Last Updated on August 12, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1564
Two Months Later (April 2012)
Connell and Marianne have resumed seeing each other. One evening, Connell arrives at Marianne’s apartment as most of her friends are leaving. Peggy, who is tipsy, asks the two of them if they are sleeping together. Connell is lost for words, but Marianne admits that they are and that they have a history. Connell and Marianne’s relationship is currently going well; they spend their evenings together, cooking, drinking wine, and sleeping together. After sex, they have philosophical discussions, and the intellectual nature of their conversations seems to heighten their sexual relationship.
Connell no longer returns to Carricklea at the weekends, as he now works in the restaurant of their friend’s father in an administrative role. Connell is aware that he has come to partake of the privilege of the middle and upper classes, with his connection with Marianne serving to bolster his status. At university, his intellectual confidence has also grown, and after completing a presentation on Le Morte d’Arthur, a classmate calls him a “genius.” He is equally gratified by Marianne bragging to her high-status friends about his intelligence.
In Marianne’s apartment, Peggy asks Connell if he would be interested in the prospect of multiple partners, before coyly proposing a threesome to him and Marianne. Connell thinks the intimacy between himself and Marianne is too intense to be shared and that a threesome would destroy him. Marianne resolves the situation by saying she is too “self-conscious” to do such a thing.
When Peggy leaves, Connell thanks Marianne for intervening, but Marianne insists that she would have gone ahead with the threesome if that had been what Connell wanted. This makes Connell realize, to his horror, that he could do anything to Marianne, even hit her in the face, and she would accept it. The thought of his power over her causes him to feel nauseous and deeply alarmed, though he does not tell her his thoughts. Marianne asks if she has done something wrong, but Connell laughs the matter off.
Three Months Later (July 2012)
Marianne has returned home to Carricklea and is in the supermarket. As Marianne goes to the checkout, she spots Lorraine, who congratulates her on her achievements so far at university. Connell avoids eye contact with Marianne as she chats with his mother. Lorraine insists on giving Marianne a lift home.
Connell and Marianne have not seen each other since May, when Connell moved home to Carricklea. He had told her he wanted to see other people, which Marianne was forced to accept. As they were never technically boyfriend and girlfriend, Marianne considers herself as not even his ex-girlfriend, but as “nothing.” Connell asks Marianne about her newest relationship with a friend of hers from Trinity, Jamie. Marianne feels like all her energy leaves her whenever she thinks about the “proclivities” that she and Jamie share. After their latest break-up, Marianne had been ignoring any contact from Connell. She had felt mortified by having to relay the details of their break-up to her friends, to whom she had spoken about Connell so admiringly.
Marianne has returned to town for her late father’s anniversary mass. Connell asks her if she would like him to attend the mass, and she politely accepts his offer. She apologizes for ignoring Connell’s messages, and he asks if she still wants to be friends. Marianne insists that she does wish to remain friends, despite what has happened between them. Marianne thinks that Connell will attend the mass looking as “innocent as a lamb” and that their friendship will be revived once more.
Six Weeks Later (September 2012)
Connell goes to meet Marianne for coffee in Dublin, but he is running late. They...
(The entire section contains 1564 words.)
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