The Go-Between

1096 words 5 pages
The Go-Between
The story ‘The Go-Between’ is a short story written by Ali Smith in 2009. The story was written for a collection of short stories written to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story is inspired by Article 13, which stands for the right to freedom of movement.
In the story we read about a 33-year-old man who’s name is not revealed. The 33-year old man is a former microbiologist and has worked in a university. In the text we follow this man who gives the reader a directly insight in how it’s like to be an African refugee trying to cross the border between Morocco and Spain. The narrator of the story has tried several times to cross the border
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”Girls get to Spain a lot easier. (If they’re not pregnant and don’t have TB). (P.3, l.66-67) Is it easier to enter Europe as a girl, if you are not pregnant or don’t have tuberculosis? I interpret that as it is easier as a prostitute. One thing is sure, human rights have nothing to do with this and it’s actually a really depressing perspective.
Human rights in general are a lacking subject in the text. Especially when it comes to the government’s treatment of refugees “They were meant to process us, even if we didn’t have the papers. They were meant to give us new expulsion papers...What they did in-stead, was they chased us with dogs, sticks, electric shock sticks and guns...” (P.2, ll.21-24)

Ali Smith uses a first person narrator in the story ‘The-Go-Between’. This makes the story more intense, and gives you the feeling that you are sitting in front of the narrator. Smith also uses a lot of short sentences, this can also help the story to get more exiting. The short sentences make the story less emotional despite it’s a very serious topic. Ali also uses humor and irony


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