Analysis of the Go-Between by Ali Smith Essay

693 Words Jun 11th, 2013 3 Pages
The Go-Between

This short story is about a 33-years-old African man craving to cross the strait between Africa and Europe in order to enter Spain. He's a refugee from Cameroun living now in a Spanish city in Morocco where he helps people like him to get over the border. He used to be microbiologist in a university, he has some knowledge in medicine and is able to speak several languages. He can so help the French doctors and act as a mediator between them and the refugees. He tried himself to cross the border a couple of times but didn't make it to Spain. It results from these attempts that he lost the top of his ear and his third finger caught in the fence.

The short story is written in the first person, it is so based on the
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His feelings about Europe are ambivalent. In one hand, he is fascinated by Europe and dreams to live in Spain but in another hand, he has been forced to leave his country and actually didn’t want to (“Nobody leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark”). This could maybe explain why he wants to help other people to cross the border – because they were forced to move as well and to give them the chance he didn’t have to get a better life. Also, even if Europe is symbolized by freedom and Human Rights, the story reveals that it’s only partly true as they stay blind to the atrocity and unfairness against the refugees crossing the border. The protagonist towards his own experience claims to be aware of this verity and has a realistic view of Spain, unlike some refugees, caught in their illusions. Nevertheless, he is still dreaming of walking in the streets of Madrid.

The author of the short story, Ali Smith, wrote it to celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She certainly has found much inspiration in Article 13, which says that everybody has the right to freedom of movement within the borders of each state by illustrating the difficulties encountered be the refugees crossing the border and also in the first article standing that “All human beings are born free and equal” because this story precisely is at variance with this statement by showing that refugees aren’t treated in a fair way…

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