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The Go Between Essay

1483 words - 6 pages

Referring to the prologue characterize Leo old and young The prologue to 'The Go-between' tells us a lot about the protagonist Leo's character both in his younger days at school when he was around 13 years old and how he is at present when reminiscing at around 64 years of age.Leo is looking in a box that contained many items from his school days; he then comes across the diary that contains a multitude of memories. He looks at it but it 'refused to disclose its identity'. It is as if there are some memories that were forgotten because he blocked them out. Leo examines but 'does not want to touch it'.Although he tells himself this is because he wanted to challenge his memory we soon realize ...view middle of the document...

He has lost that optimism due to the events earlier in his life.The young Leo was not looking at the negative side of life at all; this is reflected in the way he described the signs of zodiac. Even a scorpion carried its 'terrible pincers with a gay, heraldic air'. The year 1900 for him had an almost 'mystical appeal' - it was the dawn of a 'Golden Age'.Leo displayed a very creative and active imagination - he envisaged vividly the various characters in the zodiac and what life could be like in the new century.The young Leo was at the period of adolescence when he was beginning to become more self-aware and delve into life's mysteries. He looked up to the symbol of the Archer as he represented strength and sturdiness and Leo wanted to think of himself 'as a man'.There are hints that the young Leo is also starting to experience sexual feelings towards women. This is displayed with his feelings of great admiration towards the Virgin symbol.The young Leo loved the elegance of his diary and felt that all entries in it should live to its splendour - they should record something 'worthwhile'. There is an element of snobbery in his personality coming from a middle class family though perhaps not quite upper middle class. He uses words like 'pater and mater' and he wants to use elaborate words like 'vanquished'. He also displays a slight disdain with the Water-carrier symbol - 'I could not help conceiving of him as a farm-labourer or at best a gardener'.In his school days the young Leo was struggling to make an impression on others and create an image for himself. Although he was secretive about his diary he also wanted to show off the contents. Like most people he wanted popularity and to be liked by all his peers.Leo's reaction to being bullied tells us more about his character. He did not write home or tell any of the masters - his attitude was that he 'had brought it on himself'. Leo was not the strongest of people mentally or physically and is shown to be rather submissive. He did not want to be too outrageous in his actions or behaviour but abide by the 'schoolboy code'. Leo had 'uncritically accepted' all the school's standards.However, all this did not mean that Leo was not going to try and get revenge on those whom had bullied him - he tried to achieve vengeance with his 'curses'. This defiant side of his younger self is an aspect that the current Leo misses - he feels 'a certain envy of the self of those days', back then he felt he had 'no notion of appeasement'. This emphasizes the fact the current Leo is regretting and annoyed at...

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