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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 356

Michael Dillon

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Michael Dillon, the novel’s protagonist, is a hotel manager in the city of Belfast. Michael is unhappy in his marriage, and this leads him to enter into an extra marital relationship with Andria, a journalist working for the BBC. There is something of the bitter X-Dreamer about Michael, who had reluctantly given up his previous aspirations of being a poet so as to follow in the footsteps of his father in the hotel industry. He has a fondness for his home, yet has come to view Belfast as a city irredeemably torn by conflict, and is more than ready to leave Northern Ireland with Andria for a life in London. His decision to alert the police and thus save the occupants of his hotel from potential death or injury from the IRA bombing illustrates that he is able to make tough decisions, to think with detachment about human life. He also shows an element of courage in deciding to alert the police about Kev’s identity.

Moira Dillon

Moira Dillon, Michael’s wife, undergoes a transformation in this novel. The author portrays her as suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder common among women. Unlike Michael, she loves her home dearly and is not ready to leave it. She is very upset by her husband’s decision to sacrifice her for the sake of those in the hotel, but this betrayal changes her as a character, and in her confrontation of the IRA on the radio, she demonstrates the strength and independence that she lacked at the beginning of the novel.


Andria is a journalist from Canada, covering the troubles in Northern Ireland. She might be seen as somewhat callus in her knowingly luring Michael, a married man, away from his wife. However, she has a strong sense of principle, since it is she who convinces her lover to tell the police the identity of the IRA man he saw.

Lesser Characters

Kev is an IRA man who removes his mask in the presence of Michael and Moira, thus revealing his identity.

Michael also confesses knowledge of Kev’s identity to a priest.


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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 264

The characters of Brian Moore's Lies of Silence include the protagonist, Michael Dillon. Michael was born in Ireland, though he doesn't have the unremitting passion for his home country that the reader sees in his wife. Michael's dream was to be a poet, but, after having met with little success as a young adult, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and become a hotel manager. In the beginning of the novel, Michael is kidnapped by representatives of the IRA, who want to bomb the hotel where he works.

Moira is Michael's wife. She suffers from bulimia, and from a generally poor self-image. She is very upset when she learns of her husband's affair, and also hurt that he risked her life during the IRA's invasion of their home; she was taken as a hostage, and her husband nevertheless called the police in order to save the hotel's occupants. After the kidnapping, Moira goes on the radio to denounce the IRA.

Andrea Baxter is Michael's mistress. She works for the...

(The entire section contains 801 words.)

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