“Mrs. Sayce’s Guy,” by Nugent Barker is an inconclusive, mysterious ghost story centered around the events of the British national holiday, “Guy Fawkes Night,” which takes place on November 5th. In particular, the story focuses on Mrs. Sayce as the main character; a sickly woman who finds herself in a conflicted family situation. Nugent Barker uses unlikely characters, such as the face, to give depth and mystery to his story. As a personified actor, the face is a performative aspect of what is happening psychologically, resulting in a story about consciousness, interiority, and a distrust of humanity and the self. Ultimately, Nugent Barker uses these theories to showcase not only the zeitgeist of the time, but also the dangers of detaching oneself from emotion and feeling.
Bressler, Caroline, "Detachment: An Analysis of Nugent Barker’s “Mrs. Sayce’s Guy”" (2019). Modernist Short Story Project. 30.