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Closely analyse pages 3-7 of Chapter 1 in Brighton Rock. How effectively does Greene introduce his characters and establish Brighton’s inter-war atmosphere in this extract from the novel

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Closely analyse pages 3-7 of Chapter 1 in Brighton Rock. How effectively does Greene introduce his characters and establish Brighton's inter-war atmosphere in this extract from the novel This chapter is setting the scene for the rest of Graham Greene's novel, there are a lot of events in this chapter that are consolidated later on. As shown in this section, Greene uses short chapters to keep the readers' attention; I think that this is a very important structure for the opening of the book as it is essential for the reader to be interested from the very beginning. In this extract, Greene presents to us the character of Hale, a journalist who places cards in various towns so that tourists find them and win money. Hale's death leads Pinkie, a 1930's Roman Catholic gangster involved in the Brighton underworld to kill several other innocent victims. ...read more.


Hale realises when he sees Ida that she is able to save his life: " 'What'll you have' he said approaching the big woman with starved gratitude." Greene is able to portray his characters by giving the reader very clear mental images. Throughout the novel, he uses descriptive language and especially in this chapter where it is so important that the reader is able to gain a clear image. Ida is shown to be an almost motherly figure to Hale in this chapter, using her large figure as a protective one and using her experience to shelter Hale from what she thinks is sickness. Ida also seems to suffer from a kind of irony; when she might have unknowingly been able to save Hale's life by not leaving him she went to "wash up and fix her face." Later in the book we see the irony again when she was about to find out vital information from Cubitt involving Hale's murder, and she again went to "wash up and fix her face." ...read more.


Hale related to the song as if he were "gazing at his own life". We can associate Hale to all the other tourists in Brighton because he has no knowledge that the gangster underworld exists up until he realises that Pinkie is aiming to kill him. All the visitors are there to have a holiday, undisturbed by any low-life member of an underworld gang such as Pinkie. We see the stark contrast between people who are happy with their lives - Ida, and the people who aren't - Pinkie: "Three old ladies went driving by in an open horse-drawn carriage: the gentle clatter faded like peace. That was how some people still lived" Hence, this passage can be seen as elucidating many of Greene's preoccupation in "Brighton Rock"; Pinkie's paradoxical personality, Ida's function as protector and Hale's position as destined to death target of Pinkie's hatred. ?? ?? ?? ?? Polly Applegate ...read more.

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