Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Clive  Barker

Rosina  Toscano-McDonald 

The Comparison between the Sicilian Mafia and the Green Gang of Shanghai

Transformation Amidst the Battle between Good and Evil in Clive Barker's Novels

Clive Barker's fantasy trilogy, Abarat, portrays a battle for power between the forces of good and evil, which ultimately transforms the world from a place of comfort and routine into a place ruled by fear where those in power control and manipulate the lives of the innocent. Mater Motley represents the force of evil that the protagonist, Candy, must struggle to defeat. Motley wants to rule over the world of the Abarat to spread her evil, yet Candy will not allow her to succeed. As the hero of the series, Candy works to prove everyone wrong, as they assume that because she is a young girl, she is unable to make her own decisions, let alone save the world from the forces of evil. Her heroic actions demonstrate that even a person who doesn’t seem to have much to offer, or truly believe in herself, can nevertheless stand up against the power of evil to fight for justice.

The Green Gang of Shanghai and the Sicilian Mafia took matters into their own hands during the twentieth century, in order to help the citizens gain justice, due to the lack of governmental support. The Sicilian Mafia wanted to improve the government for the sake of the citizens, while the Green Gang wanted to gain control for themselves. Both groups were seen by many as organized crime groups. The Sicilian Mafia improved society greatly by creating a parallel government with the citizens’ interests in mind, The Green Gang came to prominence with the wedding of Chiang Kai-shek and Song Mayling, the daughter of a wealthy Christian industrialist. The Green Gang came to prominence in Shanghai in a period of great turmoil, with Nationalists, Communists, and Japanese interests competing. Both the Green Gang and the Sicilian Mafia some citizens a sense of protection and voice.

Major Works Consulted:

Barker, Clive. Absolute Midnight. New York: HarperCollins, 2011
---. Days of Magic, Nights of War. New York: HarperCollins, 2004.
Duggan, Christopher. A Concise History of Italy. New York: Cambridge U. S., 1994.
Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. New York: Norton, 1990.
Photo Credit: "Clive Barker." Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.