”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 writer found inspiration in article 13, which describes the right to freedom of movement. The story follows the 33-year-old former microbiologist who gives us a direct insight into what it means to be African refugees on the border between Morocco and Spain. “I was a microbiologist, before.” (Page 3, line 32-33)
The narrator is even, for some reason, fled his native Cameroon, and has on several occasions tried to flee across the border to Europe. None of his attempt is successful, and they have cost him part of his ear and a finger.
He explains in detail about how flight tests were done and what treatment he has received from the authorities. The narrator has abandoned himself to escape and have now settled in the Spanish city of Ceuta, located in Morocco. Here he lives in a small room with three others, where he works as a guide (Go-between) for newly arrived refugees. He establishes contact between aid organization doctors and refugees. He speaks several languages and can put the switch in position. “The French doctors can be Italian, Spanish, French, English, for instance. I speak these, and also some others.” (Page 2, line 31-32) The novel provides a powerful insight into the miserable and tragically conditions refugees in North Africa.
The story is told through a first person narrator, who tells the story in the past tense. The narrator seems to be at a distance of the actions he describes. The narrator is authoritarian by virtue of the fact that he is anticipating the events of the story. Given the fact that the story is told by a first person narrator, there is only one point of view. Obviously we are dealing with an inner point of view; the events are being viewed with inner...