By Don Adams (auth.)
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Extra info for Alternative Paradigms of Literary Realism
The tragedy for the allegorist is that the conditions that created her, and that guarantee her authenticity, are the very conditions that make it likely that she will be ignored and/or misunderstood. The religious allegorist speaks for a world that the world denies. She speaks of the (for her) unbearable absence of the good, or of God. In an anguished outburst in a notebook, Bowles wrote, “Between the pain of being oneself and separated from one’s maker there is one’s maker—One is never quite totally in the world.
Alone of fictive modes, allegory allows for full expression of this dilemma. Janet Murphy clearly identifies Bozoe’s bodily appetite with her spiritual struggle, as she explains to a friend: Bozoe was thin when I first knew her . . And she didn’t show any signs that she was going to sit night and day making up problems and worrying about God and asking me questions . . I’ve kept to the routine. Late Sunday breakfast with popovers and home-made jam. She eats maybe six of them, but with the same solemn expression on her face.
It would take a good deal of courage to live with a man like Mr. Copperfield, whom I gather you are no longer living with. I’ve admired you very much indeed. ” “That makes no difference to me,” said Mrs. Copperfield. “I feel that you have changed anyway and lost your charm. ” (197–198) Mrs. Copperfield’s need and demand of comfort and her utter dependence on Pacifica is not only unattractive, but is frightening to behold when one realizes the merciless emotional compulsion that is driving her to enslave financially and emotionally another human being.
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