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Narrators Make the Difference

Satisfactory Essays
In Bharati Mukherjee's The Middleman and Other Stories, there is some very different and some very similar narrative voices. In the story "Loose Ends" the narrator is a hit man and he kills two people and is forced to flee, while fleeing he encounters more difficulties involving his old world beliefs and the ever changing America. In "Middle Man" the narrator already has committed a crime in the States and is in Nicaragua where he gets involved with a beautiful women who gets him stuck in the middle of some bad situations. The person in whom the narrative voice is coming from makes a big difference in your interpretation and understanding of the story. Through The eyes of two very unlikely narrators the author makes the reader ask the question as to what puts the narrator in the position that he or she is stuck in. Is it that they are being pulled in many different directions and they end up in a situation that they don't even realize they are in?

In "Loose Ends" the narrator is a Vietnam vet who is very confused and stuck in the middle. He is stuck between seeing the old ways go and not being able to adjust to the new ways of the United States. As years go by immigrants seem to become more and more accepted to our culture. This is what Marshal can't get used to. He is with it enough to realize that the old ways are disappearing though. He asks "Where did America go?"( 48). This shows that he realizes the ways are changing, but he just doesn't know how to handle it. He is a man who cannot get over the war, and he doesn't realize that strength will always be dominating. During the war the strongest man usually succeeds in a battle. If you have a disagreement the way it is worked out is by killing each other.

The narrator, Marshal, of this short story is very aware of his actions, and he knows that what he is doing is not always right. His training is always pulling him back and making him do what he was trained and is paid to do. He refers back to his training, "Doc Healy used to teach us: torch the whole hut and make sure you get the kids, the grannies, cringing on the sleeping mat- or else you'll meet them on the trail with fire in their eyes"(47).
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