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					                                                                            Fai-Ernest Chan


                                     The Hide
                                 By Barry Unsworth

       Barry Unsworth was born in 1930, north of England. He studied in Manchester

University and lived in France for a yeah. He traveled extensively in Greece and Turkey,

and published The Hide after in 1970. Unsworth is often thought of as an historical

novelist. A great deal of his work is set in the past and several of his novels involve

transactions between past and present. Unsworth also stands apart from much

contemporary historical fiction. For his fiction, the past figures as something far more

considerable than the product of careful research and costumed else where. The pleasures

of imagination disclose intensity where pleasure draws close to pain, as well as sensual

immediacy. This idea is every well set in The Hide, where it is shown in Simon’s

description of his surrounding objects and movements, and in Josh’s unpopular

descriptions of people around him.

       The Hide is told by two different point of views, Josh and Simon. Josh is a low

class worker who just came into town a month ago and working at a play fair as a stall

attendance. He is only around twenty years old and had lost both his parent already, but

luckily or unlucky that he met Mortimer who saved him from a drunken Irish person in a

bar. Simon is a middle age man, around his forty or fifty, that live with his sister, Audrey,

and house maid, Marion. He is the legendary tunnel digger that has a hide in the back

yard of the house.

       The story started at Josh describing his work and the noisy condition that

surrounded him. He is really getting sick and tired of the job and really fed up with the
way that he is treated. During a break that he had with Mortimer, Josh told him about his

feeling, since Mortimer, in Josh mind, is educated and intelligent. With Mortimer

approval, Josh is set the find another job at the labor exchange.

       In the mean time at Audrey’s house, Simon is using his telescope to spy across the

field on a married woman sweeping the drive way and executing his imagination. After

that, he decided he should work on his tunnel and discover that there is a boy in the

garden bird watching with Audrey permission. From that point on he has a rant about his

hatred of her sister and how it intervene with his hide. During a party that was held by

Audrey for her Dramatic Society, Simon decided to pull a prank on her sister by putting

his jaw of fake teeth into the mosses, which he soon regrets and in need to think of some

kind of solution. By the ending of the party, one of the guest, Gravelin, discovered the

teeth and screamed. In the mist of panic, even though everyone had seen what caused the

disturbance, Simon snatch back the teeth and went to his room. The next thing he knew

was his sister given him one month dead line for him to be out of her house.

       Josh, after an incidence that almost caused him to get punched by a “dumb

bloke”, had finally switch job. In the job exchange, he came across the gardener job at

Audrey’s house. Soon after, on a visit to Audrey, Josh saw that the place is like a jungle

and had a feeling that he is being watch plus walking on a very thin layer of ground.

However, he did not saw that Simon was spying on him the whole time, from the hide

and upstairs inside the house. During the visit, Josh already started to fall in love with

Marion, who’s the house maid that brought in by the pass away husband of Audrey, but

by matter have caused Audrey to have sexual desire for him.
       Simon, because of Josh present in the garden, had stopped doing any tunneling

and worrying about his hide being discover. He had been inside his hide, observing on

every movement and objects in the garden, and discovered that Audrey had been bringing

tea to Josh, and that Josh is craving a wooden horse during his break hours. While he still

spying the married woman each morning, he soon discovered that Marion and Josh are

having secret meeting in the field. By that time, he gains enough courage to confront Josh

about his hide and warned him about snakes. In that meeting, he also found out that Josh

is craving the horse for Mortimer, but he insisted plus bribed Josh to give that horse to

Audrey.

       After Simon told Josh to gives the wooden horse to Audrey. Josh went to a bar

with Mortimer and showed the horse to him. Josh mixed feelings plus Mortimer constant

pushing made him really drunk and sick that night. The next day, maybe because Josh

lost interest in craving anymore, he cut himself and stood motionless next to the sink

holding a tea cup bleeding. It is not until Audrey completely mended his wound that he

came back to his sense. On that spot, Josh gave the blood stinted horse to Audrey, and

from then on Audrey had been forcing Josh to read books about art making, which led to

a late night leaving that expressed Josh and Marion feelings for each others.

       Simon while away from most of the action had observed everything that are going

on. He found the blood wooden horse in Audrey’s room, he saw the relationship that Josh

and Marion are getting closer and closer, and every little things around the garden

including the birds and insects that craws around the place. He noticed the missing robin

baby in the nest.
       The first time that Mortimer visited the place is when Josh brought him to

introduce to Marion. By the meeting, Mortimer already concluded that she is a slut from

the way she walks. Then Josh showed Mortimer the garden and the robin nest. At the

moment Mortimer picked up one of the baby robin and forced Josh to stable a tree needle

into its eye, saying that it is for “the moral framework of both of us”. That creature is of

coursed died, Mortimer ran off didn’t realize that he had been spotted by Simon, and Josh

throws up in the garden cause of what he did.

       On the day of the garden party for the Dramatic Society that Audrey had planned

as a fund raiser. Simon encountered people that stared at him funny and wondering why.

Then finally realized when he saw the look of his sister face that he is still in his

tunneling outfit. The embarrassment caused him to dive into his hide, and in the process

discovered that Josh and Marion are kissing in the field behind the garden. Simon, after

the discovery, went and showed Audrey the scene.

       Josh after the discovery, went and meet Mortimer, but found out that he brought a

friend name Lionel. He is both jealous and confused at Mortimer choice, but after Lionel

left, Mortimer continue to convince Josh that Marion is a slut. That night, Josh waited

forever for Marion that never showed up because of what happen at the party, and the

next day Marion told Josh there is another secret place that she knew of.

       A few days later, Mortimer went over to Audrey’s house with Josh for official

visit. Simon, when wondering around, saw them coming and sat in with Audrey. In the

visit, Mortimer gave Audrey a bitter defeat, and Simon realized the man that he saw

earlier after the missing robin is Mortimer. The next afternoon, Simon followed Marion

and found out where they’ve been meeting. He found them in between the copse and the
orchard behind the garden. Simon, though not fully realizing, witnessed the sexual

relationship between the two before withdrawing. When he reached back to the house, he

found out that Audrey was looking for Josh. Despite the fact that Simon didn’t really

intended for her to found out at this moment, he finally let his sense of having the garden

to himself over take him, and decided to lead Audrey to the place. However, to the half

way, Audrey decided not to follow and went back, only to discover that the Dramatic

Society had abandon her on the play that they are doing. All the agony that had built up

in Audrey caused her to burse out into tears, while Simon witnessed it from afar.

       Josh, after doing it with Marion, was over excited that he decided to tell Mortimer

that he putted it in three times even though he had only putted it in once. Mortimer

confirmed to Josh that she is a slut because she won’t be able to hand it three times if she

hadn’t done it before. Then Mortimer suggested or rather persuaded Josh to let him rape

Marion to prove to Josh that she is a slut. Josh, after much debt and in fear of losing

Mortimer, agreed to the term that they’ll leave together after it is done.

       The next day in the copse, Josh met with Marion, and Marion asked Josh what is

color is love and flirting with him. When Josh suddenly got up and leave, Marion start

calling after him, and Lionel and Mortimer grabbed her. Marion frightened scream for

help from Josh, while he just slowly walked away, knowing that Marion is going to be

raped by Lionel. When Josh walked out of the place he throws up again. Simon, who was

over looking the whole time, did nothing to help in the progress, only left seeing Marion

weeping after in the field.

       Josh soon left with Mortimer on their road trip. Simon tried to comfort Marion

before she leave by saying “He really isn’t worth it”. Marion knowing fully well that Josh
is easily led by Mortimer has hopes that Josh may one day find him, since he know where

she will be. After everyone left, Simon discover that Audrey tries to determine her own

end by cutting herself in the neck, and he is in time to save her, but her injury left a

permanent scar. After all that, Simon was not kick from the house, and will continue his

digging of the tunnel.

       I think I left this out, so I’ll just put this here. The whole time Simon is trying to

get the gardener (Josh) out of the place so he can focus on his tunneling.

       The story to me is pretty weird and disgusting, but from time to time it gave me

some laugh to lighten up my spirit. And that’s my paper, time to quit.

				
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