I’m currently working on a dissertation on these two magnificient novels by Coe (looks like I’m not the only one, judging from other people’s posts on the forum eheh).
I’d like to spark a bit of a debate on some aspects of these two books I feel I haven’t grasped correctly, just to hear other people’s opinions.
1 In CC, What does the flying balloon symbolise, in your view? (I’m referring to an episode that happens after the demonstration against the closing of the Longbridge factory)
I have two ideas: in one case it might indicate Ben’s loss of Malvina (who has been handed on a plate by him to his brother), but I suspect it could also be a symbol of the disappearing optimism and illusions of youth (or political / social illusions, referring to Longbridge?)
I know I run the risk of overanalysing things, but the placement of this episode in the novel leads me to think that it might be an important step to comprehend the whole work.
2 Probably less importantly, is the song "I Get A Kick Out Of You" a random choice or is there any significance attached to it? I’m not familiar with other Cole Porter songs, so I’m asking you
3 What do you think about the evolution of Doug’s character? Do you think his marriage with Frank signals at least a partial betrayal of his socialist background (anticipated by the brief adventure with Ffion in which he "falls in love with the upper classes"), or do you value more his committment for the Longbridge cause and the help he gives his friends?
4 Do you think the "Berlin 2003 intro" of Rotters’ Club is a weak point of the book?
I’m referring to the fact that the narration of the boys contains some imperfections at first (they can’t remember every aspect of the Seventies of course) but then the narrator shifts to an omniscent form. Am I the only one to have found this shift a bit artificial ?
Thanks in advance for your attention, I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions on these points.