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The Informer

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The Informer: Gypo Nolan and Katie Fox Relationship

The informer is a tale of temptations, reprisal, and betrayal that happens in the after effects of the Irish Civil War. The novel dwells on the story of Gypo Nolan, who spies on one of his wanted comrades. Gypo Nolan is the informer according to the novel. Gypo is a member of the RO (Revolutionary Organization) but also a retired policeman. Katie Fox is one of Gypo Nolan’s lovers. She is shown to be a greedy woman who can do anything for money. She is also using drugs. The aim of this paper is to profile Gypo’s relationship with her novel lover, Katie Fox.

As the novel opens up, we see that Katie is attached to McPhillip and she rebuffs an advance by Gypo Nolan for friendship. She later switches her affection to Gypo when the Chief of Police is shot by Francis. Some time is needed for the two lovers to build a passionate relationship. When she is interrogated at one of the party inquiries of her relationship with Gypo, she admits that the two are lovers. But Gypo believes that Katie prostitutes herself. Katie seems to reassure Gypo that he is the only man for her, but she upbraids him later. She tells Gypo, “Saint Gypo! …Your fine principles. I can’t afford them.” At this instant, Gypo seems to be helpless as his manhood gets spayed.

In the novel, the relationship of song to female male relationship becomes clear through Gypo and Katie. Katie is introduced as a woman who is emblematic of her proud Irish culture. But there are scenes of betrayal by Katie to his love, Gypo. Gypo feels humiliated that the woman he loves (although he is unable to take care of) can resort to prostitution despite the fact that she protests that she loves him. Her response to the £20 she needs as fare to get to America resonates beyond the simple dialogue she has with Gypo. It is this scene that sets Gypo’s first reaction to being betrayed; through the wanted poster.

Gypo is also seen to betray Katie. Although Gypo’s girl in the book is Katie, her rival is Connemara Maggie. Connemara works at Aunty Betty’s brothel. Gypo abandons Katie (when Connemara favors Gypo towards the end of his revelry) when he discovers that Katie is associated with Biddy Burke’s restaurant that is seen to be seedier and lower-class brothel than where Connemara works. When Gypo suspects that Katie may be going to his former lover, McPhillips, he betrays him to the police. This shows that there is the element of mistrust between the two lovers. Their love is based misunderstanding as we later learn that Gypo’s suspicions were just but unfounded. As one of the many symmetries of the novel, Katie will also have to betray Gypo because of her misinterpretation of Gypo’s motives. In fact, Katie’s actions revolve around a sequence of false assumptions and misunderstandings that later leads to the shooting of her lover.

Katie is ahead of her man, Gypo, in forgiveness, compassion and has a humanistic understanding. Times of violent retribution which Gypo claims are answers to some of the problems becomes engrossed in our conscience. However, Katie easily wins the reader’s admiration for she is shown to see more deeply. However, there is no simple female or male duality. Gypo easily shows his suppressed softer side (when he is show to be executed by Ford) helping to evoke memories of Gypo failing to do an execution earlier.   

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