Gormenghast has two populations segregated by the walls of the rambling castle. The people outside are treated as lower order beings, but some individuals among them are portrayed with sympathy and admiration, throwing their humble nobility into sharp relief against many of their so-called betters.

See also the contrast between their hovels and the castle’s rock-power.

‘… those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls.’ 

 

Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 6

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