The novel is dramatic from the beginning and begins with the debut of the narrative ‘s framing device, the wounding of a kid by Lucy ‘s male parent, Everard Gault, during the political agitation in Ireland during the 1920s. This instantly draws the reader into the text by arousing wonder sing the motivation behind the shot. An analepsis so follows, the narrative discourse of which is an open narratorial voice that is used to give expositive information that explains both the beginnings of the Gault household, and later, the possible grounds behind the household ‘s place of being driven from their place. The initial expounding besides includes historical inside informations associating to the epoch and provides societal, cultural and political information, hence supplying universe to text cognition and forestalling the possibility of a cultural divide between text and reader ( Gavins, 2007 ) .
Although the significance of the gap chapter can merely be to the full appreciated subsequently in the novel, the beginnings of narrative ‘s chief subjects are established, such as Heloise ‘s nationality, Horahan ‘s onslaught on the household and even Bridget ‘s failure to expose Lucy ‘s lone visits to the sea, leting the focal point to travel towards Lucy Gault, the supporter. The narrative has the feel of a German Bildungsroman, ( Cuddon, 1999 ) , as it progresses through six subdivisions, each picturing a period in her life. The transition of clip is signalled through the usage of mentions to historical events, for illustration the Anglo-Irish belligerencies and the ulterior eruption of World War II, although, the coincident saving of Lahardane demonstrates Trevor ‘s subjective look of a state trapped in the yesteryear.
The novel ‘s overall chronology does non follow a purely additive construction, with the household ‘s separation ensuing in a demand for Trevor to use correspondence ( Schirmer, 1990 ) . For illustration, while Lucy remains at Lahardane, her parents live in self-induced expatriate in Italy. The device is besides used to complect the subjects that underpin the moral determinations commanding the Providence of every character, such as Lucy ‘s determination to populate a mostly lone life until the point at which she can bespeak the forgiveness of her parents and Horahan ‘s relentless attempts to get away the incubuss that plague his slumber. Although some readers may happen this construction perplexing, it is critical to the development of the multiple sketchs that prevent the narrative from going unidimensional and, later, boring.
Similarly, Trevor avoids the possibility of the narrative going tiresome by utilizing situational sarcasm to drive the secret plan frontward, and to press the audience to read on in hunt of an agreeable decision. For case, despite legion chances for the household to be reunited, the Gaults intentionally choose to oppose logical determinations and so prolong the household ‘s separation. Trevor uses this sarcasm to arouse poignancy throughout the novel and, despite being regarded by some as ‘fanciful ‘ ( Pepinster, 2002 ) , to detain the denouement of the narrative. By arousing passionate reactions, the calamity besides draws readers closer to the text by working the emotions felt by many parents, guaranting a more empathic position of the household. However, whether the prolonging of the calamity is an effective secret plan will mostly depend on the credence of the novel as a work of fiction, and non as a conventional representation of life.
In add-on to the uncertainness sing the pragmatism of the novel, the historical representation of the epoch has besides been questioned by critics Martin & A ; Mackenna ( cited in Del Rio-Alvaro, 2007 ) who suggest that the images of Ireland are outdated as a consequence of Trevor ‘s migration to England. It can be assumed, nevertheless, that Trevor draws on both his cultural heritage and observations made during his travels, and with the focal point of the novel being on the implicit in subjects, the critic ‘s reserves must be regarded as slightly irrelevant. Furthermore, Trevor ‘s descriptions, whether accurate or non, clearly enable the visual image of each scene, such as the imagination used to portray the beauty of Lahardane and the ambiance environing the reaching of Il Duce, and lets Trevor ‘s involvement in all four states remain a dividend, to merely bask.
It has besides been suggested that his travels have given Trevor the ability to compose about characters that are considered as castawaies ( Pepinster, 2002 ) , such as Timothy in ‘The Children of Dynmouth ‘ ( 1976 ) , and this is supported by his ain declaration that he frequently feels ‘like a alien in several states ‘ ( Schirmer, 1990 ) . However, despite this admittance, Trevor does non repent his native Irish background, alternatively sing his multi-cultural position as good to him as an writer. Furthermore, his repeated usage of Ireland as a scene for his narratives, as in The Distant Past ( 1979 ) and Fools of Fortune ( 1983 ) , advocates that he maintains a connexion with his native state, besides symbolised by his metaphorical word picture of the bond between Everard Gault and Lahardane, depicting Ireland as being ‘as much a portion of Everard Gault as the characteristics of his face ‘ . In contrast, Heloise Gault regrets her English nationality and identifies it as the ground for her household being targeted. It is possible, nevertheless, that it is either the household ‘s ownership of Lahardane ( Dudley Edwards & A ; Hourican, 2005 ) , their Protestant religion or the Captains old function of an officer in the British ground forces, ( Jackson, 2010 ) that cause them to be under onslaught at the beginning of the novel.
This account of Heloise ‘s guilt illustrates the tragic defect that is later attributed to about every character, and generates the thematic patterning of the novel. For illustration, in add-on to Heloise transporting the load of believing that she caused decease of Lucy, the household ‘s housekeeper and earlier tormentor, Horahan, both besides consider themselves to fault for the unfolding calamity. However, unlike with Heloise, Trevor uses insistent appellation to dissemble Horahan ‘s significance in the secret plan, until the point at which this prefiguration has allowed the development of the more outstanding characters. Trevor ‘s determination to minimize Horahan ‘s function within a subplot, facilitates the development every bit him as a character, and emphasises the demand to do intratextual illations. Furthermore, the usage of a narrative within a narrative, is symbolic of mundane life and allows the debut of the issue of Horahan ‘s mental unwellness, giving him a resemblance to Mary Louise, the supporter from Trevor ‘s ‘Reading Turgenev ‘ ( 2004a ) . Despite being satirical in tone, the result of portraying Horahan in this manner is an amplified concern for him, ensuing in him going a victim of circumstance, in company with the members of the Gault household.
This illustration illustrates Trevor ‘s ability to research alternate ways of portraying personal bad luck, and is undoubtedly one of the cardinal strengths of this and many more of his novels. A farther illustration of this is his determination to portray supporters, such as Lucy, as orphans in order to give them an air of exposure, for illustration the character Ellie from the fresh ‘Love and Summer ‘ ( 2009a ) . Although, unlike Ellie, Lucy Gault is non really an orphan, she lives the life of one up until her Father ‘s return, and hence experiences the same troubles with showing love that can be the effect of a troubled childhood. This development of Lucy ‘s personality allows Trevor to explicate the casual manner in which she responds towards her male supporter, Ralph. Furthermore, it is an illustration of the manner that the presentation of characters from different positions, prevents the reader from merely sharing ‘in their uncomfortableness ‘ ( Bonaccorso, 1997:5 ) and achieves the end of keeping a balanced point of view. Nevertheless, while some may experience either sympathy or regard for her, others might see her as self-pitying and even get down to happen her ongoing self forfeit instead boring. This is improbable, nevertheless, since Trevor uses the reactions of back uping characters, viz. the kids in the schoolhouse and grocer Mrs McBride, to explicate Lucy ‘s interior convulsion and to prolong her portraiture as that of a victim, promoting the continuance of an empathic position of her character.
Lucy bears similarities to Aimee, the doomed supporter in Trevor ‘s ‘My House in Umbria ‘ ( 2004b ) , who besides finds herself entirely and being temporarily cared for. Similarly, Lucy ‘s female parent resembles Aimee ‘s carer, Mrs. Delahunty, who absconds to Italy to get away painful memories of the yesteryear. Both narratives are representative of Trevor ‘s penchant for composing about adult female which he says is, ‘because I ‘m non a adult female and I do n’t cognize what it ‘s like ‘ ( 2010 ) , although some might reason to the contrary ( Shriver, 2011 ) . In The Story of Lucy Gault, he non merely chooses for Lucy to rule her relationship with Ralph, the adult male she finally falls in love with, but besides portrays Lucy ‘s female parent, Heloise, as being the regulating influence in the way taken by both parents. Therefore, Trevor uses the balance between his portraiture of them as influential characters, and the exposure attributed to adult females, for illustration the stray kid being a miss and the consequence of a female parent losing her kid, to keep an nonsubjective tone, therefore forestalling the novel from going excessively dark and accordingly backbreaking to read.
The enormousness of the calamity of the Gault household is besides controlled through the usage of dramatic sarcasm, such as cognizing that her parent ‘s absence has prompted Lucy to fling the possibility of a hereafter with Ralph despite the decease of Heloise originating Everards return to Lahardane. This illustration of variable focalization, in add-on to supplying privileged inside informations associating to each parallel turn in the secret plan, clarifies the farther subject privacy and the effects that emulate from neglecting to pass on. However, this usage of sarcasm can be both productive, by exemplifying Everard Gault ‘s failure to direct letters to Lahardane because of his devotedness towards his married woman, and frustrating, cognizing that the letters could spell an terminal to the household ‘s separation. Whether dry or merely annoying, the usage of analogy to show the parents devotedness as a tragic defect does non sabotage the poetic manner in which Trevor encapsulates their love, and consequences in a more convincing credence of the calamity ‘s reasoning concatenation of events.
Everard ‘s eventual return to Lahardane initiates the shutting sequence that culminates in the denouement of the narrative. Trevor resists the impulse to stray from the grave tone of earlier chapters, choosing alternatively to convey closing to the narrative in a manner that dilutes the unhappiness felt throughout the book, and generates a katharsis for both the characters and the audience. Although sentimentalists will be disappointed to detect that Lucy remains single and childless despite her love for Ralph, and, may therefore deduce a didactic subject to explicate the absence of a conventional ‘happy stoping ‘ ( Kaler & A ; Johnson-Kurek, 2006:4 ) , the bulk will appreciate the manner in which the shutting chapter makes certain that the narrative remains as an allegorical representation of the influence that emotion can hold in finding destiny. Furthermore, Lucy ‘s concluding apothegm, that she should hold died when lying on the stones, is a symbol of the self-contradictory subjects ruling her life, and encapsulates the novel ‘s tragic subject with poetic manner.
The Story of Lucy Gault was shortlisted for both the Booker and Whitbread awards in 2002 and is an illustration of the literary endowment possessed by William Trevor. The award winning writer describes himself as “ a short-story author who happens to compose novels. Not the other manner around ” ( 2009b ) and many of his publications, for illustration ‘After Rain ‘ ( 1997 ) and ‘Cheating at Canasta ‘ ( 2008 ) are aggregations of his short narratives. Trevor says he enjoys holding a, “ connexion with the reader I have n’t met but feel I know because of holding shared an experience: the narrative ” ( 2011 ) , and it is clear from The Story of Lucy Gault, that he has achieved his political orientation by sharing a dramatic narrative that forever remains a haunting experience.