Brighton Rock

Charles “Fred” Hale Character Analysis

A reporter for The Messenger newspaper, Charles Hale travels to Brighton as a Kolley Kibber man, responsible for placing cards in shops around the town as part of a promotion meant to attract new readers. Hale, a native of Brighton, is proud of the fact that he worked his way up the ladder from the circulation department to staff writer and has been able to, for the most part, escape the dingy town where he grew up. Greene hints but never explicitly states that Hale is targeted by Pinkie’s gang because he wrote an article exposing Kite’s gang activity which led to Kite’s murder.

Charles “Fred” Hale Quotes in Brighton Rock

The Brighton Rock quotes below are all either spoken by Charles “Fred” Hale or refer to Charles “Fred” Hale. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Catholicism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Brighton Rock published in 1938.
Part I, Chapter 2 Quotes

He only felt his loneliness after his third gin; until then he despised the crowd, but afterwards he felt his kinship. He had come out of the same streets, but he was condemned by his higher pay to pretend to want other things, and all the time the piers, the peep shows pulled at his heart. He wanted to get back—but all he could do was to carry his sneer along the front, the badge of loneliness.

Related Characters: Charles “Fred” Hale (speaker)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part I, Chapter 3 Quotes

She smelt of soap and wine: comfort and peace and a slow sleepy physical enjoyment, a touch of the nursery and the mother, stole from the big

tipsy mouth, the magnificent breasts and legs, and reached Hale's withered and frightened and bitter little brain.

Related Characters: Charles “Fred” Hale (speaker), Ida “Lily” Arnold
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
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She came out of the crematorium, and there from the twin towers above her head fumed the very last of Fred, a thin stream of grey smoke from the ovens. People passing up the flowery suburban road looked up and noted the smoke; it had been a busy day at the furnaces. Fred dropped in indistinguishable grey ash on the pink blossoms: he became part of the smoke nuisance over London, and Ida wept.

Related Characters: Ida “Lily” Arnold (speaker), Charles “Fred” Hale
Related Symbols: Flowers and Dolls
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
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Charles “Fred” Hale Character Timeline in Brighton Rock

The timeline below shows where the character Charles “Fred” Hale appears in Brighton Rock. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part I, Chapter 2
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
...angry to have been left waiting, even for five minutes, asks if the killing of Hale went as planned. The three men tell him it was a perfectly executed crime. Pinkie... (full context)
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Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
There is talk about the woman Hale was with before he was killed. Pinkie says there’s nothing to worry about. He calls... (full context)
Part I, Chapter 3
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...her reflection in the mirror, she begins to talk about horse racing, thinking of how Hale told her to put her money on Black Boy, and then Clarence asks her if... (full context)
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...Kolley Kibber prize of 10 guineas. Ida grabs the paper and sees a picture of Hale, thinking at first that Hale was the one who found the man. When it dawns... (full context)
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The girls told the authorities that Hale introduced himself as Fred and that a young man came along, claiming to know him,... (full context)
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...Clarence and another bar fly, Harry, that if she had been there—if she had found Hale—she would have asked the right questions. She’s sad that the Messenger only gave Hale’s death... (full context)
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...dead husband hovering by the radio and fiddling with the nob. She supposes that if Hale were a ghost, he’d be as likely to appear to her as his second cousin... (full context)
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...Ida, who is late, walks in in the middle of a clergyman’s generic sermon about Hale being “one with the One.” The crowd is sparse. There is a woman who looks... (full context)
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...She is more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Hale’s death. The narrator points out that Ida is the kind of woman who would happily... (full context)
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Outside the crematorium, ash drifts from a smokestack. Ida weeps, thinking that Hale is now ash, wafting down into the nice, suburban neighborhood, coating the trees and flowers.... (full context)
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...She’s there to see her. Ida starts asking her questions about the day she met Hale, and Molly tells her that what she mostly remembered from that day was that Hale... (full context)
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...home to her apartment, mulls over what Molly told her. She thinks to herself that Hale was a true gentleman. Her memory of him, though, is staring to fade, and, in... (full context)
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...underneath it. She and Old Crowe touch their fingertips to the board and Ida asks Fred if he’s there. (full context)
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...but clear as day to Ida, who says the board was obviously trying to spell “Fred,” “suicide,” and her life philosophy, “an eye for an eye.” They try one more time,... (full context)
Part II, Chapter 1
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Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
...they’re home free, given that the inquest found that no foul play was involved in Hale’s death. He seems worried that Pinkie might do something rash, maybe hurt someone else and... (full context)
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...his bottle of vitriol, saying that people who get mixed up with bad actors like Hale end up getting acid in their face. Rose is horrified, but Pinkie assures her the... (full context)
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...has become a philosopher. Spicer is against further bloodshed, and he says he was against Hale’s murder from the start. Pinkie says Spicer is “sour and milky,” i.e. a coward. Cubitt... (full context)
Part II, Chapter 2
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...than ever to show the police and Colleoni that they’re wrong about him. He killed Hale and the police were too dumb to realize it. He could keep outsmarting them and... (full context)
Part III, Chapter 1
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...in swimming suits, men selling newspapers, and tourists. Ida and the barman talk some about Hale’s death. The barman said the news didn’t make many waves in town, since Hale was... (full context)
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...tells a skeptical Phil that she can tell by what Rose said that it wasn’t Hale who left the card at the restaurant. (full context)
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...into the inspector’s office. Ida wastes no time in telling him she’s here about Charles Hale. She knows that the report in the newspaper was flawed because it could not have... (full context)
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The inspector tells Ida that the concerns she has can be easily explained away. Hale most likely sent another man to Snow’s to leave the card and then that man... (full context)
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...instead on the same ladies’ lavatory where she washed herself the last time she saw Hale. Nearby and unbeknownst to Ida is Spicer, waiting for an enemy to show up. Ida... (full context)
Part III, Chapter 2
Pride and Ambition Theme Icon
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...calm his frayed nerves, but everywhere he goes and everything he sees reminds him of Hale’s murder and the inquest, the conclusions of which make no sense to him. He worries... (full context)
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...that he will not go to the cops. Still, it wasn’t his idea to kill Hale, which, in his mind, makes him a relative innocent in the whole affair. He trips... (full context)
Part IV, Chapter 1
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...was the best bet, but Pinkie doesn’t believe it. He says Black Boy was always Fred’s pick. Pinkie is sure he’ll come to nothing. The race begins, and Pinkie is still... (full context)
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...is third. Spicer  is ecstatic that his horse placed. Pinkie doesn’t like the fact that Fred’s horse won. It’s almost too coincidental.  He grabs Spicer’s arm and the two of them... (full context)
Part IV, Chapter 2
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...mind, all the right on her side, and now she has 200 pounds, thanks to Fred and Black Boy. She has the funds to keep up her investigation and the will... (full context)
Part IV, Chapter 3
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...bedroom, overhearing Ida telling Rose that she needs to come clean about what happened to Hale. It is the right thing to do, Ida says. Through the slightly open door, Pinkie... (full context)
Part V, Chapter 1
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Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
...what’s on his mind and Pinkie admits that he’s starting to think the murder of Hale, a dirty little journalist who got mixed up with Colleoni and got Kite killed, might... (full context)
Part V, Chapter 2
Pride and Ambition Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
...the course. Pinkie grows frustrated with her. He admits that Spicer probably knew something about Hale and that he was targeted. Rose tells Pinkie she’s been having nightmares. She had one... (full context)
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...sweet exterior. He says he has no idea why Ida would be so interested in Hale’s death; he doesn’t know her at all. (full context)
Part V, Chapter 4
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...sweetness and her newfound riches. She tells Phil that she will solve the mystery of Hale’s death if it’s the last thing she does. She knows right and wrong. Mr. Colleoni... (full context)
Part V, Chapter 6
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...the afternoon. Phil is asleep on the bed beside her. She begins to think about Hale and her search for justice. She can’t really remember anything about “poor old Fred.” That’s... (full context)
Part VI, Chapter 1
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...She says good, because it’s not safe to be friends with Pinkie. She mentions that Fred had been friendly with him, and look where that got him. Cubitt drunkenly blurts out... (full context)
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...She has the information she needs. She knows now that Pinkie and his gang killed Hale and that Brighton rock, the candy, is somehow involved. She tells Phil that they’re not... (full context)
Part VI, Chapter 2
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...second a rush of sexual desire at the thought of returning to the sight of Hale’s murder. It’s like mingling good and evil. They’re in front of the shops that sell... (full context)
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...anger. He starts to tell Pinkie he could get him into real trouble. He mentions Hale and Spicer. He tells Pinkie there’s someone who would pay him a lot more money... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 1
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...at Rose. Her smiles are hooked on, like wreaths. She tells Rose what happened to Hale; she says Pinkie and his men took him down into one of the pier shops... (full context)
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Ida tells Rose that she, too, could go to jail for Hale’s murder. She could be considered an accomplice after the fact, but Rose says that if... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 2
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...woman who’d come to see Rose wasn’t her mother but the buer who was with Hale in the taxi the day he died. He wonders why Rose would lie to him,... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 5
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...wishing he could go back to the time before he met her, before he killed Hale, before his life became something he didn’t recognize. Eventually, Rose leaves and Dallow peeks in,... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 6
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...when Pinkie and Rose are sure to crack and do something stupid. She tells him Hale’s murder is the business of anyone who knows right from wrong. Phil counters that she’s... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 7
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...are with Judy and Dallow at the same café where the men convened the afternoon Hale was killed. Dallow is musing about moving to the country, all four of them. Why... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 8
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...she’s been talking to Cubitt. That’s how she knows all about what they did to Hale. She tells Dallow to invite Judy over but he says he’d better not: she’s a... (full context)
Part VII, Chapter 10
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...bar, drinking a stout with Clarence. She has told him all about the affair with Hale and Pinkie and Rose. She feels a calm satisfaction with herself. It all turned out... (full context)
Part I, Chapter 1
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Charles Hale is in Brighton on assignment from the Messenger, a newspaper. He is distributing Kolley Kibber... (full context)
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Hale is from Brighton and has a love/hate relationship with his home. He is drawn to... (full context)
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Hale eventually admits to Pinkie that he is, indeed, the Fred he is looking for. He... (full context)
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The only other customer in the bar is asleep. Still, Hale comforts himself with the thought that no one would dare kill him in broad daylight... (full context)
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Lily asks Hale if he’s okay. He looks sick. He stares at her breasts and wishes he could... (full context)
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Hale spots Cubitt, a large man with red hair. He is leaning up against a letterbox.... (full context)
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...cue, Pinkie appears and Molly, the girl he’d been chatting up, thinks that he is Hale’s friend. Pinkie does not correct her, and Molly says that she and her friend, Delia,... (full context)
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...a snack in the pub, probably stole her bag and aren’t coming back. She tells Hale that they’ll get their comeuppance one day. She is not one to let injustice go... (full context)
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Ida asks Hale his name and he tells her it’s Fred even though it’s really Charles. Ever since... (full context)
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...are always glomming on to her; it must be her motherly looks. Then she questions Hale’s claims further and he admits he’s not ill. They get out of the cab in... (full context)