In the beginning of ‘Another Country’ there is an imbalance in the narrative because the novel’s central character, Rufus, is in a state of desolation. Rufus is homeless and looking in on the world from the place of an outsider; his wretchedness highlighted by the imbalance in society around him of the black race being inferior to the white. When Rufus walks past a bar he used to drink in,
‘A white couple, laughing, came through the doors, giving him barely a glance as they passed.’ (Baldwin, 1963: 15) The couple take no notice of him because they do not care; or rather they do not want him on their conscience because it is the white race as a whole who subjugated the black. Rufus has fallen from grace, from a day ‘when he had been inside…fooling around with the musicians, who were his friends, who respected him’ (Baldwin, 1963: 15), to a situation where the possibility of rising to the most minimal success seems improbable in a society where he is oppressed. His situation lies in clear contrast with that of Victor Frankenstein who, at the start of Shelley’s novel, has everything he could need. Frankenstein is leading a happy life in Geneva where he has a loving family close at hand, has met his future wife, and is due to receive an education in Ingolstadt which he so desires. Victor notes, ‘No youth could have passed more happily than mine. My parents were indulgent, and my companions amiable.’ (Shelley, 1818: 21)
From this we can say Victor’s life is a perfectly balanced one and the narrative seems to run through the stages... [continues]
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