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Word Count: 1,803
In the opening sentence of The Bell Iris Murdoch presents Dora Greenfield as a weak timorous character stating left her husband because she was afraid of him This makes her appear somewhat of a victim who is incapable of standing up to people especially as Murdoch then informs us that she returned to him shortly after for the same reason Murdoch makes it clear that Dora is trapped in her relationship talking of his haunting actions while they are apart with his letters and telephone calls and the persecution of his presence showing that Dora is harassed and bullied by him This is also demonstrated as Murdoch later informs us that Dora could be neither happy with her husband nor without him and eventually decides that his presence was to be preferred This leads the reader to sympathise with Dora and immediately makes her the preferred character setting her up as a narrator as along with Toby and Michael she will be the eyes of the novel As the novel is initially told through Dora the reader gets an insight into her thoughts an example of such being her giving up her seat for an elderly lady At the sight of the very frail woman Dora begins to wrestle with the awful thought that she ought to give up her seat however after arguing with herself that she had taken the trouble to arrive early and that there were plenty of old ladies standing in the corridor she decided not to give up her seat Nevertheless in the next sentence Dora gets up and offers the lady her seat This is precisely the impulsive and erratic behaviour that irritates Paul but Murdoch makes it clear to the reader that Dora acts this way out of spontaneous good will She is frequently seen to show concern for the unloved and neglected possibly as she can empathize after Pauls treatment of her for example the way
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