How many miles to Babylon – Relationships
- 1. Family
- Alec Moore
- Frederick Moore
- Alicia Moore
- 2. Friendship
- Alec Moore
- Jerry Crowe
- The family atmosphere in Alec’s life is negative.
- Frederick and Alicia are in a loveless marriage and Alicia openly treats her husband with disrespect, “I have no intention in remaining in the house alone with you”.
- Alec himself makes reference to the fact that the only thing his parents had in common was “the child”. The use of the child suggests a detachment from the familiar.
- Alicia is clearly the dominant figure “the winner was always the same”. This quote is in relation to his parent’s arguments and the fact his mother always won.
- This idea is enhanced when Frederick suggests Alicia has manipulated the doctor to say what she wants to hear.
- Alicia becomes an obstacle to Alec and Jerry’s friendship as she disapproves and tries to end it. The trip to Europe is one attempt she makes at preventing the development of a relationship between the two boys.
- Alicia also forbids Alec from seeing Jerry.
- Alicia sends her only son to war and there is a suggestion from Frederick that she is only doing it to hurt him. There is also the possibility that Mrs Moore wants the prestige of have her son going to war to fight for honour.
- Alec is home schooled and has no opportunity to make friends as he grows up.
- Alec meets Jerry and we can clearly see that they are from different class backgrounds.
- The boys meet at the lake and they swim together and from here their friendship blooms.
- Alec knows that Jerry’s background is an issue and Alec refers to Jerry as “a private and secret friend”.
- Jerry also understands the importance of keeping the friendship secret “Your lot would care. My lot too…”
- It is their interest in horses that helps their friendship develops. They build jumps and have a type of secret riding school.
- Alec suggests that they work together when they are older. Jerry goes alone with the plan but is more of a realist and sees that such a plan would not be easy “You’re a great one for thinking things will be easy”.
- As the story develops both men grow a deep affection for each other.
- Jerry brings love and life to Alec’s existence.
- Jerry could be seen to be influential to Alec as Alec takes on many of Jerry’s ideas and beliefs.
- Both characters show a deep trust for one another and share their problems seeking advice and comfort.
- Family issues
- Sexual issues
- The war should have separated the characters but it helps to bring them closer.
- Despite Major Glendinning’s attempts he cannot separate both men.
- When Jerry leaves to find his father Alec tries his best to cover for him.
- When Jerry returns with bad news and awaiting troubles Alec does his best to comfort him.
- Alec’s last act of friendship is to save his friend form the indignity of having to face a firing squad. Alec treats his friend with comfort and compassion.