Go Between

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Go between Essay

In his novel, the author takes us on a momentous journey which sees the protagonist, a naive young boy, Leo Colston; lose his childhood innocence as a result of his involvement in a forbidden love affair between the sister of his aristocratic friend and a farmer on the estate they manage. The forthcoming tragedies wholly depend on the social constraints of those days. This setting is therefore of great significance to the enjoyment of the novel. As the story continues, Leo becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of dishonesty and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation awakening him into the secrets of the adult world and the evocation of the boundaries of Edwardian society. As the novel begins, we meet a young Leo who is presented as very naive and unworldly being a child who believes in magic and the power of spells. This is one of the symbols used by Hartley to highlight the young boy’s development of character. Further on in the book Leo’s naivety is highlighted ‘Perhaps she was the heat.’ Is a metaphor used to show us a young boy experiencing the first stirrings of a sexual awakening, thus highlighting his loss of innocence. The first awakening of sexuality on Leo’s behalf is seen during the bathing scene of chapter 4 when Leo becomes conscious of his own body through the passage describing Teds body. ‘Suddenly confronted by maturity in its most undeniable form; and I wondered what it must feel like to be him’ gives us the first impression of Leos emerging maturity and narcissism in being able to find others attractive. The description of Ted in this phrase gives us the idea that Leo believes that this is what it is to be a man, and sees him as the man ideal. The bathing scene also sees Leos first curiosity of women and sexuality and he becomes acutely aware of women and the desire he has towards them. The developing act of Leos understanding of love and desire can be seen through...
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