Brighton Rock


Graham Greene

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Brighton Rock: Part V, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Ida is awake in her room at the Cosmopolitan, thinking about how sex, natural though it may be—and harmless and fun, too—almost always leaves a woman disappointed. She could have gone to the movies and gotten more out of 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 not what matters to her, though. What matters is doing right in the world. Phil wakes up and they talk of getting dinner. Outside, along the beach, an old man scrounges among the shingles. She tells Phil they need to get in touch with one of Pinkie’s men. One of them is bound to be unhappy, she says.
Ida’s ruminations on sex are lost on the obviously much more satisfied Phil Corkery. Her investigation into Hale’s murder began with compassion for the victim; it has now become a quest for justice. Ida justifies her ever-changing motives by telling herself that what has always mattered to her is fighting for right. Her hunch that one of Pinkie’s men must be unhappy is spot-on. Cubitt is out there, just waiting to be roped in. Her instincts continue to serve her well.
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