The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

Alcoholism in The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

In the novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, Brian Moore closely examines the theme of alcoholism and its effect on the protagonist Judith Hearne. Moore highlights Hearne's loneliness in the novel, which appears to be the source of her alcoholism. Although Moore seems to address Hearne's addiction to alcohol as a psychological problem, he hints that her alcoholism is also a physiological disease. Although Hearne starts drinking in order to sooth her cough, she uses alcohol to escape from her emotional problems afterward, as alcohol can cheer her up and make her feel better. It seems that her drinking problem is merely a mental problem, but we then see her suffering from withdrawal symptoms, which shows that she cannot function normally without alcohol (Milam and Ketcham 66). Since Moore presents Hearne's alcohol problem as both physiological and psychological, he creates a feeling of realism in the novel. Thus, the depiction of alcoholism in The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is complete and realistic.

In the beginning, Hearne starts drinking because alcohol can relieve the pain that she suffers from bronchitis. The role of alcohol for her, however, changes gradually; although she still thinks that her use...

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