The go-between

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: December 6, 2013
Analyze and interpretation of the short story
The United Nations is a global organization founded in 1945 as a result of the Second World War. This organization is to prevent a new world war and achieve world peace. The United Nations’ stated aim is also to promote cooperation within international law, security, civil rights, and political freedom within each of its Member States1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was formed within this organization. About 60 years ago the United Nations took a moral stand towards Human Rights Crimes and adopted the Universal Human Rights Declaration. Starting beautifully with the proclamation:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”2 Ali Smith finds inspiration in article 13 and wrote the short story “The Go-Between” to celebrate this exact proclamation: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement ad residence within the borders of each state” 3 In this short story we are following a 33-year-old former microbiologist originally from Cameroon, but now he is in Ceuta in Northern Morocco where he helps refugees across the border to Spain. He is a so-called border crosser who helps people across borders for legitimate purposes4. He is also the messenger between the Doctors without Borders and the refugees. He talks multiple languages and show where help is needed and where to find help (lines 40-49 in the short story). The main character has also tried to cross the borders to Spain. These attempts costed him his finger and the top of his own ear. He has had some rough experiences during this particular time in his life, where he flees to Europe. Experiences of the police harassing and torturing the refugees in camps are some of the difficulties they had to face. (lines 53-59): “…. They slashed the tents so they were useless when it rained…. They burned the blankets…. That was us warned” The main character also has a dark, blurred past. For some reason that we do not know of, he escaped his...
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