The Struggle Between Good And Evil Within Strangers On A Train 20th Century English At Unl Essay

1297 words - 6 pages

Connor Lathrop
English 205
Professor Rios
02 February 2018
The Struggle Between Good and Evil
The Yin and Yang is the chinese philosophy describing how seemingly opposite forces may be interconnected or independent in the natural world. However this philosophy does not describe an individual's struggle to choose a one side over another. In the novel “Strangers on a Train” by Patricia Highsmith, the character of Guy faces many moral dilemmas but the most significant is the struggle of Guy to find a balance between good and evil. Guy find himself in a tug of war between good and evil with the relationship with Anne, Bruno and the common ground of feelings for the two.
Anne represents the good influence on Guy due to her everlasting support and holy appearance towards Guy. Anne is a very forgiving character in the novel and constantly supports Guy which causes his attraction towards her. Even during the early chapters of the novel it is clear that Anne wants to support Guy and have them face conflicts together: “Whatever happens, tell me and let’s face it together. I often feel you don’t. Face things, I mean” (Highsmith 44). She wants to help Guy face his problems and be as supportive as she can. This continues constantly into the later chapters of the book. Even after a fight about Guy taking a job she is still there to support him with loving care: “‘Well-I want you now more than ever, because you need me more than ever’” (Highsmith 189). This just shows how supportive Anne is towards Guy which adds to how Guy sees her as a holy figure.
Anne’s holy appearance is revealed in the early chapters just like her supportive traits. Other than wearing white which typically is a symbol for being pure and holy, Guy describes her in a more elaborate manner, suggesting that she is something holy to him: “Soon her face would be darker than her hair, but Guy liked her best the way she was now, like something made of white gold” (Highsmith 52). Guy describes Anne as white gold not to only emphasize her beauty but also how rare she, not to mention that with the mention of white gold also shows that she appears to be holy and pure to him. It is clear the Anne is the essence of good and seen as a holy figure towards Guy. However with all good there must be some bad, which is where Bruno comes into the equation.
Bruno represents the evil influence on Guy due to his sociopathic nature and evil intentions. It is not irrelevant that Bruno is seen as a sociopath, it’s actually very clear. Afterall he did murder Miriam with a request to do so and then threatened Guy to kill Bruno’s father. He can also be seen as a sociopath with his obsession with the murder and Guy. This can be seen when Bruno interviews himself and glorifies the murder with the quote: “A perfect murder! How many people could do a perfect murder on an island with a couple of hundred other people around” (Highsmith 106). Bruno fantasies about the murder he commited and does the same with Guy....


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