I left Dora at the end of chapter XV.** Given the limited options at her disposal, she was settling for the only career path open to her. God knows, she and Mrs Marks weren’t about to reach a place of casual camaraderie and given her peculiar attachment to her hubby… I shake my head.
Back then, and under those climes, the hysteria of choice centered on communism – the heathen hordes, Lucifer’s prideful minions defying the will of God, etc. Maurice Duplessis ran La Belle Province and we were little Christian Crusaders, our hearts aflame for Good Triumphant. (“Je suis Croisée, c’est là ma gloire, mon coeur par Dieu tout embrasé, combat sans peur pour sa victoire, je suis Croisée, je suis …” etc.)
Given the facts
A) we school girl Christian Crusaders were all of six years old
B) We had never heard of Korea before
C) Nor could we make any obvious connection between American soldiers (good; Christian; positive heroes), North-Korean soldiers (evil;communists;Lucifer’s minions); Russian atheistic children cheering on the minions; French-Canadian Roman Catholic children offering up their prayers for the safekeeping of the positive heroes; and the fact
D) the old nun in charge of our class beamed out to us from deep within the Realm of Crazy,
my recollections of first grade at Ecole J.J. Joubert in Dorval, Qc are baroque, to put it mildly.
I feel great sympathy for Iris Murdoch’s Dora. Must ask her where she buys the West Indian fabric for her dress.
So. Story. Scene: Pounding on her mother’s door, in full view of the neighbors. What will they think? And who’s inside the house? Who will open the door, or refuse to do so?
* Dora, heading back for more, at the end of Chapter XIV
** Irish Murdoch, The Bell