The author shares with the readers multiple points of viewsfrom different characters to help the reader understand the personal beliefs,desires and struggles of the English people in the 19th century. Eventhough we, as readers, can see all of the characters struggling to achievetheir personal goals, there is a recurring theme in the lives of the male characters.Every male character struggles to demonstrate their power by their ability toexercise it.
It is like if there was an immediate relation between masculinityand power. The author describes Varloc as the complete opposite of thestereotypical masculine physical appearance. He describes his as fat and lazy.
The only way in which the author redeems his masculinity is by his ability totake care of his wife and her family. Winnie stated that the only reason she marriedhim is because he can help them financially, not because she loved him. Thenovel shows Varloc’s struggles to retain his power while keeping a lazylifestyle. Due to the fact that his only was to hold some sort of power is byproviding for his family, he was so desperate that he did not care aboutrisking Stevie’s life in order to preserve his power and maintain his image asa responsible family man.
Another important character is the professor. He iscrazy and believes that he is better than everyone else. He believes thatpeople should basically bow to him. He is described as a short man which doesnot let him feel physically powerful so instead he uses violence acts toexpress his power. Him believing that he is intellectually better than everyoneelse, helps him deal with his shortness and insecurity.