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Chapter Nine

A study of a book by GK Chesterton.

Chapter Nine

Postby The Bigsleep J » 12 May 2006, 07:35

Sorry for neglecting the study. I appologize. In fact, in order not to break my schedule, I'll have to continue next week as well. :)


In this Chapter the Professor teaches Syme a pseudo-Morse code to communicate with in tricky situations. After testing it out in the morning they head towards Dr Bull's chambers. They try to trick Dr Bull in giving away one of the details, but he doesn't even answer them. Finally Syme has an intuition - he asks Bull to remove his glasses. When Bull removes them he suddenly doesn't look like a monster, a murderer or a devil, but like a kind young man. Syme bets correctly that Bull is a policeman like them. Together they head off to France to stop the Marquis. They find him in a seaside cafe in France, from where they begin to plan their next movie.

There isn't all that much to this chapter, but it does start to show a pattern that can be quite off-putting if you read this book for the first time, that is that each of the members of the Anarchist council is a policeman. In a conventional thriller this would be a big dissapointment, but if you stop to think about it, twists are usually very uninteresting in conventional stories, sometime. In a sense if you guess the twist, then the mystery is explained. Some twists even are uselss since it doesn't redefine the story that came before it, its just there to make the reader say "Didn't see that coming." But the twists in Thursday only deepens the mystery and makes whatever it is that's going on more opaque. It is, in a sense, these predictable twists that sever the story entirely from the conventional spy-thriller or mystery.

Also its interesting that the story of why Bull himself never tried to stop the Marquis reminds me of what the Professor say in Chapter 14, the way he seems to see Sunday everywhere, only in a different way. The Professor's speech shows his doubt in the supernatural. Its probably just a coincidence, though.

Dr Bull wrote:"Whenever I tried to slip out of it I saw the President somewhere, smiling out of the bow-window of a club, or taking off his hat to me from the top of an omnibus. I tell you, you can say what you like, that fellow sold himself to the devil; he can be in six places at once.”

Professor de Worms wrote:Walking up a road at night, I have seen a lamp and a lighted window and a cloud make together a most complete and unmistakable face. If anyone in heaven has that face I shall know him again. Yet when I walked a little farther I found that there was no face, that the window was ten yards away, the lamp ten hundred yards, the cloud beyond the world. Well, Sunday’s face escaped me; it ran away to right and left, as such chance pictures run away.

What isn't a coincidence is that Bull's story of the spectacles (how it was given by the Policeman in the dark room) is somewhat similar to Gregory's story about Sunday suggesting to him to hide as Anarchist. It already points towards the biggest revelation, that the two leaders are indeed one.
Insert supposedly witty but random absurd comment here and add water
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The Bigsleep J
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I wear my Suuun-glasses at night

Postby Kanakaberaka » 18 May 2006, 05:02

I sympathysed with Syme about using the finger tapping code. After showing such enthusiasm to learn it in front of Prof. de Worms, they get some sleep. The next morning Syme thinks the professor has gone catatonic when he appers to ignore Syme. It takes a while before Syme realizes that de Worms is trying to communicate with him via the secret code. A true "Doh!" moment on the part of Syme. And I must admit not getting with the program myself even after being told exactly what to watch out for.

Dr. Bull's use of dark glasses to disguise his wholesome apperance reminded me of a 1980's pop song called "I wear my sunglasses at night". That was a fashion statement rather than a disguise. But it brings home the cliche' that the eyes are windows to the soul. We wonder what people are up to if we can not read their eyes. Many poker players on those TV tournaments wear dark glasses for just that reason. It helps them maintain their "poker face".
so it goes...
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re: Chapter Nine

Postby Sarah N. » 21 May 2006, 22:58

I haven't read the chapter recently, but I just want to interject something here.

That's all.
Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing. ~ St. John of the Cross

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