A Character Analysis of Charlie in Fitzgerald’s Babylon RevisitedIn considering Charlie Wales plight in Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited,” I believe Charlie is a victim of his own success. As a successful businessman two times over he has burned many bridges behind him and for his well intentions he is blind to that continued fallacy. He does not seem to realize that the success he enjoys now is the envy that brought about Marion and Lincoln’s contempt prior to Helen’s death.
I see Charlie attempting desperately to act out of character. Adept at business he has shown ability, humility and perseverance. However, he seems to be out of touch with the manifested feelings of others his path has crossed.
I do believe Charlie is not truly ready for parenthood. It appears he is fighting a demon, longing for a piece of his life that was lost in his past. Motivated by guilt I believe he is substituting materialism for love believing money buys happiness. He would substitute a governess for parenting for he realizes his business ventures will not lend time to child rearing.
We can all sympathize with Charlie on the surface, we have all made mistakes that we have to live with. Charlie is attempting to move forward with his life and erase the mistakes of his past. The ghosts of his past torment him repeatedly throughout the story, his child’s guardians despise him and his old friends do not understand him.
Duncan Schaffer and Lorraine Quarrles represent all that wrong with Charlie’s life. Charlie attempts to steam forward and like a anchor they keep him moored in place. I can not truly sympathize with Charlie though there is a sense of empathy within me. I sense that with Lincoln Peters also.