Rites of Passage – post III

This story starts to move into the tragic-comic with the socially pious narrator Mr Talbot partly to blame for the death of the parson. Despite the consequences of his actions being partially spelt put to him by the officer Summers Talbot manages to fail to see quite how he is to blame until he reads the parsons letter meant for his sister.

Knowing about the existence of the journal being kept by Talbot that is going to be shown to his influential connections the captain tries to make sure he gets a favourable report and invites the aristocrat to dinner. During the awkward encounter the guests are informed that the parson, who had been refusing to come out of his cabin or eat and drink, has died.

The next set of pages are then used to show the letter that the parson has written to his sister but decided not to send. In the letter a completely different point of view on the voyage is given and it is a tragic tale of a man’s slide into depression and eventually suicidal thoughts.

Despite the relatively limited number of pages left it is still hard to see where this book is going and quite what the point it is trying to make other than the one about bullying and the consequences of social snobbery.

More tomorrow…

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