Hapgood --- The Main Themes

This is symbolized in Hapgood's name ("half-good" or "perhaps good") and her Hapgood/Newton personas, in the behavior (personal vs. technical) of some of the characters, and in the twin Russians and twin Ridleys.

the electron acts like a wave and produces an interference pattern if you don't ask which slit the electron passes through,


the electron acts like a particle and does not produce an interference pattern if you do ask which slit the electron passes through.

When you ask nature a question ("Is the electron a particle or a wave?"), you get what you interrogate for.

The same thing occurs with the double (and triple) agents in Hapgood, where on p 500 Kerner remarks that "... a double agent is more like a trick of the light." Each side gives Kerner enough information to keep him credible with the opposition, so when each side asks "Is Kerner working for us against them?" the answer is "yes." On p 501, Kerner says, "Frankly I can't remember which side I'm supposed to be working for, and it is in fact not necessary for me to know." Ridley turns out to be a Russian double agent working for the KGB, and Kerner is --- by his own admission --- well past being a triple agent who has been working for both sides.

Interestingly, Kerner always tells the truth in the play, just as nature always tells the truth. However, Kerner's dialog in the play can have more than one meaning, and the listener gets what he or she interrogates for.


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Last modified:  Friday, March 26, 2004 11:11 AM