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Why does the reader feel sympathy for him instead of anger?
In 'The Sirens of Titan' there are many places where the reader would
feel anger towards Malachi Constant/Unk if it is read out of context.
However there are also many occasions where the reader feels sympathy
and forgives Malachi/Unk. This is helped by Winston Niles Rumfoord who
knows everything and Winston's wife, Beatrice, who is another main
Malachi Constant was born rich and had everything he wanted but the
reader finds out after few chapters that he had not had a happy family
life. His mother was a whore and he only ever met his father once in
"You said you had a very unhappy childhood and made everyone listen to
how unhappy it was."
In this quote the language is simple and repetitive. This is perhaps
to show the annoyance this character has for Constant. It also makes
the reader feel less sympathetic here though because he was moaning
and complaining which is not a good attribute in people. This might be
so that later on the reader can see how they judged him unfairly so
that when there is less proof of something bad happening to him they
are more easily forgiving of him.
This brings out the readers sympathy because the reader realises this
is what leads to his financial ruin and bankruptcy because he gets
drunk and depressed and gives away all his oil wells. However if we
had not read this part then the reader would feel angry at wasting
what he had.
"Every courageous thing he [Constant] had done had been motivated by
spitefulness and goads from childhood"
In this quote there are lots of strong negatives that suggest a very
powerful outside force. All the words here are emotive and indicate
another source had dominance over Constant's life.
We, the readers, are told he tries to hard to be sophisticated and
fashionable and this makes the reader sympathetic because the reader
pities him and relates to him for trying so hard to 'fit in' with
"Everything Rumfoord did he did with style, making all mankind look
Everything Constant did he did in style - aggressively, loudly,
This is a direct comparison with Rumfoord and shows how young, eager
and naÃ¯ve Constant is in contrast to Rumfoord who is much older and
knows everything. The adverbs are all negative showing how Rumfoord is
a good person but Constant takes everything for granted.
The story follows Constant and then Unk throughout the book giving
only important facts such as what they look like and character points
How to Cite this Page
"Malachi Constant/Unk raped a young woman and murdered his best friend.." 123HelpMe.com. 07 Dec 2019
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them and Constant. This increases the reader's sympathy because we
learn a lot about Constant and how he has treated the other characters
and how he has been treated in return.
The reader's sympathy is drawn out more when we are shown he is not
told very pleasant things and so we feel sorry for him. This is when
he visits Winston Niles Rumfoord. Here Constant is told that he will
be mated to Winston's wife Beatrice who hates him and has no choice in
the matter, and that he will not die on Earth.
"Constant, having just heard from Rumfoord that he was to be mated to
Rumfoord's wife on Mars, looked away â€¦ hand's clasped together,
This quote shows how displeased Constant is by finding this out as he
grips his hands together in anger we assume. After hearing this
however, Constant does his best to be horrible to Beatrice which makes
the reader very angry at him. "Malachi Constant had take to writing
offensive letters to Beatrice â€¦ in order to make himself absolutely
and permanently intolerable to her"
The reader feels sympathy for Constant when he gets to Mars and
becomes Unk because he gets his memory wiped and an antenna put in his
head which controls him and tells him what to do. This antenna also
causes pain whenever he does something that he shouldn't. This is so
we know that even though murdering someone is wrong he has no choice.
We don't find out until later though that it is his friend and so when
we do we feel even more sympathy. Unk is told that he must strangle
someone because they have done something wrong. He is only following
orders and so is being a good soldier by doing this. Unk does not know
that this is his best friend. This makes the reader feel sorry for Unk
which adds to the sympathy the reader feels. When Unk hesitates the
antenna makes him feel excruciating pain. This is what makes us feel
most sympathy for Unk
The reader feels sympathetic when Unk finds out he has a mate and
child so when he gets the chance he runs away to find them and to
convince them to escape with him to a better place. However, his
child, Chrono, tells him that what he is saying is nonsense and that
he doesn't need him and his mate, Beatrice Rumfoord, almost lets him
die. "Her diagnosis had been correct. He would keel over at any
minute." The language here is simple and informal making it sound
almost childish which is how we are meant to perceive Beatrice here.
This is also sympathy inducing because his family from childhood was
been bad and now it is getting worse.
The reader feels sympathy instead of anger because of the emphasis on
what happened before and how it changed him for worse afterwards When
Unk recovers from his meeting with Beatrice and he is forced to talk
with Winston again. Winston tells Unk a story about how a man is told
repeatedly that a woman behind clothed doors is the most beautiful in
the world and how she would turn anyone but the most professional
soldiers 'bad'. "The new Lieutenant-colonel was offended by the
suggestion he was not a professional soldier" This appeals to his
pride and so one day he gets drunk and finds the key to this women's
room and rapes her. The reader guesses correctly that this is Unk.
The reader also finds out that he tries to earn Beatrice's forgiveness
and love but each time he got close she had her memory wiped so she
kept forgetting him which increases sympathy for Unk because it seems
that something is against everything he tries to do to make things
"His problem, thereupon, became to win her love â€¦ This he attempted to
do, not once but many times. He was consistently defeated. But it
became the central problem of his life - probably because he himself
came from a shattered family"
The language in this quote is simple and concise. The message is also
very clear. This elicits the reader's sympathy because it spells out
how they are meant to feel and appeals to human sensitivity.
Another reason the reader feels sympathy for him is because He is
forced to spend 3 years on Mercury with no one but an idealistic and
egotistical young man who has never had his memory wiped and is
slightly jealous of Unk. "He [Boaz]couldn't forbear torturing Unk from
time to time. For one thing, Unk had had everything back on Earth, and
Boaz had nothing." This makes the reader feel slightly sympathetic
however also slightly angry because the young man lives in comfort and
makes use of what is around him whilst Unk wanders around becoming
thinner and weaker. This makes Unk seem like a martyr which makes the
reader annoyed at him because we are shown that he has no need to be.
"Unk had lost a lot of weight â€¦ He was aging fast. Boaz had never felt
better in his life"
When he arrives on Earth he is greeted by a great procession which
makes him out to be wonderful. This makes the reader happy because he
is finally having something good in his life. "Men, women and children
clung to the engine with expressions of ecstasy" However, when he gets
to his destination he is taken onto a platform where everyone can see
him and he is publicly humiliated by Rumfoord when he tells Unk that
he murdered his best friend and that Unk was the person that everyone
despises on Earth. This increases the reader's sympathy a great deal
because it is such a sudden contrast and Unk is really confused by
what is going on.
On this platform Winston Rumfoord also sends Unk away from Earth to
Titan where Unk has been told before when he was known as Constant
that he will die there. "Your final destination is Titan" This makes
the reader more sympathetic because of the dramatic irony and because
the reader knows what will happen to Unk.
Malachi Constant is used in Winston Niles Rumfoord's religion as the
'bad person' that all religions have. Unk is seen as a glorious person
in the religion. When it is revealed that Unk is in fact Malachi
Constant it becomes clear that Winston Rumfoord used Unk to become
more glorious. This elicits the reader's sympathy because no one would
want to be used to fulfil someone else's goal in life.
Unk's mate, Beatrice, and his son, Chrono, are sent with Unk to Titan
and when they get there Chrono goes mad. This causes the very strong
bond between Chrono and Beatrice to be broken and Chrono goes to live
with wild birds. Unk feels bad for having been the cause of this and
does try his hardest to make up for everything. "He liked to show off
his skills as a provider [to Beatrice]" This time, Beatrice and Unk do
get closer however they are still no more than friends. This makes the
reader happy for them but also slightly sympathetic to Unk because he
is always feeling guilty and has still not really got a good chance to
love someone or have a normal life.
Another reason the reader feels sympathy is when Unk does try and be a
good father and make up with his son. When Unk finds his son's
'shrines' on Titan he does tidy them up and make them look less
neglected. "When Constant found one of his strange son's shrines in a
state of neglect, he would tidy it up" The reader feels sympathy here
because we can see his is trying and fighting a losing battle.
On the whole we feel sympathy for Malachi Constant/Unk because of all
the bad things that have happened and how that appeals to the reader's
feelings as every human feel sorry for a man who has been through so
much in such a small amount of time.