Monday, 15 August 2011

Barry Lyndon Plot Summary, Chapters 3 and 4

Chapter 3
  • On his way to Dublin, Barry first meets Captain Freeny, the highwayman, then Mrs. Fitzsimons, an impostor. The Fitzsimons invite him to stay with them and during his stay, Barry's financial reserves are nigh depleted. By the time Barry sees through their scheme, they see through his.
  • He is turned out of the house and debts and the threat of exposure forces him to join the army and thus flee Ireland.
Chapter 4
  • Barry, headed for Germany and the Seven Years' War, keeps getting into squabbles on the ship. Fortunately, Captain Fagan boards the ship and keeps him with money and protection. He reveals to Barry how the duel was arranged and after a while gets him promoted to the rank of corporal. Fagan also keeps him with money.
  • Barry narrates how the Seven Years' War would appear from the soldiers' point of view but confesses that he does not fully understand it. He doesn't have a high opinion of military life; he ponders desertion, gambles and gets into squabbles and speaks slightingly of British valour.
  • He tells of his killing of a French colonel and his young ensign, Fagan's death and how he and some other soldiers came to a house, drank the wine of an old woman and her daughters then burned their house down. All this is narrated surprisingly dispassionately.

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