The author shares with the readers multiple points of views
from different characters to help the reader understand the personal beliefs,
desires and struggles of the English people in the 19th century. Even
though we, as readers, can see all of the characters struggling to achieve
their 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 to
exercise it. It is like if there was an immediate relation between masculinity
and power. The author describes Varloc as the complete opposite of the
stereotypical masculine physical appearance. He describes his as fat and lazy.
The only way in which the author redeems his masculinity is by his ability to
take care of his wife and her family. Winnie stated that the only reason she married
him is because he can help them financially, not because she loved him. The
novel shows Varloc’s struggles to retain his power while keeping a lazy
lifestyle. Due to the fact that his only was to hold some sort of power is by
providing for his family, he was so desperate that he did not care about
risking Stevie’s life in order to preserve his power and maintain his image as
a responsible family man. Another important character is the professor. He is
crazy and believes that he is better than everyone else. He believes that
people should basically bow to him. He is described as a short man which does
not let him feel physically powerful so instead he uses violence acts to
express his power. Him believing that he is intellectually better than everyone
else, helps him deal with his shortness and insecurity.