Brighton Rock


Graham Greene

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Brighton Rock: Part VII, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Pinkie orders Dallow to watch out for Prewitt. Then he climbs the stairs to his room, happy for the moment, thinking of his cozy little shabby home. Then he opens the door and sees that Rose has tidied it. He’s furious with her and he studies her face, trying to see how it will age and when she’ll begin morphing into a hag like Mrs. Prewitt. Then he reminds himself that he has guts and he can handle this. He tells Rose it’s fine, what she’s done with the room, and that he’s readied the car in case they have to skip town.
Pinkie is so impressionable that he now sees a second Mrs. Prewitt in Rose’s young face and frame. He is reacting to Prewitt’s contention that his wife has ruined his life. Pinkie is waiting for Rose to ruin his. All she’s really done, though, is rearrange his apartment.
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Rose passionately declares that that will never happen. Pinkie feels so boxed in by her certainty that he feels nostalgic about committing murder. Rose tells him she’s very happy and that he’s made her this way by being so good to her. In the next room, a baby starts wailing. Rose wishes someone would tend to it. Pinkie doesn’t understand why she cares. It’s not hers. Rose says no, but it might be, and if she had a child, she wouldn’t leave it alone all afternoon. The baby stops crying, and it dawns on Pinkie that Rose wants a child. He’s disgusted by the idea, but Rose looks at him with patience, knowing he will always cycle between revulsion and relief. That is the bargain she has made.
Rose, who is already acting in many ways like a mother to Pinkie, wants to mother the world. Pinkie, of course, wants to avoid fatherhood at all costs. Having finally learned to enjoy sex, he is still repelled by its consequences and by the thought of Rose bearing his child. Rose is wise beyond her years. She has already come to accept that life with Pinkie will never be stable or secure. She’ll always be at the mercy of his moods.
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