Bedtime musings on character in DWJ (F & H)
ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Nov 16 19:25:40 EST 2000
> Well, yes. But you could also think of the struggle to live morally
> as one which is equally never over until one dies. Which is why I'd
> go back to my original point and say that I don't understand what is
> explained about Reg by his father's having been taken. The desire to
> get what we want with no cost to ourselves is in all of us surely.
> Reg would hardly be in any worse moral shape than anyone else just
> because of his father.
I always thought the cause of Reg's dodgy character lay in his
upbringing, insofar as that was a consequence of the relationship
between his father and mother and his father and Laurel. Reg's
mother was deserted by his father (I think) before his birth. I don't
think it says but the implication is surely that he had to be married
to Laurel in order to substitute for the man with the black poached
eggs for eyes (Ye Gods! the unpleasantness of that description
strikes anew when typing it). Anyhow that would have made Reg
illegitimate as well as fatherless, at a time when that was a
disgrace (and it would have been fairly disgraceful then to have a
father who deserted your mother too). I think his mother made
mistakes with him, being too indulgent perhaps. She may have felt
she should have saved his father and overcompensated out of guilt.
By the time of F&H I think she has learned from her mistakes and
come to terms with the past, which is why she is able to be a
much better granny to Polly than she was a Mother to Reg. I
suppose Polly is Granny's chance to get things right, which she
does as far as Polly's upbringing goes but I think she was always
in two minds about Thomas Lynn.
The relationship between the villagers and Laurel is interesting. Its
obviously gone on for a long time. Its comparable to the townsfolk
in Carpe Jugulum, they have allowed themselves to become
domesticated in return for a touch of glamour. I suppose what they
get out of it is the art of the doomed talented boys like Thomas and
You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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