By Joseph Conrad
The tale of a dull-witted yet compassionate English woman who falls in love with an odd guy from japanese Europe. This ignorant, wild, and romantic peasant from the Carpathian Mountains has been forged up via the ocean, the single survivor from an emigrant send certain for the United States. not able to talk a notice of English and completely mystified as to the place he is—it could have been the United States or Hell, itself—he leads a wretched and hunted lifestyles until eventually the opportunity kindness of Amy Foster opens his eyes.
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Extra resources for Amy Foster
An earlier and even more ironic confrontation between victims and victimisers similarly insists on the degree to which the innocent might be guilty. After Father Leon mercilessly victimises one of his students, he confronts the others with their own inadequacy in not coming to his defence: 'those of you who didn't enjoy yourselves allowed it to happen, allowed me to proceed. You turned this classroom into Nazi Germany for a few moments' (pp. 44-5). The irony, of course, is that Leon is both right and wrong - it was he himself who turned the class into Nazi Germany, victimised the students by creating a situation which would allow him to say truthfully that they were the victimisers.
A few paragraphs later, he discovers he has been observed - not observing the girl, but observing the hippies in the park. One of them accuses him of staring at them, and he must acknowledge to himself that he has been, that his guilty secret of observing others has been found out. And this is the essence of the novel's cleverness, and the main source of its satisfaction it offers readers: here as throughout the novel apparently paranoid delusions are almost always confirmed. In The Chocolate War it's not a paranoid delusion that others are always watching you and finding out your guilty secrets: it's merely the truth.
Finally then, Beyond the Chocolate War makes clear what The Chocolate War already implied - that the propensity of boys in school to do cruel blackguard things is merely the potential in us all to do evil. Singly or together, the two novels not only reveal what cruelty always has been and always will be done in schools, and wherever else human beings gather; they also provide readers with surprisingly subtle and highly entertaining insights into the meaning of that cruelty. NOTES 1. 2. Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays, (1856; Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Puffin, 1971), p.
Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad