Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Single Man - The Starboard Side

"As he trots out of Camphor Tree Lane on to Las Ondas, he sees the round green porthole lights of the Starboard Side, down on the corner of the ocean highway across from the beach, shining to welcome him.
The Starboard Side has been here since the earliest days of the colony. Its bar, formerly a lunch counter, served the neighbors with their first post-prohibition beers, and the mirror behind it was sometimes honored by the reflection of Tom Mix" (Isherwood 147).

The Starboard Side is the bar where George has spent much time with Jim in the past, an old haunt of his. This is also where he and Kenny meet at the end of the novel - a significant spot in determining the ending of Isherwood's text. The meeting at the bar leads to George and Kenny's experience in the waves of the Pacific Ocean, a time when both are able to feel free and escape for a few moments the feeling of marginalization. Their quasi-union also leads to Kenny's trip to George's house, where the text may culminate. The fact that the Starboard Side is located right next to the ocean, on L.A.'s margins, runs parallel to the idea that George is able to attain the greatest degree of freedom and personal agency as a marginalized figure precisely in this place.

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