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Graham Greene, Brighton Rock

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1 Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
Crime Fiction Session Three

2 Agenda Theory The Anticipation of Retrospection
The Secondary Literature

3 I 1 Hale 2 (20) The Boy 3 (28) Ida Arnold II 1 (47) 2 (63) III 1 (73) 2 (86) Spicer 3 (91) 4 (103) IV 1 (107) The Races 2 (129) 3 (132) Spicer dead

4 V 1 (141) The Boy After inquest 2 (148) Same 3 (153) Visiting Rose’s parents 4 (157) Ida Arnold 5 (160) 6 (164) VI 1 (169) Cubitt Talks to Crab and Ida 2 (180)

5 VII 1 (207) Rose 2 (219) The Boy 3 (225) Visits Mr Prewitt 4 (231) 5 (234) 6 (241) Ida Arnold 7 (244) 8 (253) Dallow, Ida Arnold 9 (259) 10 (265) 11 (267)

6 The 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.

7 The Story Inorder 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.

8 The Story Ultimately, Pinkey’s attempts at covering up fails. Ida succeeds in resucuing Rose from Pinkey’s plan and in punishing Pinkey.

9 Anomalies But the plot also manifests anomalies, e.g. with respect to:
Duration: One section: Hale, Spicer, Cubbit Two sections: Rose Eight sections: Ida 18 sections: Pinkey Order: Begins and ends with characters (Hale and Rose) who are disregarded by the narrative discourse Ellipsis The sections are juxtaposed without narratorial intrusion The crime (Hale’s murder) is never represented

10 Plot 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”?

11 Brighton Rock: Levels of Meaning
Realism: Brighton behind the scenes Crimes in and of society Allegory Moral fable: right vs. wrong Christian allegory: good vs. Bad Allegory of reading

12 Secondary Literature Bates 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”

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