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megustaleer

The Moonstone - Gabriel Betteredge

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This is to nudge Katrina into sharing the character assessment she has been making of Gabriel Betteredge. ;)

I have been enjoying his narration so much, and his recourse to Robinson Crusoe for guidance.

I have a very strong picture of him in my mind, and strangely, when I checked IMDb to see if it had been filmed, I discovered that there was a mid-nineties TV version (which I didn't see) in which Betteredge was played by Peter Vaughan , which actor exactly fits my own visualisation of Gabriel :D

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...Peter Vaughan, which actor exactly fits my own visualisation of Gabriel :D
Quite agree. He looks like the born servant in a high position.

I also really enjoy his employment of Robinson Crusoe as his personal bible. I have never read this novel but maybe I will now.

What I really like about him is that he doesn't seem to be prejudiced, he doesn't suspect Rosanna and he doesn't really condemn the first policeman (forgotten his name already, he seemed to be just useless) for his suspection of Betteredge's daughter.

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I was thinking about Gabriel this morning and I've associated him in my mind with Charles Dance.

 

Here's a question for you: do you think he's telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

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I don't think he knows 'the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth'.

 

I don't think he is deliberately dissimulating, but is blown hither and thither in his opinions according to which bit of the 'evidence' he is thinking about at any particular point in his narration, and according to his own predjudices/sentiments...in particular in his Victorian, upper-servant opinions about women and 'the gentry.

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One thing that struck me about Betteredge is that he is a very trusted and devoted servant. He seems to be in the loop about everything in that house.

 

I wonder if he knows more than he's telling?

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Here's a question for you: do you think he's telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
So God help him? I guess he does, as far as he knows. I agree with Meg there, I don't think he knows everything but he is not lying about what he is saying, at least I wouldn't think so.

Good question, though.

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He seems to be in the loop about everything in that house.
He certainly likes to think he is.
I wonder if he knows more than he's telling?
I doubt it. Although he's giving us clues, I don't think he's picking them up himself (at least not at the point I've reached)

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Having finished the book (no, I won't give anything away), I was never suspicious of him and treated the character as a device of the author to forward the story. Was I correct or not? Ah...

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... and treated the character as a device of the author to forward the story ...
Well said, that's how I see him.

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I see him as someone who sees as much as he is allowed to see and says as much as he remembers. He says he has a good memory, yet by Chapter III, his daughter Penelope is being used to remind him of dates and events from her diary, so perhaps his memory is not as perfect as he likes to think. Added to this, I believe things go on in the house that he either is not party to, or he just doesn't remember.

 

I too was intrigued by his constant reference to the Robinson Crusoe book in a biblical sense, like you Momo. Not only does he find answers there, but he also finds solace. I am intrigued by the way Collins uses this analogy to the Bible. Does anybody know whether at the time of writing it that this was a controversial statement by the author?

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Does anybody know whether at the time of writing it that this was a controversial statement by the author?
I don't really know but I found a biography online with this quote:
his father's High Tory Evangelicalism gave him a distatste for respectable piety and organized religion that was to last his life
Maybe someone else has read more about the author.

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I don't really know but I found a biography online with this quote: Maybe someone else has read more about the author.

 

That sure makes sense, (i.e. what you found out below) especially with Miss Clack's narrative!

 

'his father's High Tory Evangelicalism gave him a distatste for respectable piety and organized religion that was to last his life'.

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Gabriel still had me smiling in his later contributions...such as the pernickitty way he wrote out the detaied instructions for preparing the house for the 'physiological experiment', and getting confirmation from Robinson Crusoe for his 'secret Dictate'.

 

And the prophecy, from Robinson Crusoe regarding 'the Child'...well, it came true, didn't it, so we must take it seriously! :D

 

I just loved the way he, and also Miss Clack revealed so much of their own characters in their reports.

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I loved Gabriel and his loyalty. The bit about his Crusoe book smelling of Tabacco was a lovely touch. I was highly amused at his behaviour regarding the experiment. A head full of maggots.

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