Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys. Focusing on the final scene.

Essay by suemaryUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2005

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In some ways the final scene in Good Morning, Midnight is as much a contradiction in terms as the title. Sasha has come to Paris for a two week holiday. After spending the the novel avoiding feeling and close interaction, Sasha ultimately accepts the advances of a gigolo she has befriended, only to reject him at the moment of truth and sleep with the man next door whom she fears and hates.

In discussion of the final scene in GMM, Coral Ann Howells states that:

She [Sasha] is approaching her deepest desire, the desire for oblivion.

The white robed 'priest' of an 'obscene half understood religion' (GMM,

p.35) (as Sasha had earlier described the man next door) will be

making love to a naked corpse like body in Sasha's ultimate gesture of


If we look at the first sentence of this quotation , there is an undeniable truth.

Sasha's desire for oblivion is evident in many ways; she seems to move from drunken state to drunken state, sometimes taking luminal on top of the alcohol. On a number of occasions in her life, she has considered killing herself, convincing herself that it would be a softer option than living.

It was then that I had the bright idea of drinking myself to death.....

I did try it too......Drink, drink, drink....As soon as I sober up I

start again. (GMM, p. 37)

Despite the fact that suicide has been on Sasha's mind in the past, there has always been some excuse she has found to not do it. When recalling her time in Paris before, we find Sasha thinking:

After the first week I made my mind to kill myself - the usual whiff

of chloroform. Next week, or next month, or next year I'll...