The Collector

The Collector Summary and Analysis of Part 4

Clegg does not wake up after a short nap, but rather sleeps until late morning. He wakes up in a much better mood than he was in the night before. He decides he will not kill himself, but rather to find a way to bury and hide Miranda's body. He thinks to himself that he really did not kill her at all; she died, and there was little a doctor could have done, he says to himself.

He drives into Lewes that morning to go to the flower shop. While in town, he passes a girl who at first glance looks very similar to Miranda. Though initially startled, he follows her into Woolworths and learns that she works at the candy counter.

Three weeks after Miranda's death, Clegg says that he does not want any more "guests," but that he has been learning more about the Woolworths girl, whose name is Marian. He acknowledges that she is not as pretty as Miranda; however, he believes that perhaps he overshot the first time, and that he should never have tried to subjugate a high-class girl. Miranda's body is in a home-made casket under the apple trees. Clegg put her into the box by rolling her in a sheet, and never looked at her face or body, which he had heard would smell and turn colors.


This very short (2 1/2-page) conclusion to the novel reveals that the tragic ending envisioned by Clegg in Part 3 does not come to fruition. Rather, he seems to be on the path to becoming a serial abductor after seeing a girl who looks like Miranda, but is less pretty and comes from a lower class.

Of course, this combination suits Clegg: "I ought to have got someone who would respect me more. Someone ordinary I could teach" (282). As usual, Clegg equates money with power. Yet a poor girl could defy Clegg just as much as Miranda did, though probably not by using Miranda's intellectual tactics. In this quote, Clegg shows how little he has learned from the terrible end to his time with Miranda: he still thinks that he can use money to force the world to give him what he wants. The end of the novel reveals how immutable he is and how emotionally disconnected he is from anything that Miranda's death might have taught him.

The final two sentences of the novel read: "But it is still just an idea. I only put the stove down there today because the room needs drying out anyway" (283). These last lines portend a future full of Mirandas. These sentences also reflect Clegg's attitude when he was prepared to abduct Miranda: he never fully believed that he was actually prepared to kidnap her, but asserted instead that he was living out a justified fantasy where he conveniently prepared everything for Miranda's capture. Based on the last sentence of the novel, it seems likely that narrative of The Collector will repeat itself.