From Love to Grief
Bożena Kucała - Reticence and Reclusion in William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault
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Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Reticence and Reclusion in William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault
In an outline of William Trevor’s novelistic preoccupations, Mary Fitzgerald-Hoyt observes that whereas representations of “disillusionment, violence and loneliness” persist in his fiction, his earlier works tended to show such experiences as inherent to the human condition, but his later fiction tends to link them to “Ireland’s colonial history” (409). The Story of Lucy Gault (2002) confirms this observation, since the tragedy it depicts results from the characters’ single brush with a history which is specifically Irish. The debacle of their lives parallels the decline of the Protestant Ascendancy and the erosion of the Big House tradition. In The Story… Trevor shows again his extraordinary talent for plausible portrayal of alienation by means of a “brilliant manipulation of point of view” and his “profound understanding of conflicting perspectives” (Fitzgerald-Hoyt 411). Trevor’s fiction abounds in “sympathetic portraits of outsiders” (Fitzgerald-Hoyt 406); the heroine of this novel is also a historical outsider, a relic of her social class who missed the proper time of departure.
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