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The Go-Betweeen, a short story by Ali Smith about life as a refugee.

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?The Go-Betweeen?, a short story by Ali Smith, 2009. The short story follows a 33 year old former microbiologist. The short story shows us, what it means to be an African refugee. The narrator in the short story is the African refugee and the narrator has fled from his homeland Cameroon. Now he?s in Ceuta in Northern Morocco where he helps people to get over the border fence to Spain. The narrator has been though a lot, he mentions, ?I would like to go back. I want to go back. But I have to go forward. I can?t go back. Back?s not possible for me?.. Don?t you understand? Nobody leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.? There?s not written why he can?t return back home, but he only says that it?s too dangerous for him and it describes how bad all the refugees have had, since they all have left their homes. ...read more.


I keep my hand folded so no one sees the loss in it. The narrator sees him and the rest of the African refugees as undesirable and not accepted in the country. According to people they do not exist officially, since they are counted as the rest of the population. Because for every single person a flower ?A flower will be planted for every single person in Tangier. But not us. Not me. I?m not here...I?m speaking to you and I?m not really here.? The author Ali Smith uses short sentences, and the short sentences make the text seem boring and has not much excitement. ?They slashed the tents so they were useless when it rained. They burned the blankets. They collected up the mobiles. They took them away. ...read more.


Ali Smith speaks directly to his readers and as a reader, you feel that you are sitting with the narrator and experience it all. Ali Smith uses the first person narrator. ?I was telling you about the fences?.. ?I?m speaking to you and I?m not really here.? None of the characters have names in the short story. Although the narrator have many stories about different people. For example the narrator, he never mentions his own name. The title, Go-between alludes to, that the narrator in the text can communicate with everyone, the Africans and Europeans. He is someone who can go between borders and still talk to people. The short story shows the refugees? hard conditions. The narrator tells us about the torture, the inhumanity and the unfairness against. The story shows how difficult it is to be a refugee. Although the West is favoured for human rights, the author Ali Smith has written, that it?s the European Border performing the torture. ...read more.

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