Introduction to Literature: English 131
12 December 2012
In the novel, Cal, by Bernard MacLaverty, Cal, the protagonist in the story is drawn to a relationship with Marcella, the librarian. Cal is an accessory in the murder of Marcella’s husband which is one of the things that haunts him the most on a daily bases; this incident seems to be part in why he is so drawn to her. She made Cal feel less guilty for the murder of her husband and is the cure to all of his guilt. Marcella is the new vision that he sees when his mind begins to wonder; snap shots of her beauty and body slowly begin to erase the images of her husband’s death. Both Marcella and Cal are Catholics. A grand portion of their religion is based on suffering and paying for their sins. Obsessing over her and even her name were all things that were affiliated with pain which was freeing him of his sins. Being drawn to this woman was freeing him from the guilt and sin of killing her husband.
Before Cal found this interest in Marcella, he had been constantly weighed down by the guilt of being an accessory in her husband’s murder; being around her almost seemed to temporarily lift the guilt off his conscious which caused him to be drawn to her. He hated his name and all the guilt behind it, but when she spoke it the hatred disappeared. “‘Cal McCluskey,’ she said and although he hated his name, the way she said it was clean and beautiful” (Pg 74). He not only was helping himself by doing this; she is using him as a relief from the things that are suffocating her in her own world. This takes even more weight off Cal’s conscious. It is almost like he is justifying killing her husband, because they are creating a symbiotic relationship that is freeing them both. “”Take it easy. You’re a big grownup person. Let your hair dow n for a change.”…Lucy’s favorite story at the minute is Rapunzel” (pg. 115). It was almost as if she was saying that Cal was saving her from the tower...
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