More is introduced as a character alienated from his society. He wonders, when he comes back to Feliciana, whether something really has changed or if he has simply misremembered life outside prison. Throughout the novel, he questions his beliefs in the way the world operates, wondering about the propriety of running the heavy sodium experiment on unknowing subjects, including the children at the Belle Ame Academy. His is the voice of a social conscience.
More’s character is presented sympathetically. Even his conviction for selling prescription drugs is cast positively: He sold the drugs because he needed the money, but he also thought that they would help truckers to adjust to their schedules of long hauls without sufficient breaks to sleep. Readers will sympathize with the facts that his practice has all but disappeared and his wife no longer stays home, even though both are largely results of his own actions. His narration is friendly and informal, encouraging readers to like him.
The villains in this story do not appear in stereotype form. Their behavior appears to stem from humanitarian goals of reducing crime and, in Van Dorn’s case, increasing abilities. He uses water treated with heavy sodium to improve the mathematical skills of children at the Belle Ame Academy. Comeaux thinks like a stereotypical government bureaucrat, concerned with outcomes but not bothered by the moral questions involved in his actions. His threats to More...
(The entire section is 522 words.)