e l s tays c e n t r a l l y dependent upon the archetype of the l i f e - g i v i n g , l i f e - t a k i n g dominant female . Thus as bo th fecund earth-mother and s i s t e r to " t h e f i e n d turned f e m a l e , " Martha becomes f o r Hazard the sea o f l i f e and dea th , and the f u l f i l l m e n t not o n l y of h i s dream of s u s t a i n i n g the s t a l l i o n ' s l i n e a g e , but a l s o the means whereby he d i e s . An o l d crone prophes ies that the sea w i l l be H a z a r d ' s murderess , 161. a prophesy which Martha and the s t a l l i o n u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y b r i n g to f r u i t i o n . For the s t a l l i o n i s , of c o u r s e , not o n l y O l d B l u e , Posse , Pussy , and Poesy—a p l a y f u l amalgum of male and female g e n i t a l power, wes tern cowboy ques t , and i m a g i n a t i v e c r e a t i v e energy, but a l s o P o s e i d o n , the f i e r c e God of the Sea who hunted down U l y s s e s . L i k e Pose idon the h o r s e , Martha too emerges from the water and shares i n i t s d u a l c a p a c i t y t o s u s t a i n and des t roy l i f e . Her " sea-green eyes . . . condemning green eyes" and her pub ic h a i r s fes tooned w i t h "honeyed sea-weed d r i p p i n g w a t e r " imply the danger i n h e r e n t i n her s e d u c t i v e power. On h i s ques t , Hazard meets up w i t h a s e r i e s o f women who o f f e r v a r i o u s l y ambiguous i n v i t a t i o n s . The a r t i s t , P . Cockburn , knows enough to p r e f e r the l i v e s t a l l i o n over the bronzed one w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l l y u n d e r s i z e d g e n i t a l i a . But when she gets i n t o bed w i t h Hazard she wants to render him immorta l i n wax. He r e s i s t s t h i s " f o e " who would make him a " p r i s o n e r " and e v e n t u a l l y , by means of sheer s exua l potency "murders " her a r t i s t i c r e s o l v e (32, 3 4 ) . S i s t e r Raphael and her entourage o f f e r Hazard refuge i n The Home f o r I n c u r a b l e s , where e scap i s t p e r v e r s i t i e s promise the e l i m i n a t i o n of any r e a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n and r u l e out the p o s s i b i l i t y o f any c r e a t i v e use o f sex. M r s . Lank o f f e r s him the c h o i c e of s l a u g h t e r i n g the sow o r s a t i s f y i n g her desperate urge to c o n c e i v e . Her menacing i n s a t i a b i l i t y , to say n o t h i n g of her grubby u g l i n e s s , become o b s t a c l e s which the s exua l hero must i m a g i n a t i v e l y surmount i n order to pursue h i s ques t . M a r i e Eshpeter i s a contemporary C i r c e s who s e x u a l l y ens laves Hazard and has him l i v i n g " b a b y l i k e upon / h e r / f u l l b r e a s t s . . . e x c e p t i o n a l l y submiss ive 162. to h i s s u f f e r i n g " (124) . A t the touch of her w h i p , Hazard turns i n t o a w h i n n y i n g , c r a w l i n g c r e a t u r e a d d i c t e d to a c t i n g out h i s perver se f a n t a s i e s , w h i l e the m a g n i f i c e n t s t a l l i o n i s reduced to e j a c u l a t i n g i n t o an a r t i f i c i a l vag ina (124) . F i n a l l y , another o l d widow, M r s . L a p o r t , becomes the doorway through which Hazard enters death w h i l e t r y i n g to s a t i s f y her rampant f r u s t r a t i o n . Not o n l y are women the enemies, but the p a t t e r n of c o n f l i c t d e f i n i t e l y r e v o l v e s around o l d e r women and focus9es on t h e i r b r e a s t s . Thus , d e s p i t e the o s t e n s i b l e i n s i s t e n c e on the g e n i t a l , i t i s the b r e a s t s of these mother f i g u r e s which once a g a i n predominate . P . Cockburn ' s a re l i k e n e d i n a l e n g t h y l y r i c a l o u t b u r s t t o "two great speck led eggs" (35) . Then i n a grotesque parody o f the l y r i c i s m , Hazard l i e s t rapped i n " a p i l e o f d i r t y b e d c l o t h e s . . . t r y i n g not to i n h a l e the odors of sweat and vomit and excrement" w h i l e o l d S t i f f breathes i n t o t o o t h l e s s H o l e ' s e a r , "Your b r e a s t s . . . a r e l i k e the g rea t s p e c k l e d — " (56) . M r s . L a n k ' s b rea s t s bob v i o l e n t l y up and down " l i k e c a t s put to drown i n a sack" \ (76) . M a r i e Eshpeter has " f u l l b r e a s t s " w i t h "engorged n i p p l e s " (132:, 129) , w h i l e M r s . L a p o r t e ' s are " l o s i n g t h e i r j o s t l e and bounce" (144) . A n d , of cour se , M a r t h a ' s " g l i s t e n i n g f u l l b r e a s t s , " w i t h t h e i r " n i p p l e s o f r ed j a s p e r " become f o r Demeter the t r a d i t i o n a l focus f o r h i s O e d i p a l f i x a t i o n (64, 36 ) . Indeed, i n the Martha-Demeter r e l a t i o n s h i p , K r o e t s c h works out p r e c i s e l y the k i n d of p a t t e r n t h i s t h e s i s has presented as u n d e r l y i n g the male-female r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Canadian n o v e l s . Martha i s the adored and hated mother f i g u r e w h i l e Demeter eager ly assumes the r o l e of 163. s e n s i t i v e , i n f a t u a t e d son . The n o v e l p o s i t s H a z a r d ' s aggre s s ive p h a l l i c s e x u a l i t y as a v a s t l y s u p e r i o r a l t e r n a t i v e to Demeter 's impotent d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s . To h e i g h t e n the c o n t r a s t , K r o e t s c h juxtaposes the mating o f the horses a g a i n s t Demeter 's m a s t u r b a t i o n . In a g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f the s t a l l i o n ' s foaming, b i t i n g , and s t r i k i n g b lood from the mare's f l a n k s , and the mare's r e l u c t a n c e " t o commence her huncing and u r i n a t i n g , " K r o e t s c h makes the case f o r aggre s s ive g e n i t a l s e x u a l i t y : The s t a l l i o n b u r i e d deep and p o w e r f u l l y t h a t b a r b , h i s t h i c k body s h u d d e r i n g , g r o a n i n g ; the mare both fought and welcomed tha t which she most d e s i r e d , the huge and p e n e t r a t i n g rage of the s t a l l i o n ' s p a s s i o n to possess . (67) Measured aga i n s t the e r o t i c power and p r o c r e a t i v e promise of t h i s p h a l l i c f a n t a s y , Demeter 's " f u m b l i n g has te i n the presence of her / M a r t h a ' s / calm d i s r e g a r d " comes o f f a poor second bes t (65 ) . For a l l h i s e c s t a t i c r o m a n t i c i z i n g , Demeter 's p a s s i o n cu lmina te s o n l y i n m a s t u r b a t i o n . And no sooner has he d e s c r i b e d the rap turous " f u r y o f my own f i s t , " than he t e l l s us tha t h i s mother m i s t a k e n l y c h r i s t e n e d him w i t h a g i r l ' s name (65) . In thus parody ing the a t t enua ted n a r r a t o r , K r o e t s c h l eaves l i t t l e doubt about the s u p e r i o r i t y of h e t e r o s e x u a l , a gg re s s ive g e n i t a l potency . Indeed, The Studhorse Man f r e q u e n t l y seems to be commenting d i r e c t l y and s a t i r i c a l l y on Leonard Cohen's B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s . Both nove l s c e n t r e on a l o v e t r i a n g l e of two men and a woman, w i t h one man n a r r a t i n g the h i s t o r y of the o t h e r ' s e x c e s s i v e sexua l e x p l o i t s and h i s own shor tcomings . K r o e t s c h ' s n a r r a t o r , l i k e Cohen ' s , i s an h i s t o r i a n , 164. a b iographer o f a m a r t y r , and a s e l f - a p p o i n t e d " seeker a f t e r t r u t h " (34 ) . He i s a l s o s i m i l a r i l y a s e l f - p i t y i n g pedant , a prude , a s e l f -imposed e x i l e , a madman, and a voyeur who never a t t a i n s g e n i t a l potency . K r o e t s c h r e p e a t e d l y emphasizes the n a r r a t o r ' s " f e m i n i n e " s e n s i b i l i t y by hav ing him f o r e v e r swa l lowing back h i s t e a r s , r o m a n t i c i z i n g about n a t u r e , and gentee ly o b j e c t i n g to H a z a r d ' s rougher ways. When Demeter dec ides to rescue the s t a l l i o n i n the b e l i e f tha t Hazard has be t rayed the cause by c o u p l i n g f i n a l l y w i t h M a r t h a , he takes a l l the horses i n t o a w o r l d which K r o e t s c h seems to be s a y i n g i s too u n r e a l i s t i c , too a t t e n u a t e d , and too d r e a m l i k e . Whereas Hazard responded to S p r i n g t h i n k i n g i t a "raw b i t c h of a w i n d . . . f u l l of crocus and s n a t c h , " Demeter enter s a s u n l i g h t meadow and sees t h i n g s l i k e " t e n d u c k l i n g s , too downy to f l y " (12 ,156) . He r e t u r n s to H a z a r d ' s deser ted house, and, l i k e the o r i g i n a l c r a z y owner who would not b e l i e v e tha t the war was o v e r , b a r r i c a d e s h i m s e l f i n t o the w h i m s i c a l hor se mansion. P a s s i o n a t e now about H a z a r d ' s i d e a l i s t i c m i s s i o n , Demeter prepares to defend the p r i n c i p l e and the l i v e s o f the horses w i t h three shotguns. A g a i n echoing B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s , he l o v i n g l y s n i f f s the gun ' s " d e l i c i o u s dark o r i f i c e " i n a c l e a r r e p u d i a t i o n of a n a l - e r o t i c i s m as s t e r i l e and s a d i s t i c (161) . Whi l e the animals d a l l y below, Demeter thumbs through H a z a r d ' s b i b l e , The Genera l Stud Book, d w e l l i n g not on the l i n e of descent but on the o b i t u a r i e s of the s t a l l i o n s . He cuddles the shotgun between h i s l e g s , " c r a d l i n g the warm b l u e b a r r e l to / h i s / cheek" (161) . As a deadly and perverse s u b s t i t u t e f o r the p h a l l u s , 165. the shotgun a t t e s t s to the dea th- seek ing na ture of the s e x u a l i t y represented by Demeter. When Martha approaches the house, h i s ambivalence towards her breaks out as he f a s tens " t h e f r o n t s i g h t of the t w i n b a r r e l s on her pussy" (162) . In the same way, he i s prepared to de s t roy the s t a l l i o n to keep Hazard from the house. D e s p i t e a l l the i d e a l i s t i c t a l k about the p r o c r e a t i v e m i s s i o n , Demeter s imply cannot s tep i n t o H a z a r d ' s shoes . In h i s deluded s t a t e , Martha and Pose idon become as e a s i l y expendable as Hazard . Demeter 's approach to Martha i s c l a s s i c a l l y and d e l i g h t f u l l y m a s o c h i s t i c . L i k e Cohen's n a r r a t o r , he s l o w l y works h i s " p a r c h e d " and "greedy mouth" up from her toes to her n i p p l e s (168, 169) . Then, when he c r i e s on her b r e a s t and she comforts h i m , the scene moves r i g h t back i n t o They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h w i t h ambiva lent M i c h a e l s t u c k f o r e v e r at Anna ' s mate rna l b r e a s t . Suddenly Martha takes Demeter 's "body i n the g r a c i o u s cup o f her w h i t e h a n d , " and announces "My God . . .Demeter . You must take me—take me—away" (169) . I n s t a n t l y , ado lescent George and C a t h e r i n e of The Watch that Ends the N i g h t are i n on the f i n a l love- scene as w e l l . I t i s no wonder t h a t Hazard , the l a s t of the s tudhorse men, chooses t h i s moment f o r h i s own d e s t r u c t i o n . T h i s mock e p i c ends i n the b i t t e r l y i r o n i c v i s i o n of rows and rows of mares harnassed to tubes which c a t c h t h e i r u r i n e , w h i l e Pose idon presumably r i d e s a wooden horse and empties h i m s e l f i n t o a p l a s t i c v a g i n a thus making p o s s i b l e the e f f i c i e n t s e r v i c i n g o f the many i n a commercial e n t e r p r i s e ded ica ted to mass i n f e r t i l i t y . The n o v e l ' s 166. movement t r a c e s the descent o f mascu l ine s e x u a l energy and promises an ascendent female and androgynous power. I f the b l u e s t a l l i o n l i v e s on , i t i s not because o f the n a r r a t o r ' s misguided "hero i sm and c o n c e r n , " nor even because o f Hazard ' s martyrdom, but o n l y because a r e a l Demeter who l i k e s h o r s e s , and not a perverse male i m i t a t i o n , has been conce ived i n the s i n g l y dea th-de fy ing u n i o n of Martha and Hazard (167) . A l t h o u g h i t ends p e s s i m i s t i c a l l y w i t h the r e p r e s s i v e f o r c e s o f c o m p e t i t i v e m a t e r i a l i s m , t e c h n o l o g y , i d e a l i s m , and perver se s e x u a l i t y s t i l l h o l d i n g the f o r t , The Studhorse Man does succeed i n c e l e b r a t i n g l u s t y , f e r t i l e s e x u a l i t y . I n keeping w i t h the s p i r i t of i t s quoted epigram, " A l i a s ! A l i a s ! That evere l o v e was synne. '" K r o e t s c h ' s n o v e l j o i n s w i t h those of Watson, R i c h l e r , Cohen, and Laurence i n advoca t ing aggre s s ive s e x u a l i t y as a way out of the c o n f i n i n g narrowness of the V i c t o r i a n s e x u a l t r a d i t i o n . However, l i k e a l l the nove l s d i s cus sed i n t h i s t h e s i s , The  Studhorse Man remains c e n t r a l l y preoccup ied w i t h the archetypes of the dominant woman and the threa tened man. Perhaps i t i s reasonable to expect t h a t u n t i l the c u l t u r a l r o l e s f o r men and women open up enough to a l l o w each to d i s c o v e r h i s own p e r s o n a l range o f a g g r e s s i v e and p a s s i v e s e x u a l responses , the bogey of the devour ing mother w i l l cont inue to pursue the c a s t r a t e d son through the pages of Canadian f i c t i o n . 167. FOOTNOTES CHAPTER I : INTRODUCTION "''Douglas G. Jones , B u t t e r f l y on Rock: A Study o f Themes and  Images i n Canadian L i t e r a t u r e (Toronto : Toronto U n i v . P r e s s , 1970), p.8. 2 Jones , p . 139. 3 I r v i n g L a y t o n , e d . , Love Where the N i g h t s are Long (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewart , 1962), p . 16. 4 Northrop F r y e , C o n c l u s i o n to the L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y o f Canada, ed. C a r l F . K l i n k (Toronto : Toronto U n i v . P r e s s , 1965), p . 832. ^ L e s l i e F i e d l e r , Love and Death i n the American N o v e l , r e v . ed . (1960; New Y o r k : S t e i n and Day, 1966), p . 75. ^Steven Marcus , The Other V i c t o r i a n s : A Study of S e x u a l i t y and  Pornography i n M i d - N i n e t e e n t h Century England (New Y o r k : B a s i c Book's, 1966), p . x i i i . ^Wal ter E . Houghton, The V i c t o r i a n Frame of Mind (New Haven: * Y a l e U n i v . P r e s s , 1957), pp. 342-343. g John R u s k i n , Sesame and L i l i e s , quoted by Houghton, p . 343. 9 Houghton, p . 344. ^ ^ W i l l i a m A c t o n , The F u n c t i o n s and D i s o r d e r s of the Reproduc t ive  Organs, quoted by Marcus , p . 32 . "'""''Houghton, p . 355. 12 Houghton, p . 355. 13 Marcus , pp. 282-283. 1 4 F i e d l e r , p . 108. 168. Denis de Rougemont, Love i n the Western W o r l d , t r a n s . Montgomery B e l g i o n , r e v . ed . (1940; New Y o r k : Pantheon, 1956) , p . 17. •^Rougemont, p . 16. ^ H o u g h t o n , p . 376. CHAPTER I I : FREDERICK PHILIP GROVE ^Thomas Saunders, i n t r o d . , S e t t l e r s of the Marsh (Ryerson P r e s s , 1925; r p t . T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1965) , p . v i i i . 2 Desmond Pacey, F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove (Toronto : Ryerson P r e s s , 1945) , p . 127-128. 3 Desmond Pacey, " F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p G r o v e " , Essays i n Canadian  C r i t i c i s m 1938-1968 (Toronto : Ryerson P r e s s , 1969) , p . 19 . 4 Pacey, Grove, p . 128. "*Pacey, Grove , p . 29. ^ F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove , I n Search of M y s e l f (Toronto : M a c M i l l a n , 1946) , p . 359. Douglas 0 . S p e t t i g u e , F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove (Toronto : Copp C l a r k , 1969) , p . 147. g S p e t t i g u e , p . 111. 9 S p e t t i g u e , p . 112. " ^ S p e t t i g u e , p . 140. " ^ F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove , S e t t l e r s of the Marsh (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1965) , p . 40 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . 12 D o r i s Margaret Cameron, " P u r i t a n i s m i n Canadian P r a i r i e F i c t i o n " (unpubl i shed M . A . t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia , 1966) , p . 80. 169. 13 Thomas H. Johnson and P e r r y M i l l e r , The P u r i t a n s , r e v . ed . (1938; New Y o r k : Harper and Row, 1963) , I , 11 . "^Benjamin Wadsworth, The W e i l - O r d e r e d F a m i l y , quoted by Edmund S. Morgan, The P u r i t a n F a m i l y , r e v . ed. (1944; New Y o r k : Harper and Row, 1966) , p . 48 . "^Some O l d P u r i t a n Love L e t t e r s : John and Mary W i n t h r o p , 1618-1638, ed. Joseph Hopkins T w i c h e l l . (New Y o r k : Dodd, Mead, 1894) . "^Morgan, p . 62 . 1 7 P e r r y M i l l e r , The New England M i n d : The Seventeenth Century (Bos ton : Beacon P r e s s , 1961) , p . 41 . "^Morgan, p . 64. 19 Johnson and M i l l e r , p . 24. ^ M o r g a n , p . 46 . ^"Slorgan, p . 54. ^^Norman 0 . Brown, L i f e A g a i n s t Death (Middle town, C o n n e c t i c u t : Wesleyan U n i v . P r e s s , 1959) , p . 3 1 . 23 Grove , I n Search of M y s e l f , p . 23 . Sigmund F r e u d , A Genera l I n t r o d u c t i o n to P s y c h o a n a l y s i s , r e v . ed . (1924; New Y o r k : Simon and Schus te r , 1952) , p . 392. 25 Ronald S u t h e r l a n d , F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1969) , p . 49 . ^ P a c e y , p . 4 1 . 27 S u t h e r l a n d , p . 49. 28, Jones , p . 77. Sigmund Freud James Strachey (New Y o r k : Norton and Company, 1961) , p . 15 . 29 Sigmund F r e u d , C i v i l i z a t i o n and i t s D i s c o n t e n t s , t r a n s , and ed . 170. 30 Herber t Marcuse , Eros and C i v i l i z a t i o n (New Y o r k : Random House, 1962) , p . 170. 31 S u t h e r l a n d , p . 50. 32 Pacey , Grove, p . 46. 33 Rougemont, p . 66. 34 Grove , quoted by Pacey , Grove , p . 30. CHAPTER I I I : MORLEY CALLAGHAN ^George Woodcock, Odysseus Ever R e t u r n i n g (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1970) , p . 28 . 2 Woodcock, p . 37 . 3 Morley C a l l a g h a n , They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h (New Y o r k : Random House, 1935) , p . 15 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . 4 F r e u d , C i v i l i z a t i o n , p . 49 . ^Grove, S e t t l e r s , p . 36. Hugo MacPherson, "The Two Worlds of M o r l e y C a l l a g h a n : Man's E a r t h l y Quest" , Queen's Q u a r t e r l y , L X I V , 3 (Autumn, 1957) , p . 352. CHAPTER I V : HUGH MACLENNAN 1 Hugh MacLennan, The Watch t h a t Ends the N ight (1959; r p t . Toronto : S i g n e t , 1968) , p . 294. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . 2 George Woodcock, Hugh MacLennan (Toronto : Copp C l a r k , 1969) , p . 103. 3 Woodcock, p . 108. 4 Woodcock, p . 103. 171. ^Woodcock, p . 108. Woodcock, p . 109. ^Hugh MacLennan, "The S tory of a N o v e l , " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 3 ( W i n t e r , 1960) , p . 39 . g Warren T a l l m a n , "Wol f i n the Snow," P a r t One, C anad i a n L i t e r a t u r e , 5 (Summer, 1960) , p . 18. CHAPTER V : SHEILA WATSON ^"Spettigue, F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p Grove , p . 72. 2 M o r l e y C a l l a g h a n , That Summer i n P a r i s (New Y o r k : Coward-McCann, 1963) , p . 21. 3 S h e i l a Watson, The Double Hook (1959; r p t . T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1966) , p . 61 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . 4 Margaret M o r r i s s , "The Elements Transcended , " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 42 (Autumn, 1969) , pp . 56-71. ^ M o r r i s s , p . 64. ^Grove, In Search of M y s e l f , p . 359. CHAPTER V I : MORDECAI RICHLER ^Jones, p . 139. 2 For a f u l l e r d i s c u s s i o n of the p i ca re sque elements i n The  A p p r e n t i c e s h i p of Duddy K r a v i t z see I t z i k Basman, "Aspect s o f Form as W o r l d " (unpubl i shed M . A . t h e s i s , U n i v . of B r i t i s h Co lumbia , 1971) pp . 51-75. 3 Mordeca i R i c h l e r , The A p p r e n t i c e s h i p of Duddy K r a v i t z (Andre Deut sch , 1959; r p t . T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1969) , p . 156. George Woodcock, Mordeca i R i c h l e r (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1970) , p . 42. 172. CHAPTER V I I : CONCLUSION Fiedler , p . 140. 2 F i e d l e r , p . 38. 3 Susan Sontag, A g a i n s t I n t e r p r e t a t i o n (New Y o r k : F a - r a r , S t raus and G i r o u x , 1966) , pp. 275-292. 4 Sontag, p . 7 . ^Leonard Cohen, B e a u t i f u l Lose r s (New Y o r k : V i k i n g P r e s s , 1966) , p . 15 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . ^ F i e d l e r , p i 476. ^Norman M a i l e r , " P r i s o n e r of Sex" , H a r p e r ' s , March , 1971, pp . 50 , 59, 66. g Margaret Laurence , The F i r e - D w e l l e r s (Toronto : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t , 1969) , p . 12. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n t h e ' t e x t . 9 Northrop F r y e , C o n c l u s i o n to the L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of Canada, p . 826. 1 0 R o b e r t K r o e t s c h , The Studhorseman, (Toronto : M a c M i l l a n , 1969) , p . 7. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i n the t e x t . 173. A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY I . PRIMARY SOURCES C a l l a g h a n , M o r l e y . They S h a l l I n h e r i t the E a r t h . New Y o r k : Random House, 1935. Cohen, L e o n a r d . B e a u t i f u l L o s e r s . New Y o r k : V i k i n g P r e s s , 1966. Grove , F r e d e r i c k P h i l i p . 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