The Drowned World

by

J. G. Ballard

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Lieutenant Hardman Character Analysis

Lieutenant Hardman is Colonel Riggs' primary helicopter pilot. He was once very tall and strong, though the reader never sees him this way because he has become bedridden by the beginning of the novel. He's one of the first characters to experience the disturbing dreams, and in the views of his companions, the dreams drive Hardman crazy. After spending several weeks ill, supposedly with malaria, in the sick bay, he makes a desperate escape to run south the day before Riggs and his crew are scheduled to leave for Camp Byrd. When it becomes apparent that Hardman will not allow himself to be forced to go quietly north, Riggs lets him go. Kerans finds him months later when he makes his own journey south. By then, Hardman is blind from looking at the sun, has cancer in his eyes, and doesn't recognize Kerans. He continues his journey alone after Kerans gives him water and tends to his eyes, but surely dies soon afterwards.

Lieutenant Hardman Quotes in The Drowned World

The The Drowned World quotes below are all either spoken by Lieutenant Hardman or refer to Lieutenant Hardman. 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:
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Liveright Publishing edition of The Drowned World published in 2013.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Is it only the external landscape which is altering? How often recently most of us have had the feeling of déjà vu, of having seen all this before, in fact of remembering these swamps and lagoons all too well.

Related Characters: Dr. Alan Bodkin (speaker), Dr. Robert Kerans
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

"Colonel, there isn't any other direction."

Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lieutenant Hardman Character Timeline in The Drowned World

The timeline below shows where the character Lieutenant Hardman appears in The Drowned World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. Towards a New Psychology
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Macready tells Kerans that Dr. Bodkin needs his help with Lieutenant Hardman. Kerans thinks he needs to escape Macready, so he asks him about the plan to... (full context)
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
...steadies himself. He heads for the sick bay, where he finds Dr. Bodkin and Lieutenant Hardman in a private room. Hardman is the senior helicopter pilot and serves as Riggs’s deputy.... (full context)
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
...private room. Not only is the air conditioning off, but Bodkin has a heater running. Hardman has on headphones, and the light from the heater makes it look like Hardman has... (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Kerans realizes that Hardman still looks emotionally well despite his illness. Bodkin says that Hardman might be right, and... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
...of the desk while he waits for Bodkin to explain what he was doing with Hardman. (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
Kerans apologizes for telling Hardman that they're leaving, but suggests that the knowledge might jolt him out of his lethargy.... (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...of a person, that person will be swept backwards in time. He says that with Hardman, the experiments with the heat seem to have made him more accepting of the dreams... (full context)
4. The Causeways of the Sun
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
The next day, Lieutenant Hardman disappears. Kerans wakes early, spends an hour gazing at the lagoon, and then dresses in... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...Kerans translates for Beatrice that they're picking him up on her roof, and that Lieutenant Hardman has disappeared. (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...the lagoons, Kerans, Riggs, and Macready scan the water and vegetation below for signs of Hardman. Kerans realizes that they'll be hard-pressed to find Hardman, as the waterways are hard to... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...and heading south. After searching the southern lagoons for 20 minutes, Riggs concedes that if Hardman wants to evade them, he knows how. Kerans’s eye is drawn to a half-submerged apartment... (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
On the ground, Riggs and Macready find Hardman's makeshift raft, made with two old tanks and a bed from the sick bay. Riggs... (full context)
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...an intense expression on his face. Kerans reaches a hand out to him and says "Hardman." Suddenly, the man (Hardman) throws himself at Kerans, just misses colliding with him, and swings... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Riggs pauses at water level and incredulously notes that Hardman is trying to drag his raft back into the water. He's failing miserably in the... (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Hardman finally seems aware of the group surrounding him. Suddenly, Hardman fires his gun and shoots... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...high sun to fade. Ten minutes later, Kerans looks out at the square to see Hardman standing in the middle. Macready and Riggs seem like they're asleep and don't notice. Hardman... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...of the iguanas. Bodkin says that Kerans might hear them again, but says nothing about Hardman. Kerans spends the night in the testing station, thinking about Hardman's journey south. (full context)
5. Descent into Deep Time
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...of his preconscious filters." Smiling, Bodkin says he never discussed the dreams with anyone but Hardman. He asks Kerans if he picked up on the relationship between the pulsing sun and... (full context)
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
Kerans asks Bodkin for Hardman's alarm clock and mentions taking medication before bed. Bodkin firmly tells Kerans not to take... (full context)
9. The Pool of Thanatos
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...him. Kerans thinks about this for the next few days, and eventually connects it to Hardman's escape south, which he realizes is suicidal and an acceptance of the truth of neuronics.... (full context)
12. The Feast of Skulls
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...Strangeman had commented on the miracle. As Kerans sat in the sun, he thought of Hardman and the mysterious power that seemed to make him able to survive the heat. (full context)
13. Too Soon, Too Late
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...Kerans comments on how much Daley's flying has improved. Riggs asks if Kerans has seen Hardman, and Kerans replies that Hardman is long gone. Riggs expresses sadness about Bodkin, and Kerans... (full context)
15. The Paradises of the Sun
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...keeps watch. Kerans opens his medical kit and tells the man, who he realizes is Hardman, that they'll go together tomorrow. Kerans builds a shelter around Hardman and they spend the... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
Kerans and Hardman remain at the church for three days. Hardman doesn't recognize Kerans, and Kerans feels as... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Memory vs. The Future Theme Icon
Science and Psychology Theme Icon
Birth, Renewal, and Doom Theme Icon
...of the increase in heat. He feels unwilling to leave this lagoon, and knows that Hardman will die soon. He knows that he likely won't survive much longer either. (full context)