Study Guide

Galloway in Serena

Advertisement - Guide continues below


Loyal, dedicated, and hard-working, Galloway makes quite a name for himself working in the camp. He might be cold, but he gets the job done, so when he loses his hand in an accident, Serena insists on keeping him around. No, it's not out of some twisted sense of loyalty—she'd happily keep his pay and get rid of him except she sees something in the guy that no one else does.

When she tries to explain this, she tells Dr. Cheney, "'You'll be surprised, Doctor, what a man such as Galloway can do with just one hand. He's very resourceful, and very willing'" (18.85). Galloway and Serena are a match made in heaven (or perhaps some place a lot lower)—he's willing to do anything for her after she saves his life, which is just the sort of loyalty Serena prefers.

Serena's in need of a murderer to handle the folks who are foolish enough to get in her way and Galloway is happy to oblige—old widow or a young kid, he doesn't mind. Here's the thing, though: We might like to think that Galloway is just your average murderer for hire, but he's much more than that. Check out what he tells Pemberton as the man digests his custom-made sandwich:

"I can't kill you quick after the way I done the sheriff. It'd lay too heavy on my conscience." (37.97)

It turns out the guy has a conscience, which is news to us since he spends the last third of the book racking up bodies. Go figure. We see an important part of his character here: Galloway may do Serena's dirty work, but he's not as ruthless and coldhearted as she is. There's some sort of code he adheres to that goes beyond his own wellbeing. Is it an awesome code? No. But it still marks him as slightly less self-absorbed than his demonic boss.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...