84 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2017

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Character Analysis

Cyril Avery

Content Warning: This Character Analysis section discusses the prejudice, intolerance, and hate crimes against gay men that are portrayed in The Heart’s Invisible Furies. It also mentions sex trafficking and miscarriage, which are referred to in the source text.

Cyril Avery is the protagonist and narrator of The Heart’s Invisible Furies. The novel is a chronicling of his life, told through his own perspective in hindsight and beginning with his mother’s pregnancy. Cyril’s life is in many ways shaped by his mother’s experiences and her choices, as well as The Strength of Women and Misogyny that goes along with Catherine’s story. Catherine’s experience of being cast out and watching Seán and Jack be attacked serve to lay the foundation for Cyril’s life as one whose purpose is Bearing Witness to Prejudice, Intolerance, and Hatred.

When she gives Cyril up for adoption, Catherine inadvertently sets Cyril up for loneliness. He is adopted by Charles and Maude, who name him after their dog and treat him as more of a possession than a person. Cyril accepts his position in life as a neglected object by the time he is seven years old. What results from Cyril’s emotional neglect as a child is an obsession with sex as a young adult.