Albion Gidley Singer
This passage is about Albion Gidley Singer who we see in the first paragraph as a loving , caring and responsible father. As we go further into the passage we see him changing for the worse and later he ends up raping his daughter out of frustration and also little bit of jealousy. The story starts with Albion Gidley Singer going to check on his daughter which had become a daily routine as ‘I had got into the habit’ suggests. This shows him as a loving and caring father going to check on his daughter as usual.
On this particular night as he went to check on his daughter instead of receiving a glad smile and some amazing facts about aardvarks, she is shocked and gasps as she hears him come in. The ‘instead’ shows him as a foreshadowing and disciplinarian father. The glad smile and facts about aardvarks shows innocence in the daughter and the shock shows that she is scared of him. In the second paragraph he mentions about his daughter’s ‘fluster’ which makes him suspicious and his disapproval of the fact that she was not working shows that he had high expectations of her, and also the ‘Euclid I had got her’ shows that he’s fond of academy.
When she moves as if to cover her work he thinks ‘as well she might’ shows his authority and his values. He is also seen as a foreshadowing and violent person as he jerks her arm away and also by the statement ‘buckling like a thing in pain’. He is also observant by the way he notices her stiffness. ‘Strictly speaking’ indicates him rationalising and evaluating. He shows disgust as he thinks about his wife and as he says ‘that it had never occurred to me’ we can see that he is a controller. In a mocking tone he shows disgust again as he sees the book which his daughter was reading. ‘Lilian, how dare you read this tripe? – a rhetorical question showing parental control again.
He shows his disgust again as he lifts the book by his thumb and forefinger and superiority is seen as he stares down at her. The reapeted ‘should’ tells us that he is insisting, instilling her response and also the “ly’s” shows him stressing her response. His daughter shows challenge, provocation as she answers him back. The word ‘pertly’ gives a sense of sexuality which shows Albion’s interpretation of her actions. He again shows disgust and absolute contempt as he thinks of his wife as ‘that woman’, ‘ignorant’, ‘illogical’, ‘bigoted’ and credulous’.
We see his wife as a stupid, flimsy, sinister and ignorant woman by these words but again we see her as a cunning and devious woman when he thinks of her as ‘cunning’ too. He uses the word ‘seduce’ which reflects sexuality . We see his power as he roars, “How dare you answer me back like that! ” ‘saucily’ again reflects sexual and teasing kind of action. Albion sees his daughter’s actions in a sexual way when she is jus showing innocence and her strength as she answers him back. Alboin is disgusted with her as we can see when he thinks of her face as ‘fat red face’.
He sees contempt and his wife in his daughter. In ‘floored me’ we see a strong sense of pausing as if he is defeated or he’s lost a battle. He says it had sickened him to punish Lilian which shows him as a strongly disciplinarian person. He shows yet another sexual term when he mentions the word ‘impotent’ and ‘impenetrable female will’. His thoughts often wander to sexual terms which shows his relationship with his daughter. We can almost feel the fury building up as he feels his hatred for women and sense of sheer frustation of not being able to control the female will.
This shows his hatred, despise and disgust of women. He complements himself as a man of strong will and power. He hates this ‘will’ in women but praises it in himself. In this paragraph our emotions for this man is confused as he almost admits himself of being sly and devising- ‘sly in devising ways’. We come to the knowledge that he too had been a victim of abuse and punishment as a child. This makes us feels a bit sympathetic towards him.
Then again he praises himself of being a man of strength and sees this as a developed skill. But Lilian seemed to have been born with unbreakable will’- this shows that the strength that he wanted was in his daughter and he’s almost jealous and frustated of her capability. The ‘hollow drum’ tells us that he has a confused image of himself and he’s almost searching for answers as ‘hollow’ indicates weakness and ‘drum’ indicates strength. As he roars we can feel his large presense and controlling authority. The ‘but’ in the sentence where he thinks it not necessary to strike women in almost like he is excusing himself.
There is another mention of a sexual term -‘passion’. As he slaps her he is almost satisfied and relived. ‘knocking her plaster model of the human brain’ is almost like losing his senses. Again we see him refering his daughter as fat which shows repulsion and disgust. The fact that she is lying under him shows that she is the victim. As he frees her clothes we see the innocense and purity of the daughter from her ‘white bloomers’ and ‘dimpled white buttock- flesh’. He shows sexual excitement in ‘quivering under my hands’ but for his daughter it was fear .
The reapeted ‘There! ‘ suggests rape is occuring and penetration is taking place. Also, ‘braying’ suggests flesh rubbing together and the pause when he stops and ihs cries indicates that rape has climaxed. When his daughter cries and screams he is surprised at her as if she was faking it. ‘provoked me’ suggests that he thinks it was her fault rape has occured and not his. The ‘whiteness’ of his daughter’ buttocks shows her virginity and the ‘pink as a peach’ shows that the whiteness has been spoilt. He mentions the word ‘pout’ which again suggests sexual action. I thrust her away’ is almost like he’s not going to give her anymore because she had liked it. He is ‘engorged’ with her shows that rape has taken place. He slips and mentions this word and then hastily corrects himself and says that he is ‘enraged’ with her as if she was to blame for everything. He is disgusted with her again as she runs out and produces ‘ugly sobs’. When he is alone he is filled with kaleidoscopic feelings. He tries to excuse himself from what has happened and we can see that he is sweating as he says ‘evaporting from every pore’.
He tries to hold the edge of the table like a desperate attempt to calm down. We see him reducing himself like a ‘ ragged leaf spinning down from a tree’. As ‘Rage had blossomed’, ‘slapping had occured’ we see Albion almost emitting the full detail of the rape. He shows disbelief when he thinks ‘could it have been myself…. these things? ‘. He reflects back to the action that had taken place and excuses himself, turning the blame on Lilian because as she’s little she didn’t have to endure the aftermath.
It is almost like a dream for him as he thinks he had ‘left no mark behind’. He blames it all on her by saying ‘she’ many times while looking around and contemplating the room. He shows bitterness as he thinks of her not having to endure the consequences. In the last parts of this passage Albion is almost jealous of his daughter’s fullness and he is desperate and bitter that she isn’t suffering as he is. ‘Her echo’ shows whimsical quality of her which he would have gladly liked to have.