Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock Part VII, Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rose is in the confessional of her local church. She has told the priest her story, and she says that she doesn’t repent anything beyond not killing herself so that she could be with Pinkie in the afterlife. She wants to be damned. Her worry, though, is that if she were to die, she wouldn’t be able to find him. One of them might go to Heaven, the other Hell. There are no guarantees. She tells the priest that it’s really Ida who should be damned, as she knows nothing of love.
Rose’s wish that she were dead and her soul mingling with Pinkie’s reveals the depth of her devotion. Her wish that Ida be damned shows that there are limits to her mercy. Rose’s love for Pinkie is undoubtedly sincere, but it is also warped by the violence she has experienced.
Themes
Catholicism Theme Icon
Sex and Shame Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The priest tells Rose a story about a French man who served in the war and how that man never obeyed the sacraments but was a saint all the same because he sacrificed himself at every moment for his friends. The priest goes on to say that God’s mercy is abundant and endless and strange and that Rose should hope and pray and realize that, no matter what her sins, she is never cut off from that mercy. He tells her that Pinkie loved her and that shows that there was some good in him. She hesitantly asks the priest about what might happen if she is carrying Pinkie’s child, and the priest tells her to raise her child to be a saint to make up for the sins of his father.
The priest’s merciful words echo Rose’s own ideas concerning God and faith. Rose believes in a God that forgives. Still, she wonders if her marriage to Pinkie might strain even God’s boundless mercy. The spirit of sacrifice embodied by the French soldier highlights Pinkie’s extreme depravity. The soldier sacrificed everything for his friends, while Pinkie expected his “friends” to sacrifice everything for him.
Themes
Catholicism Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
Rose leaves the confessional, heading for Frank’s boarding house. She is full of cautious hope. She knows that Snow’s will take her back as a waitress and so she will soon be able to support herself and the life she feels certain is growing inside her. At Frank’s, she hopes to find the record that Pinkie made for her back at the souvenir booth, the one she asked for on the day of their wedding. She thinks again of the priest’s words: “If he loves you…” She is sure she will find proof of that love on the record. The nightmare is over, she thinks, and her troubles are behind her. Little does she know that, when she listens to the record, the horror will begin all over again.
It would seem that Rose’s chances for happiness are brightening. Even though she is in deep mourning for Pinkie, she takes comfort in the idea that she will soon bear his child. The record, though, will shatter any illusions she might still be clinging to. In the recording, Pinkie called her a bitch and accused her of trapping him. This makes the priest’s assurances null and void, because the recording will prove to Rose that Pinkie never loved her.
Themes
Catholicism Theme Icon
Sex and Shame Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon