Alec Moore

Alec Moore

  • Our introduction to the text shows the character of Alec Moore to be in some type of trouble and to be resigned to the fact that he has to accept his punishment. It is when we move back to the past that we start to see how the character of Alec developed.
  • Being home schooled shows an isolated factor to Alec’s development. Alec has little or no interaction with kids his own age and he main contact is with adults, Alicia, Fredrick and his piano teacher. This will explain why he struggles in his interactions with Jerry when they first meet.
  • The description of the house is one that is clearly upper class but also clean and in some ways sterile. This contrast greatly with the description of the piano teacher. The piano teacher is fired and the one unkempt thing in the house is gone. In some ways this can go to explain why Alec’s personality is somewhat sterile in the opening section. He lacks the stimulation that a child needs to develop their personality.
  • Alicia’s refusal to let Alec go to school for fear she would be left alone in the house with her husband shows Alec’s well being is not a priority and shows to some extent neglect on Alicia’s behalf. Again we have another reason for the poor development of Alec’s character.
  • We see many arguments between Alicia and Fredrick, firing the piano teacher and schooling, with Alicia winning all of them. Alec learns from his father’s example and later in the text will struggle to stand up to his mother. The only real standing up he does is in continuing his relationship with Jerry but this is done in secret and therefore we have to question is he standing up to her at all.
  • Alec meets Jerry at the lake and his physical description of Jerry does show the difference in their upbringing but highlights more the lack of contact Alec has had with boys his age through his fascination of the event.
  • The boys become friends but we see clearly that Alec is more naive than Jerry. Jerry knows they must keep their friendship secret when Alec suggests a job in the stables but Jerry tells him they would have to stop being friends then. Jerry suggests the both sides of the divide would have a problem with their friendship. Having less interaction with society shows Alec to be socially unaware.
  • When Alicia takes Alec for a walk before she tells him he is going to Europe Alec tries to sing and Alicia tells him to stop as he is no good. To some extent this is Alicia preventing Alec from expressing himself. Take away the freedom to express yourself and you take away character development.
  • Sitting at the dinner table we see that there are no personal conversations and that everything is very formal. Alec has no emotional outlet to express his feelings and emotions. Alec even states that he feels like he is being spoken to like a stranger.
  • Both Alicia and Fredrick forbid Alec from having a relationship with Jerry and both have a hand here is trying to suppress his character.
  • Alec is told by Alicia that he must go to war. In an attempt to persuade him she even suggests that Fredrick is not his father. Alec is being thrown into more emotional turmoil with no one but Jerry to turn too developing his love and need for Jerry.
  • Jerry is going to war and Alec decides that he will go too. Alec is following the only true relationship that he has. Alec’s belief that he can have a better relationship with Jerry away from his mother again shows his naivety and lack of understanding of social issues.
  • Major Glendinning telling Alec that he needs to mix shows how socially restricted Alec is as he does not seem to know how to socialise with his peers. This is a product of his home schooling and social isolation for his mothers benefit.
  • Alec receives a letter from home and when Bennett tears it up Alec does not react. Bennett is surprised by this but it is because Alec has no emotional attachment to his home.
  • When Jerry leaves Alec is clearly distraught. On Jerry’s return he is caught and will be put in front of a firing squad. Alec is put in charge of this. With the thought of losing Jerry Alec sees no value in his future as his only true relationship is coming to an end. With this in mind Alec kills Jerry to save him the humiliation of the firing squad.
  • Alec knew that this would result in his death. Here we see what Alec’s character did learn; He learned to love; he gained a true friend and the rarity of this prevented him from wanting to live without him.
  • The restriction of Alec’s childhood and development and the constant battles with a society he did not understand are the reason that Alec’s character did not develop as he should and was the result of his destruction.

6 thoughts on “Alec Moore

  1. Hi, I’m practising 4 my exam and got stuck with this q.: Describe a kind deed that Alec commits in the novel and explain the effect it has on the person who benefits from it.
    Would you be able to help me out? thanks

    • The kindest deed he does is shot Jerry while they discuss their future. It is an act of kindness because Jerry does not have to wait around knowing he will die or face the humiliation of a firing squad. Jerry benefits by dying with his last thoughts being happy ones.

      After that I am not sure. You could look at the fact Alec told Jerry he would show him how to ride a horse and Jerry would teach Alec to fight. While we do not get any details of this practice Jerry does end up being a winning jockey in a race. Also Jerry obviously knows a lot about horses as he wishes to take care of them during the war. This could be as a result of the help Alec gave him

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