Barometer Rising

Topics: Halifax Explosion, Hugh MacLennan, Fiction Pages: 4 (1470 words) Published: May 31, 2012
“Much literature is based on the theme of a Quest, a search for something that seems ultimately desirable. There are quests for power, quests for identity, quests for self-respect, quests for happiness, quests for understanding and quests for independence.” All of these quests are present in the novel, Barometer Rising. There are four main characters that experience life quests in this novel. These characters include Colonel Geoffery Wain, Neil Macrae, Angus Murray, Roddie Wain and Penny Wain. Throughout the novel these characters all experience different quests with very different outcomes.

The first evident quest arouse in the novel is a quest for power. This quest is associated with Colonel Geoffrey Wain. Throughout the novel, Barometer Rising, Geofferey is regularly trying to obtain more power. Geoffrey is trying to gain power over his daughter and over Neil, even after his job as a Colonel is taken away from him. Geoffrey’s job as a colonel is taken away after the mission Neil failed to complete, because since he was colonel he was partially to blame. When Geoffrey finds out that Neil is still in Halifax from Angus, he is determined to find Neil and make him pay by leaving the country. “When we find him, I want you to talk to him… tell him if he ever sets foot inside Nova Scotia again, or communicated with my daughter, I’ll see to it that the law takes it’s course with him.” Wain’s ways are very old fashioned and he refuses to believe anything outside of his primary beliefs. Geoffery’s quest for power is never accomplished and comes to an end when the Halifax explosion happens. The outcome of Geoffrey’s quest is he dies and he never gains power over Neil or his daughter.

The second quest present in the novel, Barometer rising, is Neil Macrae’s quest for identity. Neil Macrae is forced to serve in France under the command of his uncle, Geoffrey Wain, who hates him. Geoffrey Wain is also the father of the woman Macrae loves, his cousin, Penelope Wain....
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