(Posted by Evan)
I have been thinking a lot about what kind of relationships exist between the characters. While John simply seems interested in Alice's money and her womb, and Lucy can be said to have 'romantic' feelings for Alice (there seems a lot more to unpack there but it is simple enough to say that at least). The one I wonder about most is Alice's feelings towards Lucy.
Back in Bennington, Alice tells Lucy to get out of her life and disappear. She leaves her home for a foreign land and does not try to contact Lucy. Lucy has to dig up where she is and goes to Morocco uninvited. When Lucy surprises Alice, Alice is nervous and asks Lucy why she is there. She asks John what kind of day-trips Lucy can take, seemingly wanting to get rid of her.
And yet, there are times when Alice describes Lucy' presence as "emboldening" and describes Lucy as "her knight in shining armor." On the trip to Chefchaouen, I think we can see this effect on Alice. She asks the driver to stop so she can take photographs both asserting some control over her situation and seeking her own personal enjoyment. She goes off away from Lucy leaving Lucy to wait for her or go find her. Alice's photography seems to be the primary symbol of her individuality and independence - it is what Tom notice's in her college dorm room - what weens her away from Lucy in college - something that John doesn't know anything about. It's her's. Further, she's not afraid to eat foreign food and make a mess of herself, to try on men' clothes (Lucy's trousers), she's ok with exploring different sides of herself. I think the fact that Lucy is always bold, the idea of Lucy in Alice's mind, helps to encourage her to be more determinative herself.
Obligatory picture of Chefchaouen. There is also an interesting analogy between Lucy and Alice - Tangier and Chefchaouen. In Ch. 7, Alice contrasts they way she does not belong in Tangier, while Lucy fits right in.
"I could feel it, simmering around me, those things that I did not understand, the places and people that remained a mystery to me, that refused to yield no matter how often I puzzled over them. Tangier and Lucy were the same, I thought. Both unsolvable riddles that refused to leave me in peace."
Likewise, Lucy reflects on Chefchaouen:
"There was a calm to the city that was immediately at odds with Tangier... There was an eerie quiet after all the noise and bustle of Tangier. I wasn't sure I entirely enjoyed it... It was light, where Tangier was dark. It was soothing, where Tangier refused to let anyone within is grasp exhale or take a breath. I did not belong here, I felt instinctively, but I could see that Alice did."
They seem pretty incompatible in this regard, but there is a bit of a complimentary opposite thing too. Alice is hot tea, Lucy is cool bricks.
But is Lucy any better for Alice than John? When John and Lucy talk, John says Alice and he are "Symbiotic." I think I might agree. While he doesn't seem to care for her personally, Alice had accepted that she was not going to Morocco with the man of her dreams but instead saw it as a chance to escape her past. Perhaps the known nature of John and Alice's relationship makes it more bearable than that of Lucy and Alice. Alice mainly just seems to not like living in Tangier. She doesn't seem bothered by John's infidelity.
Lucy, on the other hand, sees Alice as needing her in a similar sense as John does. Lucy thinks that she has to save Alice from John's control but just seems to want to control Alice her self. She continues to think she knows better what is for Alice, while completely ignoring the many times Alice has told her to get out of her life.
One last point: What role does the impending Moroccan independence play? Outside of the kif bar/jazz club. Lucy hears the Ululation as celebration and delighting, "...as if the city knew - things were happening, finally, after all this waiting." The birth of a new world and a new life. Alice, meanwhile says "It sounds like someone is dying." The end of an era - the end of occupation?