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The Go between

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The Go Between The Go Between, by L.P Hartley is a period novel set in the summer of 1900 in Brandham Hall, Norfolk. In this story we follow the protagonist, a young naive bay called 'Leo Colston', through the three weeks he spends at Brandham hall. Leo gets himself caught up in a love triangle, which results in the loss of his innocence. Hartley uses a definitive turning point to mark the change from Leo's original naivety in the first half of the novel to his loss of childhood innocence in the second half. The Go Between tells us the story of Leo Colston and his brief time spent at Brandham hall while staying with the Maudsley's in the hot summer of the 1900. Leo is corrupted by Marian (the lady of the house) and by Ted Burgess (a farmer on the estate). They both send love letters to each other via Leo, this result's in Leo losing his childhood innocence, which creates sympathy towards him as he suffers a great deal from the result of being a go-between. ...read more.


The turning point of the novel is important as it shows Leo's loss of innocence and the beginning of his corruption. It happens when he fist reads the content of the letter and finds out that Ted and Marian are having an affair. At this point he is forced to realise that he has feelings towards Marian and is jealous of Ted's influence over Marian: "I was jealous of him, of his power over Marian, little as I understood its nature" Now Leo knows the true content of the letter he understands the adult world more and so, becomes more of a part in it. When Leo does first read the content of the letter he feels devastated: "Not Adam and Eve, after eating the apple, could have been more upset than I was." The biblical reference used here, shows the extent of Leo's unhappiness. At this turning point Leo begins to lose his childhood innocence and become less naive: "I had been taken in so often, I had been so green." ...read more.


The weather is being used as a metaphor to foreshadow the tragic event about to occur, and we share Leo's sense of approaching misfortune. As the tragic climax approaches the weather continually worsens: "This time they had an ominous look, and the still air presaged thunder." Now the prediction of thunder suggests that the event will be a sudden and violent one: such as a gunshot, again we share Leo's increasing unease. With the epilogue we understand the damage done to Leo as a result of his discovery of the affair between Marian and Ted. The turning point is shown to be the pivot of the story line: the point at which his naivety is lost and he is led on a destructive path and loss of innocence that overshadows the rest of his life. The contrast between Leo's naivety and his loss of innocence is reinforced by the author's use of symbols including the weather, which also changes at the turning point. L.P Hartley has created a breathtaking period novel, in which the deceptive turning point, helps to execute the themes portrayed in this novel: the Go between. By Iain Higgison ...read more.

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