Term Paper: Country James Lloyd Carr

Pages: 5 (1416 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] For example at one point in the book, the narrator makes this comment about Mr. George Ellerbeck who was a minister at a local church. "Mr. Ellerbeck then launched into a grace of impressive length. I found it impossible to believe that, normally, his fellow diners would have permitted him to elaborate in such closely argued detail on the Lord's bountifulness and his own servile gratitude at being singled out as a favoured recipient, so doubtless he was showing his paces to a fellow professional, Mr. Jagger... Often since that long ago Sunday, I have wondered why it is that men with large moustaches have this facility of declamatory prayer...He carried off his performance with elan and, like any true artist, was not unaware of its effect on a fascinated audience for, cocking an eye, he murmured modesty, "My father was a butcher, Mr. Birkin." -- p 52-23

Birkin is a keen observer who is involved in the lives of innocent villagers around him. he doesn't let his traumatic experiences meddle with his ability to observe and admire beauty and his is what makes his character so round and likeable. Not only that, throughout the story we see the narrator undergoing a gradual change and this evolutionary process transforms him from a weak pessimistic war veteran to a mature sensible and optimistic person. But the critical to this positive transformation was his enthusiastic interest in the life of country people.

Birkin keenly observed the general lifestyle and behavior of people living in the countryside. On one occasion while observing the religious behavior of his neighbors, he muses: "The English are not a deeply religious people. Even many of those who attend divine service do so from habit. Their acceptance of the sacrament is perfunctory: I have yet to meet the man whose hair rose at the nape of his neck because he was about to taste the blood of his dying Lord. Even when they visit their church in large numbers, at Harvest Thanksgiving or the Christmas Midnight Mass, it is no more than a pagan salute to the passing seasons." -- p 108

In Birkin's healing process, a young married woman who slowly brings him out of the shell of his past played the most crucial role. Alice was vicar's wife but her innocent charming manners and intelligence helps the narrator see and admire beauty again. She rekindles in his heart a desire to love and live again. While the two truly love each other, the author keep the affair and it's ending realistic. However whatever brief time, Birkin spends with Alice leaves a profound impact on his soul. "And although we both looked outwards across the meadows, she didn't draw away as quite easily she could have done. I should have lifted an arm and taken her shoulder, turned her face and kissed her. It was that kind of day. It was why she'd come. Then everything would have been different. My life, hers. We would have had to speak and say aloud what both of us knew and then, maybe, turned from the window and lain down together on my makeshift bed. Afterwards, we would have gone away, maybe on the next train. My heart was racing. I was breathless. She leaned on me, waiting..." -- p 116

The story ends with narrator mustering up enough courage to move back to his world. The healing process is complete and Birkin decides to leave the country because this appears to be the most rational thing to do under the circumstances. However memories of the countryside and that beautiful summer stays with Birkin reminding him of the fact that life is never static. It changes continuously and our job is to accept this fact and move with the change.

We can ask and ask but we can't have again what once seemed ours for ever -- the way things looked, that church alone in the fields, a bed on a belfry floor, a remembered voice, the touch of a hand, a loved face. They've gone and you can only wait for the pain to pass." -- p 121


1) J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country: New… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Country James Lloyd Carr.  (2003, December 6).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/country-james-lloyd-carr/7945491

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"Country James Lloyd Carr."  Essaytown.com.  December 6, 2003.  Accessed June 16, 2019.