I'm also not saying that Gregorius is a model pastor or an excellent human being. There is, though, the implication that if he were good looking, everybody (most definitely including Helga) would like him better. And that is shockingly cynical. Glas is a profoundly superficial man who is apparently incapable of recognizing any depth in others. One could read this as the darkest possible comedy, filled with shallow, self-absorbed people who hurt each other out of their selfishness and inability to feel empathy.
: Okay, let's see if I have time for this now.
: I read the novel again, finished day before
: I maintain that there is no reason to
: consider anyone's life ruined. It's true
: Helga wasn't 'married off' as I remembered.
: It was more of a Dorothea Brook sort of
: thing. Anyway, she soon regretted it. She
: married a pastor and living with him caused
: her to lose her faith, surely some evidence
: of his hypocrisy. Anyway, she was
: dissatisfied with him and had no way out.
: She says that her 'duty' had always been
: difficult. It is only 'more' difficult now.
: Glas, when asking why she doesn't divorce,
: confirms that she has independent financial
: means. Of course, Vollman is the exception
: to the rule; therefore, Helga is better off
: without Gregorious. And of course Helga is
: in despair at the end. Her lover is marrying
: another woman. The letter is possibly for
: him; it's certainly not for her dead
: Glas certainly feels some remorse, mostly
: after learning that Gregorious's mother is
: alive. He seems to be getting over it before
: the book ends though. Glas, at the end,
: comes to feel he has no chance with Helga. I
: think he has actually been quite aware of
: his attraction to her; I said before that he
: wasn't. He does delude himself in various
: ways though. He has apparently imagined he
: might be with Helga sometime.
: Any comment he makes about his own feelings
: can be unreliable, but as this is a diary
: which he hides, not a confession, there is
: no reason to feel any reportage of events or
: other people's words is unreliable. Helga
: makes Gregorious seem pretty unpleasant.
: Birck and Markel also consider him a
: distasteful hypocrite. Glas is not alone in
: disliking him.
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