about Heaven and Hell?
The choice of Brighton as a setting in the novel 'Brighton Rock'
proves to be a well-drawn pitch for the action; for its atmosphere of
constant bustle and goings on; for its close alignment with Pinkie and
also as a metaphorical device for depicting the eternal realities of
heaven and hell. Although the writer goes into detail about place
names in the town (he mentions the Palace Pier, Montpellier road, the
West Pier and the racetrack) the specific setting of Brighton appears
to have little significance, as it could be any seaside town -
"yesterday Southend, today Brighton, tomorrow"
Greene's opening description of Brighton appears to be quite vulgar
and this is represented through Hale's eyes, distancing himself from
the bank holiday crowd he likens it to a "twisted piece of wire,"
uncoiling "endlessly past him." Hale removes all identity from the
crowd, which appears only to exist as a collective to which
individuals are surrendered. "With immense labour and immense patience
they extricated from the long day the grain of pleasure" Greene
indicates here how the crowd almost force themselves into a sense of
enjoyment, as if this is the only diversion they know, Greene focuses
on the extensive promenades and piers with amusements, sideshows and
kiosks. The amusements are a series of clichs: ghost - trains and
shooting galleries, paper hats and sticks of rock. A supposedly
festive location, often by way of contrast (as here), proves highly
effective for a story about evil and crime. On the day of the Whitsun
bank holiday, though the sun shines there is a chill wind; the author
uses pathetic fallacy as a metaphor...
... middle of paper ...
...enderness" stirring is introduced the author hints at his real
feelings. The irony is however; Rose will never know this.
Brighton provides the reader with an analogy for the potential for
damnation and reprieve and a famous symbol of Brighton (and the book's
title), Ida uses Brighton Rock, as a parallel for human nature. In
response to Rose's desperate plea of "people change, he's changed" Ida
replies: "Oh no they don't I've never changed. I'm like them sticks
of Brighton rock, bite all the way down and it still reads Brighton.
That's human nature." In the case of Pinkie, Ida would stand to be
correct although this is a very fatalistic view suggesting that
repentance is impossible and only people who have begun good stay
good. This would imply that whether one is saved or damned by God
depends on what he has determined in advance to be one's character.
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