Study Guide

Mr. Kew in More Than Human

Mr. Kew

Okay, this guy is totally creepy. For starters, we never learn his first name, which is definitely a sign that he's an impersonal and uncaring force. Second, as the twisted father of Alicia and Evelyn Kew, he's the source of the anti-touching, anti-nature, anti-sex philosophy that's totally at odds with the sense of belonging provided by the gestalt. He and his philosophy literally tear his family apart, killing Evelyn and traumatizing Alicia. Ugh.

The best way to understand Mr. Kew is to look at his philosophy. Then it's a cinch to understand his actions.

Don't Touch Me

Mr. Kew insists to Alicia that he is the "very best of fathers" as he delivers her younger sister, Evelyn, after the girls' mother dies in childbirth. (1.2.1)

That's early in the book. We then quickly learn what the goal of his philosophy is. It's to create "a mighty structure of purity" for Evelyn (1.2.2). He studied evil, he says, and taught Alicia the difference between the two. That way her "way of life is Evelyn's star" (1.2.2). Evelyn is to be pure and know only the good. If you can't tell by now, this guy's definitely a little off his rocker.

So what's good, in Mr. Kew's warped eyes? Well, it's not being touched or raised by a mother. "You're evil, Alicia," he says, "as you know, because a woman touched you, for years she handled you. But not Evelyn . . ." (1.6.3). Remember, the gestalt is all about belonging and sharing, so it's on a totally different planet from Mr. Kew's philosophy.

Mr. Kew's philosophy builds on its anti-touch foundation. According to him, all things related to sex and sexuality are evil, including seeing yourself naked. He explains to Alicia "how a man went mad if he was alone with a woman, and how the poison sweat appeared on his body, and how he would put it on her, and then it would cause the horror on her skin" (1.2.3). Um, Silence of the Lambs, anyone?

Lights, Camera...Action!

So what does Mr. Kew's twisted philosophy mean in terms of his actions?

When he learns from Alicia that his daughter Evelyn asked to be touched, he totally loses it. "She'll be touched," he says while holding his whip (1.6.2-3). "Evil can't be filtered out." And finally, evil is "in the blood and the blood must be let. Where is she, do you think?"

Alicia tells him Evelyn's probably by her pond. He goes there with his whip—not before telling Alicia she'll be whipped too if she doesn't stay back—and finds Evelyn and Lone. He picks Evelyn up and throws her aside, fatally wounding her. Using his whip, he then battles Lone.

Mr. Kew succeeds in injuring Lone, but Lone manages to give him a telepathic command to kill himself. Mr. Kew walks into his library, gets out his gun, puts it in his mouth and, while Alicia watches, shoots himself.

We've had about enough of this guy, haven't you?