Provoking a reaction

The author leaves us in no doubt that George is most unsavoury and at no time do we feel the slightest bit of sympathy for him. Josephine has, we are sure, every right to dislike him. This impression is reinforced a few lines further on when we see his reaction as Josephine tells him he is to be made redundant.

George felt an urge to leap from his chair and slap the supercilious bitch with her painted face, her dyed blonde hair, her fat, wobbling breasts. The dirty stinking slut! The dirty whore!

Whilst there is no doubt that George's vitriolic reaction is appalling, there is still room for a hint of justification. Anyone who has experienced redundancy must be able to relate to the feelings of frustration and helplessness welling up inside him.

At the same time, Josephine's unease in his presence is very well-founded as it is all too clear that any woman unfortunate enough to find herself alone with George Markham is in very grave danger.

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