What Lester Burdon’s motives predict towards Kathy Lazaro?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lester is a decent human being, for the most part.  His motivation for protecting and assisting Kathy arise from his own experiences of being an abandoned child.  He recognizes in Kathy the pathology that his own mother possessed upon his father leaving home and also his professional instincts enter into deliberation as he witnesses many instances of domestic violence with his capacity as a police officer.  We come to know in the course of the novel that Lester's love for his wife has passed into nothingness, as boredom has settled in, and that he lives a relatively joyless life as a husband and father.  This is not to say that it is a bad existence, but there is definitely a void present.  This might have been enhanced by the fact that we only know him through a third person narrative that pays attention to his thoughts and impressions.  The absence of full immersion in narration might reflect Lester's inability to fully immerse himself in his family.  The combination of his own psychology as a child, his profession as an adult, and the disinterest as a married man lead him to almost predictably and on cue engage in a sexual and emotional relationship with Kathy.  He seeks her out as an affair for escape from a life that he deems as not excessively filled with joy.  There is a certain escapist quality that is present in Lester, which we can predict will lead to a level of emotional trauma, certainly evident in the book.

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