6The Story The plot allows us to construct a fairly coherent story: Gang war: Corleoni vs Kite.Kite is killed and Pinkey takes command.Hale, somehow associated with Corleoni and Kite’s murder, shows up in Brighton and is somehow killed by Pinkey as an act of retribution. Pinkey’s MO is never revealed.Shortly after the murder, Pinkey discovers that Spicer, who has been distributing Hale’s cards after his death, has botched his job by placing a card where someone may be able to recognise him, endangering their alibi.
7The StoryInorder to remedy Spicer’s mistake, Pinkey strikes up a relationship with the waitress at Snows where Spicer left his card.Ida Arnold, whom Hale befriended before his murder, disagrees with the inquest’s verdict of death by heart failure and embarks on her own investigation.Ida’s investigation threatens the gang and Pinkey is forced into a series of defensive actions: He kills Spicer, marries Rose, and plans her suicide, among other things.
8The StoryUltimately, Pinkey’s attempts at covering up fails. Ida succeeds in resucuing Rose from Pinkey’s plan and in punishing Pinkey.
9Anomalies But the plot also manifests anomalies, e.g. with respect to: Duration:One section: Hale, Spicer, CubbitTwo sections: RoseEight sections: Ida18 sections: PinkeyOrder:Begins and ends with characters (Hale and Rose) who are disregarded by the narrative discourseEllipsisThe sections are juxtaposed without narratorial intrusionThe crime (Hale’s murder) is never represented
10Plot and meaning An Entertainment? Does the novel have something to tell us beneath the entertainment level?The themes of identity and role-playing: the adaptation of behaviour to fulfill a social role. Freedom and autheticity vs conventions. Hale, Pinkey, Rose, Ida, Spicer, …Rose and the ending?And ”I Spy”?
11Brighton Rock: Levels of Meaning Realism:Brighton behind the scenesCrimes in and of societyAllegoryMoral fable: right vs. wrongChristian allegory: good vs. BadAllegory of reading
12Secondary LiteratureBates Hoffer, ”Greeneland’s Brighton Rock: The Cultural Matrix” (2002)Brian Diemert, ”Ida Arnold and the Detective Story: Reading Brighton Rock”Lucio P. Ruotolo, ”Brighton Rock’s Absurd Heroine”