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Danny's success in the novel 'Border Crossing' by Pat Barker

Uploaded by imation_32 on Sep 09, 2005

At the conclusion of the novel Tom decides he is ‘looking at success’ in Danny

Is this an objective assessment, or does Tom need to think this?

The conclusion of the novel portrays Danny at university working towards an established goal and most importantly - socialising. When compared to events such as Danny’s attempted suicide, these final events surely show a remarkable improvement. Tom even goes so far as to say that he “is looking at success”; however it is important to acknowledge that Tom, himself is not totally impartial. Danny’s ability to “get inside” people caused Tom to compromise both his professional and personal integrity and this reason alone provides enough evidence for one to assume that he does in fact ‘need to think’ that Danny is a success. Danny’s ‘success’ however, must be regarded appropriately – how does one view success in a murderer?

Success in ones life is measured in all sorts of forms, in particular sporting and academic achievements. Danny’s ‘success’, however is clouded with ambiguity and vagueness. Some would view the many transitions that Danny appears to have gone through as a success. His most remarkable transition is the comparison of his earlier revelation regarding the attempted suicide, “I just thought sod it” juxtaposed against his comment at the end of the novel, “finals this year”. Consider also Danny’s transition from jail to freedom. He admits that he “made prison work” and his transition to freedom, (with lack of freedom) where he is “not allowed to work with people” clearly frustrates him. Danny has also “burned his tapes” in that he no longer requires Tom’s support. The conclusion of the novel portrays Danny at uni working towards a goal and somewhat cheerful. Ambition and direction have crept their way into Danny’s life and Barker even portrays him as socialising, “a proprietorial arm across his shoulder”.

Although Danny admits, “I don’t why I killed her” he appears to have at least come to terms with her death and possibly his actions. This is an important step and he demonstrates his acceptance with his comment “she’s got a right to quite a few of my brain cells”. Danny also appears to be coping with yet another identity change, “if it happens again, I won’t run”. This dual acceptance is evidence of his developing maturity and perhaps a step in the direction of the rehabilitation that Tom was so keen to occur....

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Uploaded by:   imation_32

Date:   09/09/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (1,008 words)

Views:   2053

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