Bullet in the Brain

716 WordsJun 24, 20063 Pages
Bullet in the Brain is a short story about a sarcastic book critic, who allows his criticism to extend to his everyday life and soon learns why that is not a good idea. Anders is known for "the weary elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed." He is portrayed as especially unsympathetic. He is standing in line at a bank and gets stuck behind two women whose loud stupid conversations put him in an angry mood. He engages in sarcastic, belittling repartee with the women when a robbery occurs. Two men wearing black ski masks are standing on the side of the door. He can not resist making an acid comment about the language of the robber when one of the robbers threatens the teller that she'll be dead meat if she…show more content…
Anders is strangely aroused, elated by these final words, their pure unexpectedness and their music. This is in contrast to the robber's language, which is slang, crude and inauthentic. The robber is portrayed as sensitive and self- absorbed with a strong persecution complex and murderous temper. The robber is also stupid and heartless. He could have just knocked down Anders with a pistol so as not to attract the cops. Instead he shoots him. The style of eliciting non-memory and memory emphasises the lost of innocence of childhood and of life lived in contrast with life wasted, and the disillusionment that followed leading to his insensitivity and ultimate self-destruction. This information is expository, but it flashes back to Anders' past. The author uses effectively the flashback to provide another viewpoint of the central character because Anders was pictured as unsympathetic in the beginning of the story. The memory itself, fittingly, is narrated in present tense in contrast with most of the story
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