March 21, 2013
Life on Fire
A distraught young mother in the East End of London is drawn into a psychological maelstrom of ambition, guilt and cynicism that eats away her faith in the society she is trying so hard to defend. Chris Cleaves novel Incendiary emotionally comes alive with compassion, grief and astounding humor as young mother becomes broken-hearted after the loss of her son and husband to history’s most notorious terrorist A city that is created by incendiaries will cause chaos internally and externally within the human mind and body and make us do things that we will regret and be guilty for. As George Santayana says “Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.” Chris Cleaves main character undergoes very different psychological stages such as post traumatic stress, psychological defence mechanisms and the guilt.
The young mother and her family were fans for the Arsenal football team in London. Their rival team Chelsea was coming to London for a game against Arsenal in their new stadium and the father and son were determined to attend the game. As they attended the game, the young mother was back in there Wellington Estate carrying on her affair with Jasper Black, a man from a cross the street. As they were having intercourse the television was on the Arsenal vs. Chelsea game and the television all of sudden had a picture of the stadium up in flames. The young mother was panicking at this point because her loved ones where at that game and wanted to make sure they were safe. She went down to stadium, saw how the stadium was destroyed and got herself into the stadium and was very weak. While in the stadium she witnessed many dead bodies, “the bodies were like islands in a river with the blood all piled up in sticky clots on their uphill sides” (Cleave 49). She hoped that none of the bodies she witness where her families. She fell unconscious and was admitted to hospital,...