The Thin Red Line

1004 Words Oct 9th, 2012 5 Pages
Essay on ”The Red Line” by Charles Higson

Society contains a vast majority of different types of people, and all of them look, act, and think differently. How we as individuals do these things, are greatly influenced by the people around us, as our differences makes us judge others. In creating our own identity, our reliance on others is consequently grand, which can be either a fine or a dreadful matter. For some, the prejudice in the perceptions of others can cause the truth to be exceedingly twisted. It can be disturbed to such a degree, that the image of others is completely opposite of how it is in reality. This is what each character in Higson’s short story The Red Line experiences. Higson questions and plays with the role
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He had hoped that the man would have helped him find his way around London, and in a way he does, since Berto’s blood trail reminds him that he needed to take the red line – It was not the preferable outcome Berto could have hoped for though, of course, as he dies. The nameless man deems very negative of the two, mostly Berto that is so contrary himself, both in appearance and personality. The nameless man considers Berto to be iniquitous, while we as readers know the opposite is true. He also supposes that Berto and Denise are “eyeing each other up across the aisle”[2], but none of the two has romantic interest in each other, and Denise even ends up running from the former. The reader must question each character, based on their view on the others and how this changes their persona, and how each one of them is considered by our selves.

The point of view shifts in a way that it both creates suspense, and plays with our impression of personality. With each chapter, titled by a train station name, we follow a different character’s day. In Goodge Street, a chapter towards the end, the characters stories intertwine, but the shifting continues. The composition is therefore not linear, which is typical of postmodern literature, as it creates suspense. There is dynamic and a sense of reflection in the story, which are also postmodern traits. Differing at all times, the point of view creates a sense that nothing is settled,
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