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Goody Pangall

In The Spire, Goody is married to Pangall, the impotent servant of the cathedral.  At the beginning of the novel, she is described by Dean Jocelin as his ‘daughter-in-God’, and he holds her up as an example of how a woman should be – silent and obedient – in opposition to the more vulgar Rachel.

Jocelin notices an attraction between Goody and Roger Mason, an attraction that the two are helpless to resist. He describes them as being trapped in a ‘tent that shut them off  from all other people’. Jocelin’s realisation that Goody is susceptible to lust causes anger to rise up within him, and he begins to see the filth of the cathedral – literally but also metaphorically. During the murder of Pangall, Jocelin sees Goody in a different way; her dress is torn and her red hair exposed.  He struggles to contain his own sexual desire for Goody –  a desire that she becomes aware of, and is horrified by.

Goody becomes pregnant by Roger, and Rachel Mason causes her to miscarry when she discovers the affair.  Goody dies immediately after this in a terrible scene of blood and screams: ‘She grabbed her belly with both hands and screamed again; but this scream was not like the first. It was short and sharp, like the cruel blade of a knife’.