Posted by Cassia on October 20, 1997 at 17:22:40:
In response to Early exit poll results, written by Karen R on October 20, 1997 at 15:41:09
] ] So, in your mind is Roland a dweeb or a hero?
] This is so hard to do...separate the first eight chapters from the rest of the novel!!!! But I'll try:
] Byatt certainly portrays Roland initially as a dweeb. He toils in the bowels of the Ash factory underneath the British Museum. Nobody notices him. He lives a pathetic little existence with Val in that grossly described, cat-urine contaminated apartment. He is both lazy and apathetic (sort of like me). :-) Val epitomizes the apathetic, lazy life that he lives. When she leaves him (before the action of this novel), he is described: to open the window...go to the Tate Gallery...view some of the landscape artists' work, socialize with all very social animal Fergus Wolff, made plans, etc. Of course, Val came back and he just accepted the return to that life.
] Roland has to be a hero--as his name implies. But he will be of the anti-hero type. He is socially inferior than Maud; his life/career is going nowhere. In Chapter 2, he terms himself a "latecome." He missed the boat? The party is over? At least that is how he views himself. He is living in the wrong time?? He calls himself a failure. His discovery...and the capricious theft of the draft of Ash's letter...are spurring the action at many levels.
] Roland is our wayward knight on a quest. He displays many heroic virtues (e.g., saving a damsel in distress or Lady Bailey in her wheelchair).
] Anyone else have any examples of knightly virtues?
] BTW, I think I need another copy of the book, just to mark up!!! Wish there were a mass-market paperback out there!!
I know! Considering what a major seller this novel has been you'd think they'd do a mass market edition espeically since many colleges are now using it for course work. But they never did! Strange. I'm sure Ms Byatt didn't tell tehm not to make it available.
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