Our Lady of the Snows

An Essay ON
Morley Callaghan’s
“Our Lady Of The Snows”
The author ‘Morley Callaghan’ has written many stories and award winning novels through out his long career. Some pertain to true stories in which he has encountered through out his life. Others are straight fiction but involve a truth that deal with real-life situations and themes.(Canadian Encyclopedia: edi,1) In the novel “Our Lady Of The Snows”, a real-life situation has taken effect where a young woman is driven to prostitute
herself in order to survive. Despite the intimate nature of this novel it carries a truth that relates to three prominent everyday themes of power, money and compassion.
The drive to be the ultimate force in town creates hard-core criminals that involve themselves in any business possible. At the local lounge, ‘the Bradely Bar’, many of these thugs can be found trying to look important and powerful. One corner of the bar is a haven for thieves and petty criminals.(pg.7) In another corner large men wearing three-piece suits drinking their usual liquor and smoking endlessly strive to show their tough
enforcement side.(pg.7) The real authoritative figure in town though is a man nameEdmund J. Dubuque. Also known as ‘Da boot’ because of his club foot, everyone in town either owes him, is being protected by him or felt his punishment. Due to his eminent figure, Mr. Dubuque feels that he not only controlled the bar but owns the town.(pg.9)
Money leads to power and in the race to become the ‘ultimate force’, it is acquired by any means possible. At ‘the Bradley’ a pimp named Frankie Spagnola tries to cheat his ‘girls’ out of their share through bribery and fear hoping to collect the big pay check.(pg.11) Those men who already have an abundance of money accumulate even more through paid protection.(pg.10) Others such as Mr. Dubuque also run their own business, doing favors for others such as loaning money at high interest and helping people
pay back debts through paid services.(pg.21)
Despite the harsh and at times crude reality of this novel, compassion plays a large role in developing the story. A glamorous prostitute named Ilona Tomory has a sympathetic way with her customers which baffles the onlookers while enraging the other.(back of book) Ilona style is not only professional but she chooses those in which she sees fit. Her choices are those men who really are in need, they are not the best looking and have an unconfident air about them.(pg.135) Ilona Tomory is not only about
making money for she has had many offers to develop her business to high-class men who will pay more. But she chooses to stays at ‘the Bradley’ accepting her clients carefully.

The novel “Our Lady Of The Snows” portrays real life situations that involve such themes as power, money and compassion. As power being the driving force of the novel many try to aquire it by any means possible. Money also plays an important role in the novel for without it power can never be attained. Despite these two prominent themes, compassion shows that material things do not rule the world and without emotions life would not be forfilling. This Morley Callaghan novel is a true reflection of the hardships
in life and portrays three themes that is encountered everyday.